Manu Indrayan, MD, 612 Ivy League share the brand's journey and success story.
Neha Malhotra (NM): Can you brief us about 612 Ivy League, its inception and growth?
Manu Indrayan (MI): 612 Ivy League is the first Indian brand focussing League using exclusively on pre-teen or ‘tween’ children. The brand is owned by Indian Clothing League, a group company of Indian Yarn Limited (IYL) which is based in Chandigarh and specialises in production of high quality fibre dyed synthetic yarn. It is a brand designed for today’s modern day children, the Global Indians of tomorrow.
The brand was test launched in October, 2008 at select locations and received instant recognition and acceptance. Since then, it has expanded its presence through reputed retail chains like Shoppers Stop, Reliance Trends Salasar retail (Maya), Little Champs and Spencers retail at multiple locations across the country. From mere four stores in SS-09 season, it has expanded its presence to over 120 stores spread across all four regions of the country. The brand also has exclusive stores.
NM: What does your product portfolio comprise of?
MI: At the core of 612 Ivy League is the belief that a ‘tween’ i.e. a child who is not yet a teenager, is aware about many adult issues and aspires to a teenager lifestyle. It recognises that children have a very active lifestyle with sports and activities like music, drama occupying a major portion of their after-school time. Indian tweens are now coming of age by exerting considerable independence in taking buying decisions and are highly fashion and brand conscious. Their fashions increasingly reflect adult fashions as more and more kidswear becomes miniaturized version of adult clothes.
The brand firmly believes that children outgrow their clothing and accordingly the pricing has been kept very affordable. The price facilitates maintaining the appropriateness of clothes that an occasion or activity demands, without compromising on budgets.
The products are designed at the company’s in-house design studio and manufacturing facility at Ludhiana. The design studio has a team of qualified designers from premier design institutes of the country.
NM: Do you have online presence? If yes, what’s the percentage of revenue generated?
MI: Yes, our products are available through online channels; in addition to our own portal, our products are available through other online retailers like Jabong.com; Shoppersstop.com etc. A very small percentage of revenue is generated through the online channel at present (3-4 per cent).
NM: Who are your target consumers?
MI: We are targeting the Middle / Upper middle class parents of children in the age group of three to 14 years.
NM: What is the company’s annual turnover? What percentage of growth in turnover dis the company witness during expansion phase?
MI: Our annual turnover is Rs 18 crore (at MRP); Rs 13 crore (at Billed price). This year we expect it to increase to Rs 28 crore (at MRP); Rs 22 crore (at billed price).
NM: What special strategies have been adopted at the marketing front?
MI: We have in place distinct positioning as a brand for pre-teen children, wide reach through large format retail chains, in-store and outdoor advertising, social media presence and marketing and in store promotions.
NM: What are the company’s expansion plans?
MI: The company plans to expand its retail presence from present level of over 120 sale points to over 200 sale points in the short term (by mid-2014). In addition, a strong online presence is being built in view of the growing popularity of online retail. Going ahead, the company will be launching its infant wear brand ‘Baby League’ and will further expand its retail presence in over 325 stores by 2015. The presence in the online segment will also be further strengthened especially for the infant wear category. The proposed retail points include exclusive brand outlets at strategic locations for establishing brand presence and customer relationship. The proposed expansion is aimed at taking the brand turnover to Rs 100 crore (at MRP). We have a total investment layout of Rs 25 crore planned towards expansion.