"We aim to carve a niche in plus size segment": Akhil Srivastava

In an exclusive interaction with Akhil Srivastava, Managing Director of Parfait India sheds light on the growth strategy of the company.
Tell us about the brand Parfait. What was the rationale behind foraying Indian market? 
 
 Parfait is a size-inclusive lingerie and swimwear brand dedicated to helping women find the perfect fit. Parfait is distinctively designed to serve the full-busted woman with its expansive range of sizes for both core and plus size customers. Parfait’s collections focus on both core and plus size customers, including 30 to 44 band sizes, D to K cup sizes, and M-4XL bottoms, making the brand a natural fit for India’s growing plus size market. Headquartered in Los Angles, United States the company serves women across 20 plus countries through its 700 stores and online stores Worldwide. 
 
The company’s venture in India is part of its global vision of delighting customers around the world through its products and services. Currently underrepresented even with overwhelming demand, at present more than 60 percent of women in India wear some amount of plus-size clothing. Parfait aims to fill this gap by offering their full size range up to K cup and 4XL bottom (varying by style), available in silhouettes from bras to sports bras, boyshorts to high waist briefs, babydolls to bustiers.   
 
 Please elaborate about Parfait presence in US (number of stores in US/Market Share) 
Parfait distributes its products through retailers in USA and Canada and exclusive distributors in other countries. Parfait currently sells its products to about 600 stores across USA and Canada. It also work with distributors and wholesalers to sell its products to customers in UK, Spain, Italy, Czech Republic, Greece, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and South Korea. 
 
Please share the turnover of Parfait US 
Parfait Group’s turnover as a whole is about USD 10 millions and has achieved average YOY growth of 20% plus in the last 5 years. 
 
 Kindly present your views on retail market of lingerie/ comfort wear market in India?
 
The Indian lingerie industry is seeing a growth that is unparalleled. It has undergone a transformational change in the past few years due to the availability of brands, changing technology, changing consumer behaviour and increased awareness. The Indian lingerie market is growing at a high rate of 16% and is sized at $3Bn. Lingerie is one of the most understated parts of a woman’s attire. If chosen and worn properly, lingerie can bring out a look in her that she deserves. 
 
The Indian woman of today is bolder when it comes to aspirations. She is now choosy and has started giving importance to lingerie. Despite this conundrum, the outlet for plus size intimate apparel purchases in India are much more limited than markets of other sizes. 
 
There are mass merchandisers and discount stores that offer mass produced and lesser quality brands; stores that offer better brands, but in limited sizes and with varying degrees of customer service; Also, among women, extreme ignorance prevails when they make their lingerie decisions. Most women don’t know their correct sizes and usually buy that is uncomfortable and unappealing. As per research, 80% of women in the USA wear the wrong bra size while for India, the numbers stand at a disappointing 90%..
 
Parfait aims to bridge this gap with its unique offering.  We will be the first exclusive premium plus size lingerie brand that will bring Indian women fashionable plus size lingerie with good quality, fit and comfort. 
 
What kind of distribution is planned for Parfait? How many stores the company is looking to open in India? 
 
The company has entered the country via 100% FDI and plans to capture lingerie market in India with its aggressive retail strategy.   As part of its retail strategy the company will open shop in shop models in association with leading retailers across the country along with partnerships with leading ecommerce platforms and company website. 
 
Who do you see as your biggest competition?
 
Ideally right now no one is saying we are exclusive plus size lingerie retail organization but yes we are from GLOBAL PLUS SIZE LINGERIE & ready to cater plus size lingerie market. Yes there are few players they are providing some bigger size but option-size/color/style/comfort & international feel no body is giving.
 
 According to you what are major retail challenges in your retail category?
 
There is extreme ignorance that prevails among women when it comes to buying lingerie. Most women don’t know their correct sizes and usually buy that is uncomfortable and unappealing. Hence are foremost aim will be to educate the consumers about the right fit of the bras.  Such as full-busted and plus size bras that help them find the right size of bras. To overcome this challenge, we will invest heavily to train employees. Parfait India team (especially our store sales associates) will be well trained product fitting specialists who will provide on-site product fitting service to help find the right size of products for consumers upon request. We believe that a woman will be more confident, comfortable and healthy when she wears the right size of bra.
 
 Kindly also shed light on your starting and exiting price points? Going forward, what are the plans to expand category?
 
Parfait mainly focuses on full-busted and plus size premium lingerie and swimwear. Parfait also offer some special sub-categories such as nursing bras and sports bras, which also focus on full-busted and plus size range.
The retail price point in INR 1500-2500
 
 At last, kindly highlight your growth plans?
 
The mission is to be the most preferred plus size lingerie destination of India and to create awareness and spread education for women to feel more empowered to decide their own right size and how to wear the same through our professional trained staff and fitters also, Simultaneously with our Workshops that’s going to be held in next few months in some major cities for women to celebrate their real selves and body.
 
 
Akhil Srivastava
 
 
 
 
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