Wildcraft takes step into new territory with shoes, eyewear

16 Sep,2011

By Tuhina Anand

Wildcraft, the adventure equipment and outdoor gear company, has forayed into outdoor apparel and plans to launch the range across the country by November-December this year. The company also has plans to launch its range of footwear by the last leg of next year while it is geared up to launch its eyewear range by next quarter. This range in keeping with the core of outdoor ethos will be high in functionality, light weight and compact, weather resilient and high in reliability or FLWR as that’s what the mantra to follow at Wildcraft.

The company which was set up in 1998 has seen a CAGR of 100 percent in the last four years which was propelled by the change in travel itinerary in India as people have become receptive to adventure travel. In fact, the market for this industry is estimated to be around Rs 750 crore and has been growing steadily. Wildcraft itself has been doubling YoY for the last four years, with its top line approximately Rs 65-70 crore this year. It has set its sights on reaching the magic figure of Rs 100 crore plus by next year.

About these plans, Mr Gaurav Dublish, Director at Wildcraft, says, “Being the only organized player in the adventure equipment and outdoor gear, we do have the first mover advantage plus also the fact that we have been in this category for long and we understand the category well. We have created an ecosystem around this category and take pride in the fact of manufacturing 100 per cent in India without any imports. Though still in its nascent phase, the category will only grow further from here on.” That explains Wildcraft’s decision to extend their offering in this category beyond their popular sleeping bags, rucksacks, tents and bag packs to apparel, footwear and eyewear.

The company will also be open to outside funding once it reaches the figure of Rs 100 cr. Despite its good run in the last few years the company has hardly advertised because, as Mr Dublish puts it, constraints in supply meant they would have been incapable of catering to the surge in demand. However, this issue is now in control with a factory in Solan that started functioning in August this year. It has another factory in Bangalore which was set up in 2004. The company hopes to go all out with a marketing blitzkrieg in another 18 months.

There is also a plan to enter the East market which was initially planned for next year but will now happen before the end of this financial year. Wildcraft is also exploring the opportunity to be in the Middle East and SE Asia, and that is one of the reasons for the company sprucing up its offering. The spurt of activity at Wildcraft can also be in preparation for the onslaught of foreign players who have been waiting at the fringes but have not really turned their focus now to India, and would probably look at this space in two to three years’ time.

Wildcraft currently has a direct presence in 15 cities and plans to be in another 17 cities by the end of this financial year. It has a presence in around 50 cities through distribution channels and multi-branded stores.

“We are looking at e-commerce in a big way and have recently revamped our website and made it more user-friendly. In fact, we expect 5 percent of our sales coming from e-commerce. We have also partnered with almost 10-12 e-comm players in the last two months in a bid to get into this space seriously. Also we have revamped our digital team on both sales and marketing sides, and will have new people on board by October 1 who will be dedicated to the digital medium,” added Mr Dublish.


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