Siddharth heads Wildcraft’s supply chain, production, finance and information systems. Prior to his entrepreneurial journey at Wildcraft, he worked in leadership roles across the globe with General Electric and Hewitt Associates.
His enthusiasm for numbers, technology and operational efficiency has been key to Wildcraft’s exponential growth. Siddharth enjoys pushing the envelope and always motivates the Wildcraft team to achieve the best it can. He holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Management from the Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai. In conversation with Dominic Rebello, Siddharth says, “The vision behind Wildcraft was to serve as a head to toe outdoor gear provider brand for anyone who likes to lead an active lifestyle.”
Tell us about the brand 'Wildcraft' and what is the concept behind it?
The idea of starting a company was incepted in the year 1998 but Wildcraft was officially launched in 2007. Wildcraft was created to cater to the outdoor manufacturing product segment and hence began our journey with outdoor gear like tents, rucksacks, backpacks etc. Wildcraft appeals to people that embrace the unknown and look forward to the uncertainties because they are Ready for Anything. They take on the world and welcome each adventure with a sense of excitement.
Whether the gates are shut or the last bus is gone, the Wildcrafter finds an adventure lying ahead of them. We began our journey in 1998, in Bengaluru, when we decided to start an outdoor services firm. We took people rafting, kayaking & rock-climbing. By 2007 we decided to convert Wildcraft into an outdoor gear provider. Initially we used to say we’d assist people for the outdoors, then we decided we would equip them for the outdoors instead. The term Wildcraft was framed since we wanted to assist people who are crafted for the wild.
Your vision for the company?
The vision behind Wildcraft was to serve as a head to toe outdoor gear provider brand for anyone who likes to lead an active lifestyle. With Wildcraft we have created a one-stop shop for all outdoor requirements panning across apparel, gear & footwear.
Any expansion plans?
We stepped out of India and started in the Middle East. We have started in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and few other South East Asian countries. In Kathmandu, we have our own store and plan to open another one there. In February, we did our first tie-up in Europe. We now have our footprint across 11 countries across Middle East & South-East Asia.
What makes 'Wildcraft' unique?
Wildcraft products are specifically catered to unique body types among our target audience. A lot of industry trends and research is done before we launch a product or collection. For example: For the Indian audience we bear the body type, average height & weight in mind before launching a particular type of rucksack. At Wildcraft we spend a lot of time understanding the customer, their anatomy and the local climate. These detailed research has helped us create products that meet the specific needs of our consumers. Wildcraft’s clothing line is in sync with the needs of the new-age traveler. It includes the key features of lightness, multi-utility and comfort. Through our HYPA technology, our products are imbibed with innovative technology and a good utility aspect to step outdoors this winter. Wildcraft products are equipped with what we call FLWR, which is Functional. Lightweight, Weather Resilient & Reliable. HYPA Technology is spread across our collection: HYPA COOL for our Spring Summer Collection, HYPA WARM for our Autumn Winter Collection, HYPA GRIP in our footwear collection and HYPA DURA imbibed in our gear collection.
Where do you see yourself five years down the road?
We will be investing around Rs 350 crore by 2020 for expansion and marketing. We will also continue with our retail strategy of adding a minimum of 40 offline outlets every year in tier 1, 2 and 3 cities across India. We have 160 stores at present, which will become 200 this year. By 2020, we are looking at 300-350 stores. We had retail sales of Rs 400 crore last year (fiscal year 2016-17) and we intend on doubling sales to Rs 1,000 crore in the next three years.