Hidesign factory plan for Guwahati


The Hidesign store in Guwahati.
India’s premier leather brand, Hidesign, has set its sights on the Northeast and is looking to open a factory in Guwahati.
“Though we are yet to identify the place, looking at the business prospects I am indeed very keen on opening a factory in Guwahati,” Hidesign founder and president Dilip Kapur said in Guwahati recently.
The company currently has three factories — one in Pondicherry and two in Himachal Pradesh — from which the products are distributed worldwide.
The retail partner of Hidesign in the region, Design Wale, a local business firm, is ready to go the extra mile to promote quality leather bags here.
The entrepreneurs behind Design Wale, Kangkan Chakravarty and Mehtaj Zaman Ahmed, are optimistic about the custom factory. “It will take some time, as these things do not happen overnight. Moreover, since we are based in Guwahati, the factory will be opened here. But, it will happen for sure,” Chakravarty said.
The factory is, however, not the only deal struck by Design Wale with Hidesign. Three standalone stores in Dimapur, Gangtok and Shillong are also in the pipeline.
“It has been only 13 months, and the Guwahati store is performing better than our expectations. This has encouraged us to further explore the Northeast market and open independent stores. The three chosen cities are heading towards urbanisation, yet retain their past glory and heritage — the same concept that drives Hidesign,” Kapur said.
The company will open its doors for the Dimapur crowd in January next year, followed by stores in Sikkim and Shillong in a phased manner.
Barring these three, Hidesign will also have a section for themselves at the Sohum Emporio in Guwahati. “I have already visited Sohum Emporio and checked the space. It will take us two months to develop the store,” Kapur said.
With an annual domestic turnover of Rs 110 crore, Hidesign has 63 boutiques across the country, with additional outlets in departmental and specialty stores.
Despite prices being on the high side, Hidesign never fell short of what it did best — lure people.
“When we decided to open a boutique in Guwahati, we did not conduct any market survey like our contemporaries do. We worked on our instincts. The Northeast is full of impulsive buyers, which gave us the confidence to open more stores here,” Ahmed said.