Apparel Online - - Product Update -

For over a decade now, we have been hear­ing that in­ner­wear is com­ing out of the closet…, but fi­nally it is truly out in the open and promi­nently vis­i­ble in stores and on­line shop­ping sites with more and more peo­ple com­fort­able in buy­ing not only ba­sic in­ner­wear but high-end fash­ion in­ners. This fast-mov­ing cat­e­gory is be­ing driven glob­ally by in­creas­ing aware­ness re­gard­ing personal hy­giene, ris­ing dis­pos­able in­come, on-the-go life­style, im­proved living stan­dards and chang­ing pref­er­ences of con­sumers. It is fur­ther fuelled by the spread of mod­ern re­tail for­mats both off and on­line and in­creas­ing prod­uct vis­i­bil­ity.

Un­der the larger um­brella of in­ner­wear, the mar­ket is seg­mented be­tween the men’s mar­ket and the more fancy-driven women’s wear mar­ket.

And both the mar­kets are sig­nif­i­cantly grow­ing. While the global men’s in­ner­wear seg­ment is es­ti­mated to be grow­ing at a CAGR of 5.8% to reach US $ 13.6 bil­lion by the end of 2024, the global mar­ket for wom­enswear is pro­jected to be grow­ing at a CAGR of 6.4% to reach US $ 55.83 bil­lion by the end of 2024. Or­ga­nized re­tail pen­e­tra­tion and growth of mono­brand and multi­brand out­lets world­wide are driv­ing sales fur­ther.

Yet, sadly, In­dian man­u­fac­tur­ers of in­ner­wear, both in menswear and wom­enswear seg­ment are con­cen­trat­ing more on the do­mes­tic mar­ket, choos­ing to ig­nore the huge po­ten­tial that ex­ists abroad. Even those who are work­ing in the ex­port mar­ket are mostly fo­cus­ing on men’s seg­ment, where mar­gins are rel­a­tively less. In­dia has but a few top-end lin­gerie man­u­fac­tur­ers at­tempt­ing global mar­ket. But then can we re­ally blame them con­sid­er­ing that the In­dian mar­ket is ripe for the best brands with a mar­ket size that is grow­ing at an es­ti­mated

CAGR of 12.2%.

Cur­rently, the do­mes­tic un­der­wear mar­ket is es­ti­mated at nearly Rs. 24,000 crore (US $ 4000 mil­lion) ac­cord­ing to a 2016 report by In­ti­mate Ap­parel As­so­ci­a­tion of In­dia and Wazir Ad­vi­sors. It is ex­pected to be­come a

Rs. 47,000 crore (US $ 7833 mil­lion) mar­ket, which is nearly 8% of the to­tal es­ti­mated ap­parel mar­ket, by 2020. The men’s un­der­wear mar­ket is cur­rently val­ued at around Rs. 8,500 crore (US $ 1417 mil­lion). With in­creas­ing dis­pos­able in­come and chang­ing con­sumer at­ti­tudes to­wards the cat­e­gory, the seg­ment is ex­pected to main­tain growth to reach Rs.16,500 crore (US $ 2750 mil­lion) by 2020, added the report.

No won­der, do­mes­tic play­ers are ex­pand­ing. We have sev­eral prom­i­nent names who have carved a dis­tinct niche for themselves in the In­dian in­ner­wear do­main such as Rupa and

Co. Ltd. (MacroMan, Front­line and

Euro), Lux In­dus­tries Ltd. (Lux Cozi), Dol­lar In­dus­tries Ltd. (Big­boss, Club) and Maxwell In­dus­tries (VIP, Frenchie). Re­cently, Ad­vent In­ter­na­tional, a lead­ing US-based pri­vate eq­uity in­vestor, has ac­quired Dixcy Tex­tiles, Tirupur, a prom­i­nent player in do­mes­tic un­der­gar­ment in­dus­try. Dixcy with a strength of nearly 3,500 peo­ple, plans to raise money from pri­vate eq­uity funds at a val­u­a­tion of Rs. 3,000-3,400 crore

