Ray­mond Eth­nix

Business of Fashion - - Contents -

Bidyut Bhan­jdeo, Brand Direc­tor, Eth­nix and Next Look shares his plans for brand ‘Eth­nix’ and plans to open stand­alone EBOs.

Over the last cen­tury, change has been a con­stant pa­ram­e­ter in In­dia; the en­tire na­tion and its peo­ple have grown from strength to strength on all fron­tiers. And, in In­dian fash­ion re­tail, it is the Ray­mond Group, which has best ex­em­pli­fied this essence.

The brand has been suc­cess­ful in reach­ing suc­cess de­spite sev­eral un­fore­seen, high mag­ni­tude dis­rup­tions in­clud­ing ex­cise levies, de­mon­e­ti­za­tion, and GST, over the last two years. Given that VUCA en­vi­ron­ment is only in­ten­si­fy­ing and given the com­pany’s com­mit­ment to pro­vid­ing growth op­por­tu­ni­ties for in­ter­nal tal­ent, the brand has pro­moted Bidyut Bhan­jdeo to Brand Direc­tor, Eth­nix and Next Look. Out of these, sub-brand Eth­nix has emerged as a high-growth op­por­tu­nity for Ray­mond in the last one year.

As the name sug­gests, Eth­nix pro­vides a com­plete range of eth­nic wear from ba­sic kur­tas to styl­ized heavy sher­wa­nis to bundis, band­hgalas. There’s even Indo-western wear and cock­tail suits on of­fer. The brand’s core values is to have an un­der­stated style, which is el­e­gant on the lines of Ray­mond and its unique cut/style. While kur­tas, bazundis and Indo-western looks are pop­u­lar among men, sa­rees, sal­war-kur­tis and lehenga-cho­lis are pop­u­lar among women.

De­sign is the USP of brand Eth­nix since its tar­get cus­tomer is the teenage crowd, col­lege go­ing youth and the young, work­ing class apart from newly-weds. The ma­jor con­sump­tion driv­ers are in the age group of 25 to 35.

“The brand takes cre­at­ing ex­clu­sive col­lec­tions se­ri­ously, go­ing through a very long re­search and de­vel­op­ment pro­ce­dure, which in­cludes mar­ket re­search and un­der­stand­ing fu­ture trends, lead­ing up to the fi­nal ex­e­cu­tion of the prod­uct. We are work­ing on a col­lec­tion called ‘To In­dia from In­dia’,” ex­plains Bidyut Bhan­jdeo, Brand Direc­tor, Next Look and

Eth­nix. He says Eth­nix col­lec­tions are usu­ally in­spired by In­dian tra­di­tional tech­niques and art forms and they use more of hand­loom fabrics in prod­ucts in a bid to re­vive crafts like Ikat and Kalamkari.

Chang­ing Na­ture of Oc­ca­sion Wear in In­dia

With grow­ing awareness of global fash­ion trends, ur­ban In­dia em­braced con­sumerism and has since been brim­ming with brands of­fer­ing the con­sumer an im­proved shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence. “With more de­sign­ers en­ter­ing the men’s wear seg­ment and ex­ist­ing ones fo­cus­ing more on the up­per mid­dle class and mid­dle class wed­dings, we can ex­pect the mar­ket to reach up to 40 per­cent of the wed­ding in­dus­try. This is a huge driver of the In­dian oc­ca­sion wear seg­ment,” says Bhan­jdeo.

For a large per­cent­age the me­dia is re­spon­si­ble for the grow­ing awareness in the lat­est trends which trig­gers the fash­ion in the gen­eral pop­u­la­tion. To keep up with the change in oc­ca­sion wear trends, Eth­nix has re­cently in­tro­duced its new cat­e­gory ‘Smart Eth­nix’ which is ca­sual wear with an eth­nic touch. This in­cludes short kur­tas, light weight bundis, Polo pants and kurta-bundi sets. Fabrics like linen and cot­ton have been used in this cat­e­gory.

Cat­e­gory Ex­pan­sion & Prod­uct In­no­va­tion

The In­dian wed­ding in­dus­try is a whoop­ing `100,000 to `110,000 crore and it is only flour­ish­ing with each pass­ing sea­son and the men’s wed­ding mar­ket for sher­wa­nis and jodh­puris is around 15 per­cent of this. Cap­i­tal­is­ing on this, Eth­nix has launched its re­cent col­lec­tion in­spired from Meenakari art work. “Stylish and trendy new-cut sher­wa­nis, long cut kur­tas in pas­tel shades like rose pink, turq and mint green along with tra­di­tional coloors like beige, gold and shades of red make up our new col­lec­tion of sher­wa­nis and jodh­puris,” says Bhan­jdeo. Eth­nix is grow­ing cat­e­gories each sea­son on over­all ra­tio and has planned an ex­pan­sion of al­most 50 per­cent over the next two sea­sons. Apart for cater­ing to the mass mar­ket, the brand is also into mak­ing be­spoke gar­ments.

“We are con­stantly work­ing on devel­op­ing new fabrics, tak­ing in­spi­ra­tion from in­ter­na­tional trends in terms of colours, cuts and de­sign sen­si­bil­i­ties. We are look­ing at brands like Fendi for em­broi­dery in­spi­ra­tions, and also work­ing very closely with the in­te­ri­ors of Varanasi for the fabrics. So, in a way we have our eyes on all sec­tors and seg­ments,” ex­plains Bhan­jdeo.

He adds, “We go to clus­ters of Varanasi—In­dia’s hand­loom fabric hub—and sit with weavers and mesh dif­fer­ent blends of fabric to cre­ate some­thing new, some­thing sus­tain­able. For lin­ings and trims we work to­wards devel­op­ing our own branded but­tons and lin­ings which are more on the lines of top-end in­ter­na­tional de­sign­ers.”

Re­tail Pres­ence

Cur­rently, Eth­nix has a pan In­dia pres­ence through The Ray­mond Shop net­work and MBOs. The brand is re­tailed from 40 Ray­mond EBOs, 5 large for­mat stores and 360 MBOs. Go­ing ahead, apart from en­hanc­ing their pres­ence across all chan­nels, there is a plan to open 15 stand-alone Eth­nix EBOs.

“Eh­nix—which had a turnover of `18 crore in FY16-17—is also avail­able on Ray­mond Next, our own on­line por­tal and is listed in most of the on­line mar­ket places. We are plan­ning to scale-up to a `100 crore brand soon,” con­cludes Bhan­jdeo.

“With more de­sign­ers en­ter­ing the men’s wear seg­ment and ex­ist­ing ones fo­cus­ing more on the up­per

mid­dle class and mid­dle class wed­dings, we can ex­pect the mar­ket to reach up to 40 per­cent of the

wed­ding in­dus­try”

– Bidyut Bhan­jdeo,

Brand Direc­tor, Next Look & Eth­nix

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