Turning unbranded Indian bed linen sector into organised market a challenge
Indo Count Retail Ventures Pvt Ltd (ICRVL), a subsidiary of Mumbai-headquartered Indo Count Industries Ltd, is a specialised end-to-end bedding line manufacturer and also the preferred partner for some of the best-known global brands like Debenhams, Bed Bath & Beyond, Laura Ashley, JC Penny, John Lewis, and Macy's. Boutique Living is an aspirational brand launched by the company to share its expertise in quality bed linen in the Indian market. ICRVL managing director Asim Dalal speaks at length about the home textile niche in India.
What are the three major shifts taking place in the Indian home textile industry?
The young generation in India is looking for fabrics with good quality thread count that are easy to maintain. We, at Boutique Living, have aligned our growth realising what is required in the home textile segment.
We spend one third of our life sleeping on the bed. Hence not only a comfortable mattress is required but also a good quality bed sheet, along with a comforter and pillow cover are of utmost importance. Since the bed sheet, comforter and pillow cover come in direct contact with your skin, they need to be soothing and skin-friendly for better sleep. People are getting more and more health conscious. They want a combination of comfort and good quality. Our focus on consumer preference products has led to more demand for our products.
In the last year, almost 85 per cent of our business came from the printed bed linen in India, although we are witnessing a trend where customers are inclined to buy plains and solids.
The Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council (TEXPROCIL) has awarded Indo Count with a gold trophy for being the highest exporter of bed linen from India and as we cater to all major brands all over the world, we have the knowledge, research and access to trends and requirements.
What is the global market size for home textiles? What is the expected growth rate by 2020?
The global home textile market was estimated at $96 billion in 2016 and is expected to reach $131.5 billion by 2020, growing at a CAGR of 3.5 per cent. The US imported $2.6 billion worth of cotton-based bedding products, primarily from India.
What is the annual production capacity at your units?
Our manufacturing units are fully integrated vertical set-ups with state-of-the-art technology capable of manufacturing yarn to finished products. Not only do we manufacture yarn for our consumption, but also cater to the domestic and international market. Our manufacturing units have the facility to print fabric using rotary and digital methods; these are also equipped with spinning machines and have a fully functional facility dedicated to cut-n-sew products. This allows us to maintain a strong focus on the quality as well. We have the capacity to manufacture 90 million metres and 22 million sheets annually.
Which are your major markets abroad?
Today we are serving customers in over 60 countries. Our major markets are the United States, the United Kingdom and Europe.
Where do you source raw materials from?
Our primary raw material is cotton which we source from local markets.
How big is the design team at Indo Count? How different are products in terms of design and quality for export and ones made for Boutique Living?
We pride ourselves in saying that our design team is bigger than our sales team. Since we have a strong focus on design, we hire talent from renowned institutes like the National Institute of Design and the National Institute of Fashion Technology. We also have a separate team that caters to the international markets. Our design teams have experience and the knowledge in understanding market trends and demands and are on the constant look out for fresh trends to create designs which cater to a wide customer base.
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