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Cre­at­ing Niche in In­ner­wear Seg­ment- Palash Over­seas

Ps: from un­der­wear to gar­ment to un­der­wear again, how did this shift hap­pen?

Sb: We started our men’s un­der­wear brand “Lips” in the ini­tial days of busi­ness, which got great at­ten­tion; how­ever, we started fac­ing prob­lems in de­liv­er­ing qual­ity and quan­tity on time and pro­longed dis­rup­tion in dis­tri­bu­tion re­sulted in a mech­a­nism fail­ure and we de­cided to wrap up the busi­ness in 1998. Af­ter a few years we re­vived the busi­ness, but this time we thought of try­ing our hands on gar­ment like jeans and shirts. On 25th Novem­ber, 2005 we en­tered the Dubai mar­ket with kids’ pants, jeans, baba suit and grad­u­ally things worked out. To­day we are into cater­ing to the over­seas mar­ket with both un­der­wear and gar­ments.

Ps: which coun­tries do you cater to?

Sb: Our pres­ence is ma­jorly in Dubai, Kuwait, Saudi Ara­bia, Oman, Ye­men, Panama and a few more Gulf coun­tries.

Ps: apart from un­der­wear, do you have any plans to ex­port other prod­ucts too?

Sb: We are into ex­ports of hosiery fab­ric and re­lated ac­ces­sories to lead­ing brands in the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket. Due to our pol­icy of good qual­ity at rea­son­able prices, we are one of the lead­ing ex­porters of men’s un­der­wear from In­dia. Our sales in­creased year af­ter year and now my son Ankit has also joined the com­pany. We are work­ing hard to take our com­pany to great heights in the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket. We are adding more items in in­ner­wear and in­creas­ing our cus­tomer base.

Ps: which tech­nol­ogy are you us­ing for ef­fi­cient pro­duc­tion?

Sb: We are us­ing lat­est Tai­wanese ma­chines for stitch­ing un­der­wear, which im­proves qual­ity and pro­duc­tion. We are in­stalling au­to­matic ma­chines for stitch­ing elas­tic bands which will im­prove the fin­ish­ing of the un­der­wear. Apart from this, we are look­ing at in­stalling the lat­est dye­ing plant for bet­ter and faster de­liv­ery of fab­rics.

Ps: where do you think in­dian brands stand in the in­ner­wear mar­ket to­day?

Sb: In my opin­ion, the In­dian in­ner­wear mar­ket is at its best time now. Lead­ing In­dian com­pa­nies are bring­ing new va­ri­eties in all ranges daily and are get­ting over­whelm­ing re­sponse. Qual­ity is well main­tained and com­pa­nies are also get­ting good prof­its for their ef­forts. In­dian hosiery has seen many ups and downs in past years but now it seems “Good Days” have come for the in­dus­try as cus­tomers are ready to pay good prices for good qual­ity in­ner­wear. Small cities are also giv­ing good re­sponse in sales of premium prod­ucts, which is a good sign. Lead­ers like Rupa, Amul, Dol­lar, Lux and many medium com­pa­nies are in­creas­ing sales day by day.

Ps: what do you think is work­ing as a “push fac­tor” for them?

Sb: All are do­ing very well due to con­sis­tent qual­ity and good mar­ket­ing skills. Com­pa­nies are us­ing lat­est ma­chines and tech­nol­ogy to up­grade qual­ity and pro­duc­tion. Cus­tomers are ready to pay for in­ner­wear prod­ucts for bet­ter qual­ity and com­fort. They pre­fer combed qual­ity sin­gle jersey fab­ric prod­ucts the most be­cause of the com­fort, the feel good fac­tor.

Ps: which ac­cord­ing to you is the most vul­ner­a­ble area in the busi­ness?

Sb: The most vul­ner­a­ble area in this busi­ness is sales as the one who has a good sales net­work will be the win­ner. Nowa­days, only ag­gres­sive mar­ket­ing is the path to suc­cess.

Ps: Do you think in­ter­na­tional brands are dom­i­nat­ing the do­mes­tic mar­ket?

Sb: In­ter­na­tional Brands are not dom­i­nat­ing the In­dian Mar­ket but they are show­ing In­dian com­pa­nies a bet­ter way to get good value from cus­tomers’ pock­ets and to earn a good profit. In­ter­na­tional brands like Jockey have shown In­dian com­pa­nies how to tap money from cus­tomers who are ready to pay for good qual­ity. All In­dian com­pa­nies are now mak­ing Premium range for In­dian Mar­ket. In­di­ans pre­fer im­ported brands in­ner­wear com­pared to In­dian brands due to qual­ity and com­fort, apart from brand im­age also. They are ready to pay good value for good com­fort. Ps: where do you think the in­dian in­ner­wear mar­ket is head­ing? Sb: It is just the start of progress; many new va­ri­eties are be­ing launched con­tin­u­ously to at­tract cus­tomers. The fu­ture seems very bright in the com­ing years. The mar­ket will grow and mul­ti­ply.

Ps: Do you think im­ple­men­ta­tion of gst has af­fected the ex­port busi­ness?

Sb: Yes, GST has af­fected the ex­port busi­ness as ear­lier we were get­ting re­fund of all VAT taxes; but af­ter GST, we will not get any re­fund, which will in­crease cost of pro­duc­tion and ul­ti­mately, it will slow down ex­ports from In­dia. Ps: what do you think is go­ing to be the gen-next prod­uct for in­ner­wear?

Sb: The new trend in in­ner­wear is stylish de­signer wear look with broad elas­tic tape in de­sign. Nowa­days, most com­pa­nies are get­ting good vol­ume busi­ness in MINI TRUNKS STYLE made in sin­gle jersey fab­ric. Com­pa­nies that make best qual­ity and de­signer wear items will get max­i­mum busi­ness.

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