Inizio the brand from the house of Eveline International launched in 2011, has now expanded its product portfolio to add polo T-shirts and shirts range for men. The thermal-wear brand caters to men, women and kids. Elaborating on their future plans, Suresh Prabhakar, Vice President Marketing says, “We launched premium quality quilted thermals for winter 2011, with a very soft yarn blend. This summer, we have added T-shirts, a range of knit casual shirts for men. For summer 2013, we will have T-shirts for girls and then we may add a T-shirt line for children.”
The 40-year old company has a vertically integrated unit having facilities like in-house knitting, yarn dyeing, garment dyeing, printing and embroidery. It has a capacity of manufacturing 30,000 pieces a day. It’s probably the most eco-friendly unit of Ludhiana. “We are associated with reputed export houses in Ludhiana catering to leading buyers of Europe and the US. We entered the domestic market last August,” Prabhakar informs. “On the retail front, we began by testing the brand in Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bihar, Orissa and Jharkhand. So far we have some 500 MBOs. The aim is to reach 2,000 MBOs in the newt one or two years,” Prabhakar explains.
Apart from the regular T-shirts line, the company also has a collection of T-shirts for the young called Fashion Mirchi. These are round and V neck embellished tees with slogans. The themes range from saving the planet, to being eco-friendly, and love and affection. In Fashion Mirchi, the company plans to offer 20 to 30 new designs and slogans every month.
Commenting on the knitwear industry in India and that challenges being faced by knitwear players, Prabhakar opines, “Everyday, something new has to be created. The trick is to work with what you have and not be burdened by shortages. I don’t think it’s difficult to build a strong brand on the basis of knits. If the product is strong, you can create a foothold and the product itself can create a brand. The knitwear market (including sweaters, T-shirts, winter wear etc,) is huge and is growing at 10 to 12 per cent a year.”
Adding further, he says, “But in the entire apparel industry, the share of T-shirts is small because the growth story has just begun. In T-shirts, the unorganized sector plays a big role. But brands will gradually dominate. And their performance is improving in Tier II and III cities. Awareness is growing and lifestyles are changing. And these markets will in due course of time give competition to metro markets.”