Crocs sees big opportunity in India, to bring in more brands from global portfolio

For most Indian consumers, footwear brand Crocs means colourful rubbery clogs with holes, mostly worn during the monsoons. And that is one image the US shoemaker plans to change by bringing in more of its 350-odd designs from global portfolio such as lace-up sneakers, hover boats and cobbler stud ankle boots.

"In consumer minds, Crocs is a monsoon brand. Our products are diversified much more than that and we haven't done a good job of placing products in front of consumers or promoting it," Nissan Joseph, the recently appointed general manager of Crocs India, says.

"We see opportunity for Crocs not only for acquiring new customers for our existing 'monsoon shoes' but also taking existing or new customers for new brands and product extensions," says Nissan, 49, who has more than 25 years of experience in brands such as Brooks and New Balance in the US and Payless Shoes in Australia.

He believes Crocs has ample room to grow in the 30,000-crore Indian footwear market due to the country's swelling middle class and their demand for comfortable and durable footwear.

"You can break our world here in three groups - people who love Crocs, people who don't know much about it and people who apparently don't like Crocs because they wouldn't look good in a yellow pair of clogs. We can change the opinion of the last two sets of consumers with our new products," Nissan says.

Made with lightweight anti-microbial foam called Croslite, Crocs first hit stores in 2004 as a beach shoe and became an instant hit thanks to its radical colourful design and lightweight, comfortable and odour-resistant qualities. Even today clogs account for more than half of the Colarado-based company's global sales.

Crocs started its Indian operations in 2007, and the company says it has been growing its sales in high double digits. To expand its reach, the company has re-aligned its supply chain from having multiple accounts to few large distributors. Today Crocs is available in more than 340 retail outlets including 30 plus exclusive stores.

Industry experts, however, feel that expanding beyond metros would be challenging for Crocs.

Popular Posts