With a prime motive of providing best quality baby wears and kids wear, manufactured with the finest combed cotton and intertwined with reasonable price points, began Popees Baby Care, 15 years ago at Thiruvali, a village in the Malappuram district of Kerala. Shaju Thomas, Chairman & Managing Director of Popees Baby Care became eloquent on the success journey of Popees, the fast-growing brand since the time of its inception, in an interesting interaction with Mommy & Baby Times (MBT).
September 09, 2019
MBT: Could you give us a glimpse of the 15 years long business journey and the significant milestones of Popees Baby Care Products?
Shaju Thomas: It was in the year 2005 we; Popees Baby Care Products began our passionate journey with operations centred in Malappuram, Kerala with a team of 20 employees. By the year 2013, we received ISO – 9001 – 2015 certification, as a reward for our consistent hard work of providing the best quality products and services to the customers as well as meeting the applicable statutory and regulatory requirements. The very next year, we established our warehouse and a dispatch centre in Bangalore.
In the year 2016, we attained the textile production certification by Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) which is the worldwide leading textile standard for organic fibres and also started the exportation of our products in the same year. Popees is currently exporting products to several countries including UAE, Turkey, Malaysia, Vietnam, KSA, Sri Lanka, Australia, New Zealand, France, Italy, Great Britain, and USA.
We also established our regional office at Guntur, Andhra Pradesh and another R &D office at Tiruppur which is a major textile and knitwear hub that contributes to the 90% of the total cotton knitwear exports from India. We are also looking forward to starting our zonal offices at Mumbai, Chennai, New Delhi and Kolkata and also planning to begin 25 EBOs (Exclusive Brand Outlets) across the country this year.
MBT: Could you kindly tell us about the product range and in-house brands of the company?
ST: Popees manufactures a range of baby wear and kids wear for the age groups of 0 -2 years and 2-6 years. We have three in-house brands- Junior Popees, Popees Plus and Popees Kids, catering distinctly to offer fashion statements and solutions to different age groups and sizes. With our consistent and persistent experience of 15 long years in the field, we have achieved a sense of expertise and proficiency in bringing out the finest quality apparels for babies and kids.
“Popees is currently exporting products to several countries including UAE, Turkey, Malaysia, Vietnam, KSA, Sri Lanka, Australia, New Zealand, France, Italy, Great Britain, and USA… We are also looking forward to starting our zonal offices at Mumbai, Chennai, New Delhi and Kolkata and also planning to begin 25 EBOs”
MBT: Please share us some details on raw material procurement process and the current market reach of the brand.
ST: Popees kids’ wears are only made up of combed cotton, which is a softer version of the regular cotton that provides extra comfort to kids. We procure the organic cotton and treat it before it is spun into yarn, which is combed cotton. They are high in quality and tougher in terms of the texture of the fabric. It is softer because it lacks short threads to stick out and prickle, and also all the dirt and impurities have been removed from the thread. Before the final process of dyeing, the products undergo the procedure of Balloon Padding.
At present, our prime focus is on the South Indian market, but we are seeking to expand our operations all over the country. Also as an initial step of our international expansion, we have established our office at UAE to serve the entire Middle East market. We are also exporting our products to countries like Turkey, Malaysia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Australia, New Zealand, France, Italy, Great Britain and USA.
“In the year 2016, we attained the textile production certification by Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) which is the worldwide leading textile standard for organic fibres”
MBT: What are some of the core strengths of Popees that sustains the success of its products?
ST: Our unbound commitment is one of the main key strengths. We are adamant about the quality of products and reflect our sense of commitment on it, in each and every procedure, starting from the yarn purchase, finished goods and its supply in the market. We make sure that all our customers receive the best of our services, so in cases of customer complaints, they are immediately addressed and reported to the CRM team. When it comes to fabric, we make sure that only the finest combed cotton that provides extra comfort to the gentle skin of babies and kids are used. Also, understanding the essentiality of providing healthy and hygienic clothes to kids, we go an extra mile to keep the fabrics meticulously clean and neat.
“We were recently honoured by Economic Times as the ‘Lifestyle Brand of the Year 2018 ’. We also received the ‘Global Business Excellence Award’, from the Union Minister Shri Harsh Vardhan and Smt Nirmala Sitharaman… Our diligent and industrious efforts have also been recognized at various platforms,”
MBT: As you have already mentioned the plans for expanding around the country, how do you look forward to positioning your brand in the North Indian market and also how do you assess the competition and growth in the organic fashion segment in particular?
ST: We are eagerly looking forward to expanding our reach in the North Indian market. In the initial phase of expansion, we are participating in exhibitions and trade fairs to gain market awareness and build a certain level of brand awareness. We are intending to open an office in Delhi and would alongside appoint distributors and dealers to cater to the entire North Indian market. At present, we are valued at about 160 crores and we are looking forward to having a turnover of about 1000 crores by 2023.
MBT: What are the certifications of Popees? It would also be great to know about the various awards and recognitions received by Popees.
ST: We have received numerous awards and recognitions for the top-notch quality of our products. We were recently honoured by Economic Times as the ‘Lifestyle Brand of the Year 2018 ’. We also received the ‘Global Business Excellence Award’, from the Union Minister Shri Harsh Vardhan and Smt Nirmala Sitharaman at a glittering function held at Kedarnath Sahni Auditorium in New Delhi on 25 November 2017. Our diligent and industrious efforts have also been recognized at various platforms, like, in the year of 2015 we received the ‘Best Entrepreneur Award’ from Canara Bank and in 2014 we received the same title from Asianet.
“We are aspiring towards to witness Popees becoming a public limited company in 2021 and reach the sales target of 1000 crores. We are working on our plans for doubling our turnover for FY 2019 – 2020.”
MBT: What are the recent developments and future plans of the company?
ST: We are going to enter the FMCG segment very soon by introducing a range of products such as baby diapers, soap, oil, shampoo, feeding bottles and other accessories to our existing product range. Through this, we will be expanding our product range and furthering our market reach.
MBT: Where do you see Popees Baby Care Products in the next five years?
ST: The company is growing at a tremendous pace and we are aspiring towards to witness Popees becoming a public limited company in 2021 and reach the sales target of 1000 crores. We are working on our plans for doubling our turnover for FY 2019 – 2020.