Guest Lecture by Mr. Biju Dharman by IBS Business School, Telangana

HTCampus Expert updated on : 09 Sep 2016

The IBS Business School, Telangana, conducted a guest lecture by Mr. Biju Dharman, (National Sales Head) at LEE organised by Club Maverick

The IBS Business School, Telangana, conducted a guest lecture by Mr. Biju Dharman, (National Sales Head) at LEE organised by Club Maverick-The Official Marketing and Strategy club of IBS Hyderabad.

“The customer is the final filter. What survives the whole process is what people wear. I’m not interested in making clothes that end up in some dusty museum.” — Marc Jacobs

What people wear is apparel that is marketed by someone, them being the marketer and you being the customer, come to a common place where both interact. Too many people everywhere, but the important one was only here, he was Mr. Biju Dharman the National Sales Head at LEE.
Mr. Dharman has 18+ years of professional experience with leading MNC’s in Retail and I.T. A B.Sc. science graduate from Fergusson College and pursued his MBA in Marketing from the University of Pune. That is not where he stopped, he further did an International Certification in Quality Management from The Bremen University of Applied Sciences, Germany and 12 years hence did a Business Intelligence course from IIM Ahmedabad.

He not only has an arsenal of educational qualifications but also equally entrenched in practical knowledge; displaying his learnings on various platforms. Mr. Dharman was the Regional Sales Head of NIIT for 6 years, a Retail Manager at Shopper’s Stop, Bandra for 2 years and then a Mall Manager for Future Group for 4 years. Further, he has worked as the Head of  Retail Operations for Levis Strauss & Co. for 3 years before assuming his current seat as the National Sales Head of the VF Corporation, commonly known as LEE.

In the Guest Lecture on 7th September 2016 at IBS Hyderabad, organised by Club Maverick-The Official Marketing and Strategy Club of IBS Hyderabad, he said learning is more personal to him. During the course of the lecture, he also mentioned the following tidbits about the company. They are summarized as follows:-

  • The market penetration and adaptability of LEE is a challenge for them.
  • The statistics provided by him stated that in 2015 LEE’s products were 80% Made in India and the rest 20% were imported. Whereas in 2016 the scenario improved with the products that were Made in India, increasing by a percentage of  95%  as opposed to the percentage of imported products which reduced by 5%.
  • With LEE’s major focus on “Make in India” and “Produce in India”,  its major competing markets are Bangladesh and China.
  • LEE controls the overall production from raw materials to finished goods and they do not only sell products and services but also believes in end-to-end relationship.
  • Their plants are in Bangalore and Punjab (Ludhiana) and its retailing is done through an Indian partner.
  • Catering to the customers’ needs is of primary importance to all the organizations and Lee is no different in that aspect either. Lee is strongly in league with the E-Commerce giants like Snapdeal, Flipkart, Myntra.

LEE compares itself with brands like Roadster and Wrangler and its business is valued at around 1500-1600 crores at Recommended Retail Price (RRP). LEE follows urban kind of brand positioning. Mr. Dharman’s take on duplicity was that firstly, it is not good for the brand and secondly, it kept the company on constant vigilance. He also mentioned that out of the 5 senses, visual sense is the primary thing that attracts customers and then other senses comes into play. He also stated that LEE made their products distinct from others and prided in providing the Best-Fit denim, unlike other similar companies. He believed that E-Commerce has limitations in comparison to physical stores. Physical stores are beneficial in the end whereas E-Commerce websites are not. No e-commerce website can run the entire life (long run) giving discounts to its customers. Mr. Dharman also stated that offline business has parity.

As every good thing has to end so did Mr. Biju Dharman’s insights. The lecture ended on a note that each organisation’s product is different; it depends on upon the company how to market it and make its presence felt, in the market.

Marketing is not just theoretical knowledge it is how you implement that theoretical knowledge practically, that counts.


Source: Maverick IBS

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