Please tell us about Liva?
Made with natural fibres from pulp and fibre business of Aditya Birla Group, Liva is a new age fabric especially made for ladies fashion garments. The fluidity of the fabric is very strong, it can be blended with modal, cotton, viscose, polyester and synthetics.
Liva has additional enhanced features than the other fibres to bring life to any apparel and allow consumers to connect with emotions. There are many fabric brands in India, but I would call it a first value proposition brand for end consumer. For making Liva, we have worked through entire value chain, so we are not just selling Liva but the efforts of entire value chain. The brand is promoted under Grasim.
Firstly, we needed to create a distinctive and relevant end-consumer promise. With years of experience and several intense rounds of understanding consumers, we have found one that we believe resonates strongly with their desires and beliefs. Not only does it fully satisfy them on the aspect of being a natural product, it also delights them on the distinctive aspect of the product which is its soft drape, or fluidity. I am delighted to announce that we are launching this product under the brand name ‘Liva’ with the very simple but very meaningful and attractive proposition of ‘Natural Fluid Fashion’.
What is the retail presence of Liva?
In the first season of national launch, Liva will reach over 50 cities and 1,000 outlets with approximately 2 million garments, tagged with Liva.
We have done around 8 to 9 tie ups with domestic brands including AND, Global Desi, Chemistry, 1090 F, Allen Solly Women, Van Heusen Women, Pantaloons and Lifestyle. Simultaneously, Liva will also be promoted through Madura Fashion & Lifestyle Retail brands, Linen Club and Grasim.
Over a period of time, there will be more offerings from us and more number of Indian brands partnering with us. Presently we are in discussion with more designers and leading modern retailers.
While Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut is endorsing Liva we will also run consumer awareness programme in each of the partnered stores.
First by tying up with domestic brands, we are creating a kind of association and connectivity with consumers. We feel that there is a lot of scope available in the domestic market with the growing consumer class. However, India is becoming centre of attraction for global businesses along with growing eCommerce and offline retail, I feel there will be more demand in the market ten years down the line.
When it comes to consumer choice it’s a 45:55 ratio for domestic and international brands so wouldn’t it be profitable for Liva to tie up with international brands?
We are surveying for international brands too and would be happy to tie with them. So in the coming months you could see more and more international brands we are partnering with. We have just made a start and hence would be tying up with more brands.
How are you going ahead with the branding of Liva?
Liva will be tagged with the garment products so it’s a kind of co branding. If consumer asks for the garment containing of Liva then certainly it will enhance value proposition.
Liva would be a mother brand, more such brands we will develop for generations. First, we will make this brand well recognised and accepted among consumers rest we will be further improvising. Basically, branding will be a promise to the consumer.
What is your target consumer base?
All brands that we have tied up with are the highly premium brands targeting relatively younger population which want to feel and look good.
How much amount of investment has gone into making Liva? Also, please reveal future Investment plans?
Over the years, we have spent Rs 100 crore along with significant amount of time in developing Liva. We had to do a lot of back end work like spending on R&D, customer technical service and business development activities which takes a lot of capital to keep the facilities upward.
For the front end activities, we will be investing around Rs 450 crores in the coming four years, meanwhile, we will continuously be working on further improving the properties of the fabric based on the feedback from the market.
What would be your expectations of returns on this investment?
Our expectation will be the unique feel that this fabric will offer to the consumers. We believe once the consumer will recognise the effects this product brings to them and experience they will have, they will sure come back to Liva. We have spent significant amount of time for making Liva.
What is the value chain that you are building with Liva?
Historically, Indian textile industry is very fragmented, one can imagine the extent of fragmentation. In our country, we have 2,500 spinners which is a big amount whereas in Europe 1.5 million to 2 million spinners is pretty normal. This leaves us to bring together the entire value chain which is included of weaver, spinner, knitter, fabricator and processor so that the end value proposition we offer to end consumer meets promises. Birla Cellulose team has been working closely with these large number of value-chain partners.
We have created a new partnership concept, called the Liva Accredited Partner Forum, or LAPF, that is an integral part of this ingredient brand. While these partners work on continuously improving their quality and service to brands and retail, on our part, we are working closely with them in areas of technical support, design development, supply chain and market development. We have over 250 partners now in the Forum.
Then what is ‘Liva Club’?
Liva club will have 100 members of group of value chain including spinners, weavers, fabricators and processors. Altogether we will be working to deliver the promise of the product. These members will not be obliged to work only with us they can work with others. Absolutely there will be no bar.
What compelled you to come up with Liva under Grasim?
We felt that there is need to connect with consumers directly so we decided to come up with a kind of fabric that will speak of value proposition.