(US $ 500 to 567 mil­lion). Talk­ing to any com­pany of this seg­ment, one can find out that de­spite all va­ri­ety of chal­lenges, they are con­fi­dent about the growth of the en­tire in­ner­wear in­dus­try be it men’s un­der­gar­ments, lin­gerie, shapewear etc. San­jay K Jain, MD, TT Ltd, Delhi; Chair­man of NITRA and Vice Chair­man CITI, feels that un­der­gar­ments ex­port is in­creas­ing but at a very small pace. He even states that “Our ex­ports have grown mul­ti­fold be­cause we were work­ing on a very small base ear­lier.” He fur­ther added that in­ner­wear mar­ket will grow con­sis­tently, and the big­gest op­por­tu­nity is go­ing to come from the un­or­ga­nized mar­ket shift­ing to the branded play­ers like him. “Hence, I see growth com­ing from mar­ket ex­pan­sion and mar­ket shift. TT limited, one of the most fa­mous brand

in In­dia, is of­fer­ing the com­plete range of in­ner­wear for gents, ladies and kids. It cur­rently pro­duces 3 mil­lion pieces per month. In the last fis­cal, the com­pany had a turnover of Rs. 678 crore (US $ 113 mil­lion)” shared a proud San­jay.

Yusuf Do­had­wala, CEO, In­ti­mate Ap­parel As­so­ci­a­tion of In­dia

(IAAI), claims that over­all In­dian in­ti­matewear in­dus­try is wit­ness­ing the fastest Y-o-Y growth which is es­ti­mated at 18-20 per cent and this growth is the high­est in the world. IAAI is one of the prom­i­nent bod­ies of In­dian in­ti­mate ap­parel in­dus­try. One of the strong rea­sons for this grow­ing in­ner­wear in­dus­try is its large ba­sic ne­ces­sity. This makes it al­most re­ces­sion proof with min­i­mal ef­fect from neg­a­tive mar­ket trends. Al­though ac­cord­ing to San­jay, due to psy­cho­log­i­cal im­pact and pipe­line in­ven­tory, the In­dian in­ner­wear in­dus­try faces short-term re­ces­sion im­pact as seen in de­mon­e­ti­za­tion and GST pe­riod.

In the words of Yusuf, “Things are fast chang­ing in In­dia with con­sumers get­ting more evolved. Fash­ion­able in­ti­matewear is rapidly grow­ing and tak­ing large space in the wardrobes es­pe­cially for women’s cat­e­gory.”

Why not ex­port…

Brandix, Quan­tum Cloth­ing, Seeds In­ti­mate Ap­parel, Prat­i­bha Syn­tex, East­man Ex­ports Global Cloth­ing, Best Cor­po­ra­tion, SGM Gar­ments, Clifton Ex­port, KPR Mills… these are few of the se­lected com­pa­nies in In­dia that are into ex­port of these prod­uct seg­ments; while in do­mes­tic mar­ket, there is a long list of strong and pub­lic limited com­pa­nies who are achiev­ing tremen­dous growth in al­most all prod­uct cat­e­gories of in­ner­wear seg­ment. So what is stop­ping them from ex­plor­ing the over­seas mar­ket? “Over­all com­pet­i­tive­ness in In­dia is an is­sue due to un­favourable FTAs and bi­lat­eral agree­ments vis-à-vis our com­peti­tors like Bangladesh, Viet­nam, Cam­bo­dia etc. Hence, ex­ports are mainly limited to Mid­dle East and African na­tions – fur­ther do­mes­tic brands need to get more or­ga­nized and in­te­grated to cater to USA and Europe in a big­ger way,” said San­jay thought­fully. He also feels that both do­mes­tic and ex­ports have enough scope but ex­port growth would some­how de­pend on Govern­ment pol­icy and sup­port. Yusuf in­formed, “We al­ready have over 1,000 la­bels in in­ner­wear seg­ment who cater to the In­dian mar­ket. Ex­ports from In­dia for in­ner­wear are ap­par­ently very less but grow­ing. How­ever, our in­dus­try has to work on poor skills in man­u­fac­tur­ing of value-added prod­ucts or fash­ion­able prod­ucts. There­fore, at present, we can ex­port only ba­sics. For val­ueadded prod­ucts, In­dia is un­able to meet the ef­fi­cien­cies found in China, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Viet­nam, Cam­bo­dia, In­done­sia. To be com­pet­i­tive in ex­ports, it is very im­por­tant to have raw ma­te­rial base in In­dia, es­pe­cially for lin­gerie seg­ment which is very low. Hence, to

