Monte Carlo Fashions Ltd was launched in 1984, providing a significant step in the evolution of the branded garment industry in India. An offshoot of Oswal Woollen Mills, the leading fashion and lifestyle brand was born out of a tremendous opportunity its parent company saw in the domestic ready-made knitwear category.
And it hasn’t disappointed. Since its inception, familyowned Monte Carlo has been successfully meeting the ever-growing demands of India’s fashion industry with its superior quality, all-seasons, eclectic mix of clothing for men, women and tweens. “People buy Monte Carlo for the quality and longevity of our products,” Executive Director Rishabh Oswal says.
“Our quality complaints are the lowest in the industry. And the amount of returns we get from any of our stores or any of our customers is minuscule. It’s really helped us build a loyal customer base.” Rishabh credits it all to the company’s strategic supplier relationships. “They’re our backbone,” he insists.
“We work with them on a long-term basis and help them manufacture world-class products. They provide timely supply in return.” It’s a true win–win. And even during challenging times, like if there’s a defect in the supply or a worldwide pandemic, Monte Carlo doesn’t waiver in its support. Instead, the company works with its vendors and suppliers to get through it together.
“From day one, we realised the importance of our supply chain partners, and we believe we should support them with any problem they might face,” Rishabh explains. “During COVID-19, we supported them by not cancelling a single order. We even disbursed advances to our vendors in some cases when they were in dire need of financial support.
From day one, we realised the importance of our supply chain partners, and we believe we should support them with any problem they might face.
“And when it comes to the fabric, which is the heart of the garment, contributing to roughly 60% of its cost, we don’t pass that burden on to our vendors either. Instead, we provide the fabric to our vendors. That way, the only cost they face is that of running their factories.”
Throughout the years, Monte Carlo’s considerate nature has helped it get far. When Rishabh signed on as Vice President in 2015, the company and even the industry was quite different than it is now.
The business was heavily dependent on the small family-run outlets of its earliest days and was finding it hard to break into the national chain stores as aggressively as it had hoped.
Concurrently, new channels for selling were opening up, presenting opportunities for the business. “When I joined, the first responsibility I was given was looking after the national chain stores and the online market. At this time, the online market was coming up in a really big way with players like Amazon, Snapdeal and Flipkart coming on the scene,” he recalls.
“The scope of business we now get from these channels has grown significantly from 2015 until now. They’re growing at a faster rate than any of our other channels, contributing a major part of our revenue.”
This year, Monte Carlo will be logging a turnover of nearly one-and-a-half times that of 2015. And its online segment is also coming in strong, with a massive turnover in secondary sales from online partners.
“Taking these new channel additions seriously, implementing them in our business and making them a big part of our revenue was initially a big challenge, but one that ended up driving growth for us,” Rishabh reveals.
With its impressive continued growth, Monte Carlo needs a back-end system that can keep up. So, this year, it’s focusing on overhauling its enterprise resource planning system and replacing it with a new and improved nextgeneration SAP S/4HANA system.
“Along with this, we are also focused on our digital transformation, which we believe will play a major role in our growth going forward,” Rishabh says. “We are also looking to increase revenues from our website and improve our product and brand visibility and increase the overall efficiency of our organisation.”
It’s all in the name of success and for Monte Carlo, that means achieving the highest level of customer satisfaction while maintaining a healthy company culture, Rishabh insists. “Customer satisfaction is key,” he stresses.
“Equally as important is providing a quality work environment for our employees, ensuring there’s engagement among our team members and satisfaction in their work.” Because happy employees make for happy customers. And that’s just what Monte Carlo intends.
“We focus very hard on designing and merchandising. We have a full team of in-house designers who travel every year, looking for design inspiration around the world,” he notes. “Designing the right product, supplying it to the customer at the right time and at the right price point, and solving any of the queries they might have post-sales is the main measurement of success for us.”
This eagle-eyed focus on the customer and the welfare of its vendors and employees is all a major part of Monte Carlo’s point of difference, Rishabh says. “We’re a familyrun business which is professionally managed,” he states.
“We are a conservative company. “Even more, we are an all-seasons brand. Some mistake us for a winter-only brand, thinking we only make and sell sweaters – sweaters are actually only about 25% of our company’s turnover. We make them 100% in-house, and they are our bread and butter and where we started from, but we also offer so much more.”
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