Archies: The Way Indians Greet|Business Strategy|Case Study|Case Studies

Archies: The Way Indians Greet

            
 
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Case Details:

Case Code : BSTR036
Case Length : 14 Pages
Period : 1979 - 2002
Organization : Archies Greetings & Gifts Ltd
Pub Date : 2002
Teaching Note : Available
Countries : India
Industry : Gifts and Greetings

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.



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Background Note

Archies was the brainchild of Delhi-based Anil Moolchandani (Anil), whose family business was selling saris. In the late 1970s, he decided to buy and sell good-quality posters through mail-order catalogs, advertised in one of the popular magazines in those days, Sun.

When the demand increased, he started getting posters of film stars, natural sceneries and other subjects of interest, printed by local printers. An avid music enthusiast, Anil decided to sell books containing lyrics of hit English songs in addition to the posters. He wrote down the lyrics of songs himself while playing them on a gramophone. He began to sell songbooks containing the lyrics of hits from groups such as ABBA, Beatles and BoneyM. Commenting on his experiences, Anil said, "I would spend hours listening to a sound track, meticulously translating lyrics which were initially incomprehensible, so when we finally managed to sell the entire lot to a music shop in Chanakyapuri, we were so excited we could barely contain our emotions."

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As customer awareness increased, he started coming out with songbooks containing hits of a particular year and he was soon selling over 10,000 copies per year. Anil then decided to enter the greeting cards business.

He observed that in India, cards were typically sold out of dusty shoeboxes marked 'Birthday' and 'Anniversary' kept in the corners of stationery shops. In 1979, Anil and his brother Jagdish Moolchandani (Jagdish) got 'Archies Gifts & Greetings' registered as a partnership concern for starting the greeting cards business. The name Archies was chosen after Anil took a fancy to a neighbor's dog named Archie. During a visit to South East Asia, Anil was impressed with the exclusive greeting card shops offering good ambience and soft backdrop music. He said, "The card shops there were like a Raymond or Bata showroom here. If we had to retail, we had to have a proper shop." He decided to try out this concept in India as well, which led to the launch of the first Archies' outlet in Delhi in 1984, named 'Gift Gallery...'

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