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Thursday, May 10, 2018

Ambud Sharma, Founder & CEO, Escaro Royale

Ambud Sharma is the Founder & CEO of LigoGroup that owns & operates the extreme-luxury lifestyle brand Escaro Royale. Escaro Royale offers premium handcrafted men’s footwear, bags & accessories designed for its discerning clientele among the male connoisseurs of luxury. Ambud has an innate understanding of fashion technology, enterprise software, high street fashion design and business management. His background in cutting-edge technology and strong business acumen has helped Ambud in establishing Escaro Royale as an extreme-luxury brand through effective use of digital technologies. In conversation with Dominic Rebello, Ambud says, “Our vision is to establish Escaro Royale as India’s first & largest extreme-luxury super-premium tech-driven brand for men.”

What is the idea behind Escaro Royale?
Escaro Royale started off as a curious experiment when I and the team set out to understand how luxury brands behave in the new digital world. Conventionally luxury brands offer more of a brick-and-mortar experience through physical touch and feel of product. Careful analysis of the 4Ps (and various other variables) of digital luxury segment helped us to unearth how luxury brands are perceived and managed. With all the excellent insights into consumer behavior and market dynamics, we then set out to build India’s First Super Premium Extreme-Luxury Brand for Men. This was the beginning of data-based analysis of something as abstract as fashion. Sounds crazy right? It probably is, if you think about the number of business & artistic variables at play at the same time. The team uses algorithms and big data to make informed business decisions – what to make, for whom to make, how to make and when to make. The company focuses on technology to create breakthrough product versions that are in sync with luxury market dynamism.

How are you different from others?
There are a lot of factors which differentiates Escaro Royale from its competitors in the luxury brand segment. Below are few of them:

Strong Product: The first and the most important differentiator for Escaro Royale (ER) is its merchandize, material selection and quality control. ER products are class apart in terms of design, craftsmanship and attention to detail. The luxury products are designed with the ultimate needs of the crème-de-la-crème consumers in mind.

Customer Experience: Escaro Royale is built to be the most customer-centric luxury brand with a technological edge. Every function in the company is customer centric and each team member, irrespective of designation, is required to have a customer-first mindset. We truly believe that the brand’s product offering is incomplete without the combined experience that consists of every little detail – be the user experience (UX) of the website, the checkout experience, payment experience, grievance management, the after sales service or the everlasting consumer connection. Each ER product and purchase experience creates that we call the consumer persona

Luxurious Perception: Escaro Royale understands that there is more to luxury than just the premium pricing and a feeling of opulence. It is about connecting the consumer to the brand’s story, its reason to exist and its function in the fashion space. We invite our consumers to talk to us (or meet us) to get a feel of why ER exists and what gaps it has filled in the generally monotonous Men’s Luxury space.

Any expansion plans?
The company’s growth revolves around perception (how brands are created), persona (how brand value is computed in the minds of consumers), and projection (how the brand eventually manifests itself in front of the consumers through websites and stores).

We are also planning to open six experience centres by this financial year amongst which one has recently opened in Rama Road, New Delhi, where customers can have first-hand look and feel of its product range. Each experience centre will cost about 50 lakhs rupees excluding the operational cost. In total we are planning to invest Rs 3 cr to open six experience centres excluding operational cost.

Your vision for the company?
The vision is to establish Escaro Royale as India’s First & Largest Extreme-Luxury Super-Premium Tech-Driven Brand for Men. Escaro envisions India as a huge market – given the wide and vast palette for luxury across tier 1 to tier 2 to tier 3 cities. The company is aspiring to create luxury hubs that will steadfastly cover all the cities in India, keeping the customer luxury sentiment – specific to the demographics and psychology in mind.

Where do you see yourself five years down the road?
As a company, we have come a long way from selling one product a day to running out of inventory that too in just 6 months. We have penetrated Indian market with the use of technology and continue to do this. Five years down the line, we will be present in the most parts of the developed nation. We will be launching the brand in America and some parts of Europe as early as 2019 & will be coming to Canada & Australia soon after that.  We foresee bringing some innovations in the luxury space and revamping the rules for online retail industry.

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