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The socks market in India is estimated to be valued at 900 to 1000 crores: Rahul Gupta

In an exclusive conversation with Rahul Gupta, Director, Balenzia highlights the growth plans of the company.

Tags: socks, specialty, Balenzia

BY Shipra Srivastava  |  April 28, 2017  |  comments ( 0 )  | 

Rahul Gupta

How do you access the accessories market in India, also, what would be the approx size of premium socks market?

The socks market in India is estimated to be valued at 900 to 1000 crores. It is estimated to be 4% of the innerwear market. Whilst the size of the market is fairly small, the growth potential is enormous. Innerwear is projected to grow at approximately 15% CAGR , and socks as a category is expected to beat that growth rate. The distribution channels for socks have traditionally been the same as that of innerwear. Approximately 80% of the sale is via Hosiery shops and MBO, the balance LFS/EBO/ and Online.

While brick and mortar stores control majority of the industry, we as a brand are focussing extensively on building a significant presence online. We understand that traditional retail would currently control the lions share of the business and hence are working on our presence considerably, but we also feel that the market for the future is online and we have made significant investments in ensuring that we are future ready. Today, e-commerce constitutes 5% of the overall fashion market, but in the next 3 years the e-commerce market for fashion is expected to quadruple, so it is imperative for us to focus here.

Kindly highlight your current distribution, what are the strategies to scale-up the same?

We are working on two strategies for beefing up our current distribution: Market Penetration and Market Development.  Market Penetration is our strategy adopted for the metros, where  we are appointing additional distributors for deeper penetration into the market. Our Market Development strategy is for all the mini metros and Tier 1 cities wherein our objective is to expand our presence and Points of Sale. Further, while we are extremely potent on leading e-commerce portals like Amazon. We are constantly evaluating more and more websites and portals to expand our reach and digital presence.

Kindly mention your product folio. Which is the best selling SKU of the brand. Also shed light on strategies to scale up the product range?

Our product portfolio is huge, till last year we had primarily been a brand catering to men, but now we have expanded our portfolio to ladies and kids. We have more than 350 SKU’s for Men which could be categorised into, Dress Socks, Fashion Socks, Atheletic Socks, and, Invisible/No-Show Socks.

Our best selling SKU isthe “Premium Mercerised Cotton Loafer Socks”, which is probably the most reviewed clothing apparel in the Indian online marketspace and the highest sold accessory. We are scaling up the product range by introducing more products for Women and Kids and beefing up our fashion socks collection.

Further, we have taken a license from Turner International/Cartoon Network Enterprises for Justice League and have launched an awesomely cool Superhero Socks Collection.

 Who do you see as your potential competition in the same space?

The Indian Socks market while being extremely fragmented in terms of number of Manufacturers/Suppliers, is still at a very nascent stage.  Almost all major players in the industry are offshoots of socks exporters, and hence the priority for them has always been export. Only in the last few years, has everyone upped the ante and is looking at the indian market more seriously. While the unorganised sector dominates the market, the leading players in the organised sector are Bonjour and Mustang.

Also, shed light on your manufacturing and design unit?

Our manufactuing and design unit is a world class unit, which has been manufactuing socks for more than two decades.The company has been supplying high quality socks to leading fashion and designer labelsall over the world. All socks are ethically produced in a responsible and sustainable way and the workers involved in making them are safe and treated fairly with the least possible impact to the environment.

Also throw light upon your latest collection?

Our latest collection is a collection of Superhero Socks for socks lovers! We have partnered with Turner International Pvt. Ltd. to introduce the “Justice League” collection for superhero enthusiasts/sockaholics.The collection features vibrant colours and designs for men, women and kids, that are inspired by the Justice League graphic novel bandwagon including Superman, Batman, Flash, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman! We are extremely excited about this launch, and have received incredibly positive press, and now are really looking forward to the consumers’ response.

At last, kindly mention your growth plans?

Our plan is to add more licenses to our portfolio and develop brands to cater to the different segments. Whilst most in the industry seem to have over extended their brand to cater to consumers from the bottom of the pyramid to the top. We feel it would be best for us to cater to different audiences with different brands and are working to expand our portfolio of brands.  

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