Interview with Lubeina Shahpurwala

Face2Face
Lubeina Shahpurwala
Lubeina Shahpurwala
Co-founder
Mustang Socks
Mustang Socks

What has been the growth story at Mustang in the last 5 years? What is the targeted growth for the next two years?

Over the past 5 years, there has been a tremendous surge and demand towards the socks as a segment. It has opened up opportunities for us to offer our customers, products that not only offer utility but is a fashion statement. Today, we see other unconventional accessory products such as ties, scarfs, purses and jewellery that are not only making a fashion statement but have their own stand-alone stores. Our business vision has always been focussed, to deliver superior quality socks to our end consumers. We believe in customizing socks, as a lifestyle statement accessory and have been constantly working on bringing innovation and market segmentation under this category.

We look forward to having stand-alone stores and retail interface, as we plan on catering on a B2C level. The vision is not only on having socks as a product but to become a part of apparel and accessories. We do not want to limit ourselves to retailing Mustang products only, as we understand the changing mind-sets of consumers and industry at large, and hence need to give this category its due in terms of recognition as well as innovation.

Where are your manufacturing units located? Where do you source your yarn from?

Our factory is located in Palghar which is not too far from the city of Mumbai, where all are products are manufactured. Since, we manufacture more than 1 million socks a month, the quantity of yarn required is at a very large scale and India is one of the biggest manufacturers of yarn, hence we source our socks from India itself. 

Which category in socks is faring well - toddler, kids, women, men, both online and in-store?

The market for women hosiery is rising, but the demand for such goods in the men's segment is increasing as well as even men follow the latest trends in fashion and apparels. The most sales, however, has accounted from kids and women offline, as compared to the men who largely use online platforms or branded retail products.

Do you plan to introduce any new product categories? If yes, please share a few details.

While we are focused on the socks range of apparels, our resources permit us to venture into a focus segment. This gives us more consumer insight, we simultaneously accumulate creative ideas in promoting our biker's sleeves, gloves and scarfs. Mustang believes in providing high standards to our consumers. The consumers of our products certainly help us magnify our vision by producing the best quality products.

What are the latest technologies and innovations trending in this industry?

With the latest changes in technology and the economy, the socks industry is constantly innovating itself. In fact, the change in consumer needs and awareness triggered this industry to evolve to what it is today. As a result, features like high thread count, absorbent cotton material, trekker socks and compression socks, have become a common trend.

What is your presence in the online space? How do you plan to develop this further? How much is it contributing to your turnover?

To be honest, the online space is booming, last year we thought it would be a great time for us to enter into the e-commerce segment. Since socks are such a niche product we are looking to grow at a 50 per cent in this space in the next few years.

While, our maximum efforts have been to establish an online portal exclusively for socks, we are venturing into creating brand awareness. As of now since we are at the initial stages, a very small percent is being contributed by the e-commerce platform in our turnover.
Published on: 09/11/2016

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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