Herald: Aggressive pricing, timely delivery made our business grow: Blaise Naina

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Aggressive pricing, timely delivery made our business grow: Blaise Naina

11 Dec 2017 05:00am IST

Report by
VIKANT SAHAY

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11 Dec 2017 05:00am IST

Report by
VIKANT SAHAY

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PANJIM: At a young age of 14 in 1960s, Samson Francis left his native place in Kerala for the business capital of India Mumbai (erstwhile Bombay).  During those days for a Keralite, Bombay was like Dubai or Gulf. He started doing some odd jobs for his survival. Then he got a job with a tailor where he first started with hemming. He started liking the job and from there he became a full-fledged tailor. 

Later, he worked in Oberoi Hotels (mall division), JB tailors, Kachins etc which were big names in the retail and fashion industry. In those days the entire pant job was done by hand. Overlock machines, Bar Tack Machine, Kaaj Machine etc were not available and Samson Francis, earned his name as a skilled tailor.

In 1998, he was invited to Goa by a leading retailer in Margao for stitching suits. He moved to Goa and found that the place is good for a work-life balance. While working for a shop he started doing work for other shops which were leading in suit tailoring. Gradually in sometime he started his first shop in Pajifond, Margao in 2000 in a space of 25 square meters. The moment this happened, the shops that he was working for, stopped giving work to him and it became a very challenging time for him. 

The speciality of Samson Francis was his speed and timely delivery. He could give a tailored suit in 24 hours while the rest in the business could not. Also, he offered an irresistible price to customers what he was charging the retailers. The pricing became a big hit in Margao. For the first time tailor-made suits were available for Rs 1599-1699 whereas others, were selling them at 1999. Business took off.  People from Panjim, Vasco, Ponda started going to Margao as the delivery time and prices in these cities did not suit them.

“On customer demand, my father Samson Francis then opened a bigger store at a prominent location at the junction behind Grace Church in Margao. Business kept growing.  In 2006, the demand from Panjim had grown so much that he decided to open the third store, but this time in Panjim,” said Blaise Naina who runs the Panjim store and is a partner in Senor. 

By 2008, Senor had become a specialist and recognised name in men’s wedding suits and accessories. Sensing the opportunity in bridal grooming, Senor entered the ladies fashion segment with the name of Emmanuel Wedding Collection, which is now managed by Samson Francis’ daughter, Buela Francis. 

Samson was fast in picking the trends and introducing new things to the Goan market like making suit blazers, jackets without buttons which became a trend in Bollywood etc or using Swaroski buttons in suits. In 2007, he started importing fabrics to offer novel fabrics to customers. In 2012 Senor Vasco store was opened followed by one at Mapusa last year. This year the second son Bazil Roshan has opened Senor NX – Bespoke Suits at Panjim. From two people at its beginning in 2000, today Senor employs around 150 people. 

When asked about their expansion plans, Blaise Naina said, “Contrary to other retailers we are not in a hurry to expand. With each store managed by one family member, we have our hands full. At this stage, we also do not want to franchise as we want to follow the process very thoroughly. If demand is there in a city we will expand after due consideration.”
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