The entry of international brands has led to a paradigm shift in domestic denim market. Customers are constantly demanding new denim styles, which are adding to the pressure of these brands. However, meeting this challenge with great gusto, Indian apparel brands are not only surviving but also growing amidst stiff competition from the industry. Indian jeans labels are grasping a big market share and earning worth hundred crores despite humble beginnings. Some brands that managed to lead from front are:
Spykar: Pioneering hi-fashion denim in India
Starting on a smaller scale, Spykar Lifestyle, launched by Prasad Pabrekar and led by Sanjay Vakharia, CEO has grown into one of the largest and fast-growing brands in India. One of the leading casual wear brands in India, Spykar mainly offers hi-fashion denim. Its products are available pan India across 250 EBO, 1,000 MBOs, large format stores and e-commerce sites. The brand offers casual top-wear, bottom-wear, and accessories like backpacks, flip-flops, perfumes, wallets, deodorants, etc.
In the current financial year, the brand achieved a phenomenal 20 per cent growth in customer sales from Rs 460 crore in FY17 to Rs 550 crore in FY18. It now plans to achieve revenues of Rs 700 crore despite its operations being affected by major challenges like demonetisation and GST.
Killer: Following a no-discounts policy
Representing the rebellious nature of the youth, Killer Jeans was launched by Mumbai-based apparel manufacturer Kewal Kiran Clothing Company in 1989. Led by its chairman and Managing Director, Kewalchand Jain, the brand was set up on the full-price model and did not offer discounts on any of its products. Its products are pried reasonably and sold at full price. The brand does not believe in overpricing its products and then offering major discounts.
Over the years, KKCL has launched several clothing brands such as Easies, Integriti, LawmanPg3, and also acquired Desi Belle, a women’s wear brand. The company achieved a turnover of Rs 456 crore in 2018, of which Killer Jeans accounted 53 per cent. The company also raised Rs 80 crore through an IPO in 2006.
Mufti: Leading the stretch denim revolution
There were a variety of denim styles available in 1992. However, all brands offered a similar pattern at almost the same quality level. This made it difficult for customers to differentiate between products. To aid them, Kamal Khushlani, a shirts manufacturer and retailer, launched denim brand Mufti in 1998. The brand gained major prominence in 2000s as it expanded from exclusive brand outlets to large and multi-brand outlets, and large-format stores. It claims to be one of the first brands to introduce stretch jeans for men. It now manufactures over 500 products every season including jeans, trousers, shorts, athleisure, jackets, T-shirts, and more.