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Mobile accessories brand STK looks to expand India presence

The Hindu BusinessLine:  April, 2014

Kolkata: International mobile accessories brand STK Accessories, a subsidiary of the UK-based Santok Group, is looking to shore up its presence here by June 2015.

The company, which began operations in India this year, is looking to be present across all major cities over these 18-months.

Its current operations are restricted to Maharashtra, , Bangalore and Kolkata.

“Over the next 18 months, we would look to have a substantial presence here. We are in talks for tie-ups with not just general trade outlets but also modern retail formats across Tier-I, -II and -III cities,” Jay Pau, CEO of Santok Group, told Business Line .

Established in London in 1993 by the Pau family, the company’s manufacturing facilities are located out of China, and designing in London.

With a presence in 130 nations spread across the UK, Europe and West Asia, its South East Asia foray is through India.

With a bouquet of 500 products priced between Rs. 500 and Rs. 4,000, offerings in India mostly include mobile power banks, bluetooth, music and audio headsets, iPhone, iPad and mobile covers and protective cases.

India plans

According to Pau, although products are priced at par with international markets, the number of offerings in a category has been well-spread across different price points.

For example, power banks (portable chargers) are priced at Rs. 1,499 (almost at par with competitors) and also in the premium segment.

The highly unorganised accessories market in India is pegged at Rs. 20,000 crore and is dominated primarily by Chinese and local offerings.

International brands such as Nokia, Capdase, Gecko and others compete with local players such as Molife Eveready, Maxx across segments.

Distribution

Market sources peg the rising sale of smartphones as a reason for increasing demand for fancy accessories such as flip covers and power banks (portable mobile phone chargers). Currently, plans are afoot to leveraging the distribution network. Apart from a tie-up with Sangeetha Mobiles in Bangalore, online sales would be through Flipkart and Infibeam.

It would also target Apple “Premium Resellers” and iStores, apart from modern trade stores like Alpha.

“As of now, there are no plans to have standalone stores. We do not want to jeopardise our distribution network,” Pau added.