Mohsin Feroze- CEO Scentsation spoke to Social Diary in an exclusive interview. Let’s read and see what he had to say about his business and many other things regarding it…
Briefly tell a bit about yourself?
I belong to a business background and my passion is to work on consumer products. When I was younger, I was always intrigued by plays and movies. But I also thought there’s so much more that can be done, and would think outside the box. That eventually led me into the world of consumerism. Today, by the grace of God, I run a successful perfume and cosmetic business.
What was the whole idea behind Scentsation?
I got into the perfume business by chance and when I did, there was no proper retail in Pakistan. When we went with big brands like Guerlain, Clarins, Hermes- there was little to no knowledge of these in the country. Honestly there is lot of potential in Pakistan, but unfortunately there was no proper retail available. That’s when we decided to take the plunge and bring modern retail in the country. It was a risk, but Alhumdulillah it was worth it
What has been the mission of Scentsation?
Our main goal is to import Perfumes and beauty products in Pakistan because there is a great demand for it. People have money and can definitely afford the products. Scentsation wants to deliver original brands to consumers and we want to establish our name, not only in Pakistan- but internationally as well. One day we will take these brands to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka , Nepal and Afghanistan. Scentsation is the only retail brand in Pakistan which is providing very good number of products with international standards and besides that we are providing 100% fresh and original products. Guaranteed.
How does it feel to be the first brand bringing lots of International fragrances under one roof for the customers, how was the feedback initially?
Well, Initially it was very difficult to go abroad and bring these brands to Pakistan. We got these brands at a time when there was un-stability in the Government and fluctuation of currency- regardless of that I went abroad and convinced all the big international brands to come to Pakistan. It was a nightmare but by the grace of God and efforts of my team we were able to bring these brands to Pakistan. This eventually led me and my team to bring Armani, Lancome, Larna, Clarins, Hermes, Gucci, Dolce n Gabana officially to Pakistan. They normally go with their own parameters in any country and credit goes to Scentsation for opening this market for these brands here.
How many branches are currently in operation in Pakistan?
We have 12 branches right now in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and we are going to open in Hyderabad, Multan, Faisalabad, Peshawar and Sialkot soon. Beside that we have another 3 opening real soon!!
In the age of Social Media how long are you guys in the game of promoting Scentsation over social media, how important is it?
It’s all about Social Media these days. The younger generation- they are glued to their smart phones 24/7 which means we constantly need to keep our Social media accounts updated, be it Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, we make sure we keep our followers updated and in the know about the latest products and launches. Without marketing on social media- we can’t really get to far to be honest. It’s a crucial part of businesses these days.
What techniques do you guys use to create a brand identity when you store up multi-brand products under one roof?
When we opened our first store in Dolmen, people were reluctant to buy from us. They thought we’re selling fake products and would question the fact that our prices were lower than the UAE. The reason why our prices are lower than UAE is that the retailer works on 40 to 45% of margin. And since there’s the issue of smuggling, we have to keep our margins low. I am focused on providing my customers 100% original products. Margins are not any more important than originality.
What would be your advice to youngsters starting up with their own businesses/franchises?
It takes time to establish your name once you start a new business. Just have faith in God, work hard and keep in mind there is no short cut in success. Don’t cheat others for your benefit. Take competition as positive thing instead of being negative or getting de-motivated about it.
The concept of “Customer Retention Program” has been introduced by Scentsation, what is it all about?
That’s our loyalty card and it’s literally for anyone and everyone. Once you shop at Scentsation, you accumulate your points and once you have a good number of those, you can redeem them at our store for any product you like. That’s a great offer isn’t it?
What’s next on your list, any plans to introduce some other range of products)?
We are bringing some of the big brands to Pakistan soon! Huda Beauty, MAC Cosmetics, Chanel and many more. So stay tuned and keep a look out!