Women’s innerwear brand Amante launched in 2007 has been clocking in a steady 50 per cent growth since its inception. Even though the figure plunged to 35 per cent last year due to low consumer sentiment, excise duty among other reasons, Ajay Amalean, MD, MAS Holdings makers of Amante is optimistic that it’s an excellent rate since the category is yet to evolve in India. Aspiring to be the number one premium lingerie brand in the South Asia by 2014-15, and MAS is looking forward to increasing its product portfolio by adding swim wear in 2013.
As Amalean explains, “Apart from expanding our portfolio, we will open exclusive outlets in some form of a hybrid model. We will probably do a million Amante units a year. Amante will grow by 35 per cent this year and the parent company, MAS Holdings is growing by 20 per cent in lingerie and active sportswear. By December 2012, we may be doing a business of Rs 20 to Rs 25 crores compared to Rs 15 crore last December.”
Having 25 years of experience in manufacturing and a firm supply chain to back it, the company has been working with international brands in the US and UK. “We will keep introducing new technology like bonding or silicone technology, seamless in the market. These enhance the comfort level. We feel Indian consumers deserve better than what’s available. In a couple of years, we will come out with some really good products,” adds Amalean.
The Amante collection is currently available in about 90 large formats and about 250 MBOs. The company plans to open its own EBOs next year. Though at present the focus is India, the company is also looking at exploring Sri Lankan and Middle East markets. Commenting on the brand’s reach in Tier II towns, Amalean says, “We have moved into places like Jalandhar and Surat. We find consumers there have the disposable income and are willing to experiment with price bands. And we are changing our product mix in Tier II cities. We started with a lower band width in pricing and we are finding we can push that limit up further.” Amalean feels consumers in the north like a lot more fashion and are bolder than consumers from the south, whereas consumers from the west are more elegant and fashionable.
Summing up on the prospects of innerwear market in India, Amalean opines several foreign brands will start coming in within three years. “The younger consumer will evolve at a much faster pace. Right now a lot of activity is taking place in China especially in this category and the next destination could be India. A lot more technically innovative products will come in and hopefully we will be the pioneers. There may be better and more cost effective ways of doing business in India.”