“Things are fast chang­ing in In­dia

with con­sumers get­ting more evolved. Fash­ion­able in­ti­matewear is rapidly grow­ing and tak­ing large space in the wardrobes es­pe­cially

for women’s cat­e­gory.” do ex­port, we would have to de­pend on China for raw ma­te­ri­als, hence in­creas­ing the lead time and which is why buy­ers don’t aim at com­ing to In­dia.”

Ac­cord­ing to Yusuf, few lin­gerie com­pa­nies who are re­ally do­ing well do not have ca­pac­i­ties for ex­ports. Their mar­ket in In­dia it­self is large and grow­ing which doesn’t al­low them to look at ex­ports. Be­ing a highly-skilled driven in­dus­try, some­how it hasn’t been able to im­ple­ment skill de­vel­op­ment pro­grammes ef­fec­tively to sup­port in­ti­matewear man­u­fac­tur­ing. He adds, “Un­for­tu­nately very few, in­clud­ing our Govern­ment, fail to un­der­stand how po­ten­tial em­ploy­ment-gen­er­a­tor this in­dus­try can be. Smaller coun­tries like Viet­nam, Bangladesh, Cam­bo­dia have un­der­stood this and ex­celled.”

Ex­perts do feel that In­dia’s in­ner­wear in­dus­try is at a nascent stage and has lot of pot­holes like lack of skills for pro­duc­ing tech­ni­cal and qual­ity prod­ucts, poor avail­abil­ity of tech­ni­cians and lin­gerie de­sign­ers, dearth of qual­ity raw ma­te­ri­als for which In­dia has to de­pend on China. This makes the im­port du­ties on raw ma­te­ri­als high and the prod­ucts ex­pen­sive. To over­come such chal­lenges, Yusuf briefed that IAAI or­ga­nizes events like Gal­le­ria In­tima which ad­dress the raw ma­te­rial chal­lenges in In­dia and grad­u­ally in­crease ex­ports from In­dia. IAAI is also cre­at­ing aware­ness through sem­i­nars to help the In­dian man­u­fac­tur­ers and brands to up­grade their knowl­edge and be com­pet­i­tive.

With re­gard to lin­gerie man­u­fac­tur­ing, it was be­ing said that there are sup­pli­ers who can’t of­fer all ac­ces­sories to­gether (in proper shade) for bra and more or less things have not im­proved much even cur­rently. Small com­po­nents like rings, slid­ers, hooks and eye tapes are not avail­able in

In­dia which can pass the qual­ity stan­dards for top brands. Ad­di­tion­ally, In­dia lacks enough tech­ni­cal train­ing in­sti­tutes, ar­range­ments for lin­gerie/

“Our ex­ist­ing busi­ness of ce­ramic is pass­ing through re­ces­sion, so we are plan­ning to en­ter into tex­tile in­dus­try. Ini­tially, we will

be in­vest­ing Rs. 3 crore into knit­ting and stitch­ing ma­chines, and will start with un­der­gar­ment

man­u­fac­tur­ing. Due to less dye­ing, value ad­di­tion and PD is­sues, un­der­gar­ment seems to be the best prod­uct cat­e­gory to start

with. Hope­fully pro­duc­tion will start in one year. Ex­port is also on

our radar but at a later stage.”

San­jay K Jain, MD, TT Ltd., Delhi; Chair­man of NITRA and Vice Chair­man CITI

Nikhil Ko­tak, CEO, Ko­tak Over­seas

IA Badi, Neon In­dus­tries, Ra­jkot

Yusuf Do­had­wala, CEO, In­ti­mate Ap­parel As­so­ci­a­tion of In­dia (IAAI)

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