Abhay Gupta - Cashing on Homes

Blues Clothing Company, Blues Jewellery Company and now Blues Home. The tireless attitude of Abhay Gupta, Executive Director, Blues Clothing Company, shows us how the company is managing to expand so widely and quickly!

By: Soumya Jain

Posted on: November 10, 2010

Blues Clothing Company, Blues Jewellery Company and now Blues Home. The tireless attitude of Abhay Gupta, Executive Director, Blues Clothing Company, shows us how the company is managing to expand so widely and quickly!

My interview with Abhay Gupta, Executive Director of Blues Clothing Company, was slotted for 5pm. And when I reached the interview venue, I was told that Gupta had been giving non-stop interactions since 10am that day! So when I sat down with him for the interaction, I almost felt guilty and said that I could understand how tired he must be speaking the whole day. He politely laughed and said, “No problem! I am a marketing man…it’s my job!”

He still looked absolutely fresh and ready to battle the tirade of questions while I silently vowed to make it short for him.

Blues Home
The occasion for all these interactions was the launch of Blues Home, again a multi-brand retail concept, but executed with panache. The first Blues Home store is at The Galleria Mall, MG Road, New Delhi. But it’s not just one store. Its stores within a store! The entire basement area, and a small part of the Ground Floor, has been taken over by the Blues. Exclusive stores of brands under the Blues Home division occupy the mammoth space. Shoppers can mix and match between various brands to create their own look and style with options ranging from Versace Home, Ayaan, Jagtar, Obsession, El unique 925, and Haute Monde.

Versace Home needs no introduction. The interior collection of the fashion label takes inspiration from its usual design elements – sleek, sober, minimal and extremely luxurious. Ayaan is an India-inspired collection with marble-inlay table tops, traditional sculptures, silver furniture, and a lot more. Jagtar provides beautiful creations made from Thai silk and Obsession has an astounding variety of carpets to choose from. El unique 925 has exquisite sterling silver artifacts which can be beautifully paired with the high-quality leather furniture from Haute Monde.

Explaining the concept further, Gupta said, “We are targeting those who don’t want to have run-of-the-mill products which are available in India and, at the same time, doesn’t want to do an overdose of Versace in his house. So he can create a magnetic style statement with a mix and match from all the brands. We have a silver furniture line which has a very royal look, artifacts made of sterling silver and a lot of other concepts. We have tried to merge and present solutions for homes – whether they are small apartments or large houses.”

For Ayaan, Blues Home has tied up with artisans who have been winning export awards, to design for the domestic market now. “So far, Indian handicrafts were available at Cottage Emporium, where there is always a question mark in terms of getting good service. So we are trying to give customers variety and good service as well. We have garden solutions, indoor solutions, décor for puja rooms, and so on. Customisation is also possible,” Gupta said.

Gupta mentioned that the Versace store will have a special launch soon once the store has been set up properly.

The Market
As per research, Gupta says that their new initiative has a market in almost every Indian city, with focus being more on New Delhi and Mumbai. “Lot of new homes are coming in Gurgaon, Noida, Greater Noida and they are ranging from 1-5 crores. So these level of homes need luxury interiors as well. So the market is definitely there with Delhi and Mumbai being the biggest,” he explains.  

Brand Awareness
All luxury brands know that getting brand awareness is quite a challenge in India. However, Gupta has his route all chalked out. He said, “The first step is to talk to the media which we are doing right now. Once the media is convinced about the products, they’ll write about it. Then we will go the advertising route, we will do events here, we will tie up with designers, architects for in-store events to ensure that we are talked about. And we are confident that once Versace is launched, people will come. There is a demand for Versace as they already have some clients, and they are a known name in the lifestyle business, and there is confidence in the word Blues. So people know that if its Blues, then its going to be a unique proposition.”

On being asked about the online media as a possible method to increase brand awareness, Gupta gave a very positive response. According to him, this ubiquitous media can definitely help the luxury industry grow, especially in a country like India. He said, “The average age of an Indian today is 25 years old. The younger generation wants to be at par with global standards in everything and there is a lot of new wealth being created. What is important about the online media is that it can reach where I cannot go physically. Maybe it is only brand awareness, but it is helping them to understand more about me, understand my philosophy, and one day they will come into my store which is centrally located in New Delhi.”

The Future of Multi-Brand Retail
With luxury brands increasingly entering the Indian market and trying to pitch for a larger share of the market, is the multi-brand retail store concept going to die? “I think multi-brand has made things easier for Indians rather than a monogram because Indian consumer is evolving and he is doing a mix and match with various brands…so it’s a question of time,” Gupta said.

The sprawling Blues Home space definitely looks like it’s going to be success, considering that a super-expensive piece was sold on the launch day itself before most of the media could see it!

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