Samsonite South Asia, the leading global lifestyle bag and largest travel luggage manufacturer, plans to invest ₹160 crore in the second phase of expansion at its Nashik plant as demand for travel luggage bounces back sharply after the Covid-19 pandemic impact.
The company will invest ₹110-115 crore to enhance its hard luggage manufacturing capacity from 5 lakh pieces a month to 7.5 lakh pieces by end of next year. It will also put up automated warehousing with an investment of ₹45 crore. The current expansion of 1,80,000 sq ft will come up on the surplus land available in Nashik.
Jai Krishnan, Chief Executive Officer (India) Samsonite South Asia said the current capacity has reached the optimal level and there is huge pressure on the company to complete the expansion as early as possible. The construction for the new plant will start soon and by this year-end.
Ultimately, the company wants to make 10 lakh pieces a month in India and is also exploring other States for putting up new factories, he added.
The company recently opened a retail outlet in Darbhanga in Bihar and the response has been so phenomenal that there is already demand from the sales team for opening up outlets in Katihar and Muzaffarpur, he said.
On a monthly basis, the company has been opening 15 new stores of both Samsonite and American Touristor.
“We will increase the company-owned stores to 65 from 40 while the overall presence will increase to 600 from 460 retail stores by end of this year,” said Krishnan.
He expects the travel luggage industry to grow to ₹1-lakh crore from ₹25,000 crore in the next 10 years with more players entering the business.
After-sales service is one of the key factors for consumers to associate with an international brand like Samsonite, especially in smaller towns where the aspiration of people is growing with deeper penetration of the internet, Krishnan said.
Samsonite can provide service across the world unlike other leading domestic brands or start-ups which look like an international brands but cannot afford to give the kind of service the company gives, he added.