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Tell us something about the trends in fabrics as far as innerwear is concerned?
Cotton Lycra which was earlier termed as premium vis-a-vis cotton has now become a must in the women’s innerwear segment. In the premium segment Lyocel, Micromodal Lycra, Tencil Lycra, Modal Lycra, etc are definitely in demand with the young generation. With the use of these fabrics and with some development in elastic the price of the product could go to ₹350 from ₹195 for a cotton Lycra product. I see a strong demand for this range among the youth at least for the next one year.
What kind of R&D are you involved in at your factories in Umbergaon and Thingalur?
We have a fully developed state-of-the-art R&D centre at both our factories. We have integrated technology solutions as well. We have already invested about ₹4 crore in automatic cutting solution in both the plants in Umbergaon and Thingalur. It’s our effort to stay in tune with consumer preferences and expectations. We have a manufacturing capacity of 70 lakh pieces a month and will look at capacity enhancements when we start exporting to African markets. Right now we export to the Middle East.
Maxwell tied-up with French premium brand - Eminence. How is that doing? Are you looking at more international brands into your kitty?
Eminence has been clocking a turnover of ₹5 crore and we expect to close at ₹7 crore in 2016. We launched Eminence ladies panties segment this year.
You are present in all the category segments - lower, medium and premium. Which is the fastest growing?
VIP, which is our mass segment, is growing the fastest with a contribution of 46 per cent. Frenchie, in the youth segment, has a 23 per cent contribution. But we expect Frenchie to grow from here onwards. Looking at the market I feel this brand has the potential to grow and increase its contribution to at least 30 per cent. Feelings, which presently contributes 9 per cent to the company’s turnover, has the potential to grow to 15 percent. The women’s segment as a whole is growing at 30 per cent. Our brand Leader contributes 9 per cent whereas Eminence stands at 3 per cent. At present, the fastest growing segment is the mid-segment but we expect the premium segment will contribute in value soon.
What kind of competition are you seeing from the domestic market as well as some of the international players in the market?
Yes, there is competition through the domestic channel as well as international brands. Our strategy is to position ourselves in the premium bracket in the domestic market. We have our international brand Eminence to combat competition from the foreign brands. It’s a French brand that we have launched in India in the menswear category. We launched Eminence in women’s line too this year. We anticipate the premium segment to grow rapidly.
Where exactly do you get majority of your revenues from geographically and could you just paint a bit of a demand scenario for us?
South region is our strongest region to generate revenues where brand recall is very strong followed by the West zone.
What are your future plans?
We are looking forward to launching Eminence range of panties. Scaling up our loungewear segment which was launched in the southern part of India is also in the pipeline. We are also planning to launch a theme-based tee shirt line for men, women and kids, early next year. This range will be priced between ₹270-700 and retailed through the online space and Inners exclusive stores.
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