Interview with Naveen Kumar Agarwal

Naveen Kumar Agarwal
Naveen Kumar Agarwal
Deepeejay Textiles
Deepeejay Textiles

Markets have not expanded since GST
Founded in 1986, Deepeejay Textiles began with vests and briefs. In 2009, the company ventured into the women's bottomwear segment with its brand Deepee Twister-Churidar. With a strong foothold in the Indian market, the company has distribution network in 19 states. Chairman Naveen Kumar Agarwal speaks on the challenges and opportunities in the knitting sector.

What is the global market size of the knitting industry? What is the expected growth rate by 2020?

The use of knits is increasing every day because of the comfort it provides. Currently, the Indian market is struggling to keep pace because of the impact of GST. By 2020, the market will grow multifold.

Which are your major markets for vests, briefs, and ethnic & premium bottomwear?

We are operating in 19 states in the country, and our core regions are in North India.

How big is the market for leggings in India?

The market for leggings is increasing because of the nature of use. When leggings came into existence, it was more about fashion; but now it has become a necessity.

What is the annual production of bottomwear at Deepeejay? Where are your units located?

We have our factory and warehouse in Kolkata.

Do you sell your products through your own retail outlets or through vendors?

We follow a distribution network system whereby we appoint distributors who sell products to retailers. Online sale has been increasing YOY. We are targeting 5 per cent online sales against total sales. Do you sell your products through your own retail outlets or through vendors?

How has the business been since GST and demonetisation?

India is a cash economy, where everyday transactions are done by cash. Postdemonetisation, it has been difficult at the retailer and distributor levels, but things have started to improve in terms of using cards and wallets for payments. GST is a big revolution and its full impact is yet to come. People are still figuring out the know-how for the same. The market share is increasing because of competitiveness. But since GST, markets have not expanded.

What are the latest knitting technologies that Deepeejay Textiles plans to invest in?

Our R&D wing has been constantly involved in identifying the different structures and patterns to come up with new collection of knits.

How have the last two fiscals been and what is the target set for the next two years?

After demonetisation and GST, growth has been slow, but by 2020, we are targeting to grow at 60 per cent YOY.

What are the challenges that the knitting sector in India faces?

Rise in working capital costs due to GST and slow growth in the unorganised sector have resulted in a loss of business.

How sustainable are your manufacturing units?

Our units are upgrading every now and then. We are focused at making a good workplace for our employees and be environmentally sustainable.

What are the future plans at Deepeejay for your brands? Do you plan to widen your product offerings?

We are diversifying our portfolio both in terms of product categories and product lines. We have been expanding our product portfolio by adding products to our existing product lines and diversifying our product categories which will help increase our market share. In the range of bottoms, we have added a new range of knit pants, kurti pants, palazzos and we have entered into the women's basic tees category too. (HO)
Published on: 31/10/2018

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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