Zodiac Clothing Company Ltd (ZCCL), has been in the business of providing quality products ranging from shirts to fashion accessories for over four decades. The company's branded business comprising leading brands 'Zodiac' and 'ZOD!', continues to benefit from its design strength and product quality. Zodiac is unique amongst Indian garment exporters for being the only Indian company to export shirts under its own label. Mr A Y Noorani is the Vice Chairman and Managing Director. He oversees the management of the organization, corporate affairs and finance. He joined the house of ZODIAC in 1969, and has been responsible for developing its exports business and scaling up its overall operations successfully. He has accomplished the Advance Management Programme at Harvard University, Boston. He is the past President of the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce and Honorary Advisor of CIAE. He is also a member of the Executive Committee of Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC), Bombay Chamber of Commerce, as well as a member of the Committee appointed by the Ministry of Textiles for Clothing and Market Access. In Face2Face, Mr AY Noorani comments on the state of retail industry. He also unveils the secret of Zodiac being a domestically popular brand to be reckoned with, globally.
Can we start with an overview of your group; crucial episodes from over 5 decades history, and how was the brand ‘Zodiac’ coined?
The Zodiac brand, which is synonymous with the finest quality men’s clothing, is also the men’s wear brand of longest standing in India. Our Chairman, Mr M Y Noorani, selected the brand name over a cup of coffee from a computer-generated list because of the multiple linkages that it was possible to capture. Our Chairman found himself plunged into the necktie business when a customer who imported necktie fabric through him defaulted on his commitment and Mr M Y Noorani, in keeping with his high standards of integrity did not want to renege on his commitment to his suppliers in France and had no choice but to manufacture neck ties himself. This evolved into a successful necktie business, and in the early sixties, Mr M Y Noorani branded his neckties ‘Zodiac’. This was backed by an aggressive and unusual campaign centered on the “Zodiac Man” – a bearded model who went on to become, to quote Kushwant Singh, “the most recognizable male model in India after the Air India Maharaja.”
What products do you offer, and who are your clientele?
The Zodiac customer is the Indian male in his mid-twenties and upwards, who wants to dress up as chic as his domestic and international counterparts, and ensures for a product of quality – in terms of fabric, stiches as well as fashion content.
In India, Zodiac markets men’s shirts, trousers, neck ties and accessories like belts, cufflinks, socks, hankies, etc.
Internationally, Zodiac’s clients are leading global brands and leading retailers.
Zodiac is amongst the top 5 brands selling in domestic ties market. How has this been achieved and sustained?
Zodiac has consistently been the No. 1 necktie brand in India since nearly five decades. The House of Zodiac has collectively more than 100 years’ experience in the necktie business. The pillars of Zodiac’s consistent success have been quality and innovation.
How do you see the future of Prêt-a-porter Retail?
The future of the retail industry in clothing is bright. This is because of the “demographic dividend” i.e., the increasing number of young people with high spending power and the propensity to spend. Addressing their needs in terms of quality, innovation and aspirations in the dynamic and evolving environment would be the key to success.
Any plans for backward integration or extension of product portfolio?
Although our focus is on harvesting the potential of our existing product portfolio, we are consistently evaluating the possibilities for product extension.
Your company exports most of its production to countries overseas, so what has made you successfully overcome competition in such a crowded marketplace?
We export our production to the European Union, the US, the UK, the Middle East, and in a small way to Latin America. Our strength is our Chairman’s obsession with quality, our design capabilities, and our large investment made consistently in sharpening our competitiveness.
After being enlisted in Guinness World Record for longest ties, are we going to hear about world’s largest shirt from zodiac?
Is Zodiac to keep up favoring masculine prêt line, or there are some good tidings for ladies and children too?
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.