The domestic innerwear market in India is witnessing a boom and industry experts say the innerwear market is growing at an impressive CAGR of 10-12%. According to latest media reports, out of the entire Rs 30,000-crore industry, the premium segment is estimated at about Rs 6,000 - 7,000 crore. Lately, the premium innerwear market in India has been experiencing increasing entry of global brands, mostly through partnerships and tie-ups with home-grown brands. This idea of getting foreign brands to India or associating with them started after market surveys established that consumers using premium and super-premium products have high level of awareness and mostly go for global brands.
The very fact that almost all leading players in the space are trying to rope-in international brands is a testimony of their overhauled new-age and progressive stratagem, to cater to the millennial, who are not just a different generation, but a different breed altogether.
The domestic innerwear market in India is currently dominated by players from the eastern part of the country. Brands like Lux, Rupa, Dollar, from Kolkata, have over the last decade emerged as giants in the sector and have partnered with popular foreign brands to stay ahead in market competition and effectively tickling the style nerve of the fashionable Indian genX.
One of the major sales drivers of Dollar lies in creating a significance presence in modern retails. It is continuously investing in 360° brand building to elevate its distribution channel and also increases its presence in e-commerce and among online retailers. It is also expanding a presence in multi-brand outlets, globally. Along with that, the major factors in driving demand for the Company’s products are better brand velocity across channels.
“Good brands make buyers feel good about them. Over the years we have emphasized this attributes and metamorphosed the company into an aspirational innerwear company by offering premium products. We have started our business from zero and after overcoming every crest and troughs, we have become one of the leading brands in the Indian Hosiery orb,” shared Vinod Kumar Gupta, Managing Director, Dollar Industries Limited.
Lux too has launched a number of pioneering initiatives in its more than 60 years of operation. These initiatives have helped create new heights in the industry. The company had launched a consumer coupon scheme in 1992 called Mazedar Mauka which was a grand success. Lux also introduced the Dealer’s Conference format in the Indian hosiery industry in 1994 which they continue to host annually even today.
“Lux is also credited with the first International Dealer’s tour in the Indian hosiery industry. We were the first to have celebrities as brand ambassadors. The company had humble beginnings and produced only one product initially. Over the years our product range has expanded to include more than 100 varieties under 12 major brands comprising of inner wears for men, women and kids. These small steps have led to the foundation of Lux Empire,” shared Ashok Todi.
Kolkata-headquartered hosiery major Rupa & Co has the premium brand Macroman while other products include Frontline, Euro and Bumchums. The company has tied up with global brands like FCUK from French Connection last April and Fruit of the Loom, one of the world's most recognised clothing brands, recently. Oban Fashions Pvt Ltd, the subsidiary of Rupa & Co, is now overseeing these two global brands with its separate sourcing base and marketing network.
Fruit of the Loom innerwear and leisure wear products for men and women was launched in India last December. Over 87 varieties for both men and women are now available at more than 2,500 points of sale and on e-commerce websites. The products are priced between Rs. 150 and Rs. 400 MRP. it is the second international brand, which will be manufactured and marketed in India by Rupa after FCUK (super premium category), which is already doing well.
Emerging As National players:
The journey from Bhawani Textiles, under the leadership of Dindayal Gupta to Dollar Industries Limited with more than five board members, has been an intriguing one. An aggressive approach, effective team work, innovation in products and improvised marketing strategies has helped Dollar get listed on NSE (National Stock Exchange) on 21st April, 2017 and the stock price is mostly perched around Rs. 2500/-.
Dollar Industries Limited has entered into a 50-50 joint venture with Pepe Jeans to launch new range of products under the brand name Pepe Jeans London. “The joint venture company will manufacture and market premium range of fashion innerwear, loungewear, gymwear, sleep-wear and track suits for adults and kids in India. These products will be available in Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh,” notified Binay Kumar Gupta, Director, Dollar Industries Limited.
For Lux the founding pillars have always been modern and top grade infrastructure. With a battalion of dealers and distributors across pan India, today Lus is one of the most widely distributed and retailed brand in the country. Constantly moving forward, Lux has cemented its place in the Indian markets as the most trustworthy inner wear brand.
“At Lux, we use high gauge machine to craft flawless products with maximum stretch and softness. Imported machines from Singapore and other parts of the world are being used to match the global quality standards. Continuous product quality enhancement and improvisation is one of the strong ideologies of Lux Industries that has helped us to become a brand of national repute,” enthused Pradip Todi.
It has always been imperative at Lux to keep improvising their products and promotional strategies from time to time to maintain their persona as the "People's Brand" in the country.
“Irrespective of what the competitors are doing, we always keep our focus on maintaining the brand as the market leader who sets trend in everything – from products to advertising campaigns,” asserted Ashok and Pradip.
Giving New Lease of Life to Home-grown Brands:
With the induction of third generation entrepreneurs - Gaurav Gupta, Ankit Gupta, and Aayush Gupta, Dollar has got a new wing to fly. With their innovative product ideas and designs and realistic analysis of adopting the design, they are helping take the company to a much higher level. Their thoughtful business strategies which include Dollar’s digital presence, setting up EBOs, new business models and their goal oriented approach are boon for the company. They gave a new lease of life to the home-grown brand.
“We come up with new and improved versions of our products after surveying global trends. This season we introduced Bigboss Heavy Duty Style, J-Class under Dollar Bigboss which is made of Egyptian cotton, best long-staple cotton in the World with extremely soft and agile entwines. Dollar has launched J-Class couple of months back and has experienced quite satisfied sales along with the rave reviews from the consumers, notified Director, Krishan Kumar.
At Lux Industries as well, the third generation entrepreneurs- Naveen Todi, Rahul Todi, Saket todi and Udit Todi - are acting as the driving force. They are inculcating a culture of corporate professionalism, empathy and competence in the company. With the continuous guidance from the main directors of the company, the new generation has been able to initiate strategic alliance with the brands like “one8”.
Recently Lux has launched three new TVCs for three different brands with the most renowned faces of Bollywood industry including Bollywood stalwart Amitabh Bachchan and youth icons Varun Dhawan and Parineeti Chopra for our brands Lux Venus, Lux Cozi and Lyra respectively. “We expect with these major associations, our brands will be able to gain the trust of the consumers and will further strengthen its position in the hosiery market,” envisaged Pradip Todi.
Dollar aspires to be a Rs. 2000 crore revenue business by 2024. “Our mission is to emerge as India’s best-loved hosiery brand and to make outerwear and inner wear fashionable yet affordable,” concluded Vinod Kumar.
With continuous product enhancement and foremost innovations in the marketing strategies, Lux plans the topline growth of 20-25% in the next three years. Along with this, the company also plans to enhance their brand portfolio by introducing new products among them.
Rupa Group is all set for expansion and is looking at opportunities in global brand licensing. Strong manufacturing infrastructure, experience and expertise are its key strengths in building partnerships with iconic global brands.