Tuesday, April 21, 2009: 06:32:24 PM

Retail Biz Personality of the fortnight

S to XXL — Amit Ladsaria, Turtle Ltd

Freakin' Awesome! Freakin' Awesome! Freakin' Awesome! Freakin' Awesome! Freakin' Awesome!
Mr Amit Ladsaria, Turtle Ltd

Mr Amit Ladsaria, Turtle Ltd

Amit Ladsaria, Director, Turtle Ltd, is the guiding force behind the enormous success of his well-known retail company. In a short span of 17 years, the company has become one of the foremost retail entities in the country. It is also the fastest growing menswear brand offering value and international styles in its range of shirts, T-shirts, trousers and accessories.

Humble beginning
Mr Ladsaria was born on August 2, 1973 in Kolkata. He is a product of prestigious educational institutions like the Don Bosco School and St Xavier’s College, Kolkata, where he graduated in the Commerce stream. Mr Ladsaria was always interested in the retailing business. Hence, after gaining relevant experience in sundry retail firms for a couple of years, he started the company in 1992.
Overcoming challenges
When Mr Ladsaria joined Turtle, the company was equipped to produce only 20 shirts a day. Moreover, being a new entrant in the retail segment, the company had to face stiff competition from the bigger retailers. Besides, there were price constraints that he had to overcome. In the initial days, Mr Ladsaria stitched the shirts on a job-work basis to manage costs. The company had to operate from the Howrah store as he could not afford a separate location. Also high property rentals and lack of mall management experience proved to be stumbling blocks.
Nonetheless, his sheer determination and perseverance saw Turtle overcome all difficulties. Mr Ladsaria adds, “We have always been quality conscious and have tried hard to deliver nothing but the best to our customers.”
Success, a team effort
Mr Ladsaria is overwhelmed by the interest and acceptance that consumers have shown for the brand. Over the years, the company has managed to gain the confidence of its dealers and customers. “The group has emerged successful mainly due to the relentless efforts of its team of experts and employees. Turtle’s enormous success is proven by the fact that the company has bagged several prestigious awards in the recent past”, says Mr Ladsaria.
As the Director of the organisation, he believes in the basic principle of delivering the best value for money to his clients, be it in terms of product quality, packaging, designing or fabric. He also lays special emphasis on maintaining the highest standards of corporate ethics.
Beyond the recession
“The economic slowdown has taken a heavy toll on businesses across various verticals. It has directly affected exporters because their overseas buyers have either revoked or suspended their orders,” opines Mr Ladsaria. However, he is quick to add that Turtle is not adversely affected by the current liquidity crunch since it is in the product category which is relatively insulated from the global recession.
Future plans
The market crisis notwithstanding, Mr Ladsaria is eyeing future expansion for his company. To begin with, the company will roll out the mass segment portfolio under the ‘London Bridge’ brand. This brand will be introduced in the male apparel segment in the price range of Rs 399-599. He also plans to launch retail outlets for this brand.
To increase production, Mr Ladsaria proposes to establish a new factory near Kolkata. The proposed initial investment is estimated to be around Rs 15 crore. Factory and warehousing will be automated in this upcoming unit, which will be spread across 10 million sq ft. It is expected that by 2010, Turtle will double its infrastructural facilities. By then, he also plans to have almost 120 exclusive stores across India and achieve a turnover of Rs 100 crore.
Apart from taking crucial business decisions, Mr Ladsaria enjoys music. An avid reader, Mr Ladsaria unwinds by spending time with family and friends.

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