The Indian fashion retail is noticing a huge demand for knit products with the knitwear market expected to grow at a promising rate of 9 per cent in order to reach US $ 23.56 million from the current market size of US $ 10.04 million.
Ludhiana based-Octave Clothing realised the demand for knitted garments for the upwardly and modern Indian youth way back in 1991. And the firm swiftly entered the segment with its line of smart and trendy casual garments. Balbir Kumar, Director and Yuvraj Arora, Partner, Octave Clothing shares the journey of their brand with Apparel Resources.
As per statistics, menswear section accounts for 40 per cent of the total knitwear market followed by womenswear that accounts for 34 per cent. Boys and girls sections command a market share of 18 and 8 per cent respectively.
Octave Clothing, one of the popular brands in India, prospers on the basic principle of including newness in every product. The main thought behind the brand was to inspire people to embrace casualwear and express their sense of fashion without compromising on comfort. Striking the right balance between fashion and comfort, Octave Clothing caters to the needs of every consumer by providing an extensive range of product categories such as t-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, sweaters and bottomwear. The brand has also forayed into the womenswear and kidswear segment catering to the demands of diverse consumer segment of India.
With the increasing popularity among the youth and the higher demand in the market, Octave Clothing has a potential to churn out five million pieces of sweatshirts and two million pieces of t-shirts every year, thus thriving on the success in India’s retail industry. Today, the brand retails through 160 exclusive outlets and more than 600 multi-brand outlets such as Shoppers Stop, etc. across India. According to Yuvraj, “Octave entered Shoppers Stop in the year 1996, and since then, it has been recognised as the best brand in terms of performance in the t-shirts and sweatshirts category.” Apart from India, the brand has established itself in foreign lands including Dubai (UAE), New Zealand and Kenya. While some of the stores are company-owned, other are franchisee-owned.
Thriving On Vertically Integrated Environment
The product development system followed in Octave Clothing at all the levels of the supply chain is quite effective, starting from managing various vendors to producing the garment and delivering the best quality products to the end consumer. They work in a vertically integrated environment where the t-shirts and sweatshirts are manufactured in their own production facility situated in Ludhiana and distributed to their retail stores as well as multiple brand outlets. “We have our own production house with over 700 machines along with embroidery set-up and knitting set-up,” avers Balbir. Instead of outsourcing the fabric, the company prefers to procure grey yarn in bulk from places like China and Korea. These are further knitted and dyed in their own facility. Only the denimwear and sweaters are outsourced from vendors based out of Delhi and Bengaluru.
Moreover, what keeps the brand so edgy and different from others in the market is their design team that constantly picks up international trends and transforms them into Octave-wear almost immediately. Yuvraj further adds, “Since India works six months late as compared to the international market, our design team travels to countries such as Europe, USA and Turkey on regular intervals to study the market trends and then transform it into our products by playing around with the prints or graphics.”
Octave aims at understanding the need to deliver the finest quality products that are at par with the demands of the customers, thus it has paved its way to success by registering a turnover of more than Rs. 250 crore for the fiscal year 2018-19. “We have been achieving 25 per cent of CAGR and expect to exceed the turnover of Rs. 400 crore in the coming five years,”asserts Yuvraj.
Foraying Into Tier-2 And Tier-3 Cities
Octave Clothing sees a lot of potential in the Tier-2 and Tier-3 markets due to lower rentals which makes revenue building and profit making much more easier than Tier-1 cities. With strong presence in Delhi, Ludhiana and Chandigarh, the brand has further plans to expand its reach in states like Rajasthan, UP and Maharashtra. “We have stores coming up in Jaipur, Rohtak and have recently opened a store in Mumbai. We are planning to open around 50-60 stores in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities, ” says Yuvraj. Furthermore, the brand is not only present in India but also overseas and has massive expansion plans to open new stores in fashion-forward cities and countries like London, Malaysia, Australia and Singapore.
According to the report from IBEF, India is the fastest growing market for the e-commerce sector. The ongoing digital transformation in the country is expected to increase India’s total internet user base to 829 million by 2021 from 560.01 million as of September 2018. This growth is being triggered by increasing internet and smartphone penetration which has, in turn, led to increase in demand across different regions in India. For Octave, this has turned as a boon since population from Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities can easily access Octave’s diverse product categories via their online medium. “Nowadays Tier-2 and Tier-3 population are as updated as Tier-1 population due to the presence of social media and internet. They know what is selling online. So for us, Tier-2 and Tier-3 are the emerging markets,” says Balbir.
Positioned as a mid-segment brand, Octave products are priced from Rs. 99 for a pair of socks and move up to Rs. 4,999 for coats and jackets. Moreover, the prices offered offline is same as that in online. Yuvraj believes that with online channel, they are just offering an additional service to the customer so that they can buy Octave anytime anywhere as per their comfort.