Growth is never by chance and this is exactly the case with one of India’s fastest growing and most loved lingerie brands, PrettySecrets. Incepted in 2011 by Karan Behal, PrettySecrets started out as a women’s sleepwear brand with presence in major departmental stores and MBOs and later diversified its range in 2012 through e-tailing on PrettySecrets.com. Behal inherited an in-depth knowledge in manufacturing, supply chain and inventory planning from his family who has been in the apparel manufacturing and export business for three decades.
The brand has shown a significant growth from its inception till today with a huge portfolio consisting of 1200+ products including lingerie, night, active and swimwear. PrettySecrets boasts of offering great fabric, quality, comfort coupled with uncompromising style and fashion aesthetics. And today’s women look for just that when shopping for their intimates — comfortable yet stylish. Also, we are way ahead from the times when buying innerwear was a clandestine, annual affair where women used to flock the neighbourhood hosiery store to buy the functional, white bras and briefs. Today, Indian women are experimenting their way forward with their innerwear and flaunting these quirky pieces is the new in-thing. PrettySecrets was quick to realize the change in trend and introduced its stylish lingerie designs to grab the maximum share of this market. Also, what went in favour of the brand was the advent of globalisation, the internet proliferation and of course the e-commerce which, like every other segment, has also brought lingerie online.
The Creation of An Iconic Brand
The quirky intimates have created its own market in India and this has led to not only domestic brands but also the international ones to pull up their socks, or rather, ‘underpants’ to tap this segment. The brand targets women in the age group of 18- 35 years who are stylish, confident, independent and has an uncompromising no-nonsense attitude. Behal claims to present lingerie and women in an extremely empowering light which “has led to women talking about their lingerie choices openly on a social forums”.
So, what went into making PrettySecrets what it is today?
While PrettySecrets does not have its own manufacturing units and the brand contract manufacturers based in India and overseas for its assortments, all the designs, patterns and styling are finalised by its in-house team in Mumbai. Behal asserts, “Presently, its in 50:50 proportion wherein 50% of products are imported from China and the remaining 50% come from parts of India. While PrettySecrets desires to maximise sourcing from India which will make the supply chain tighter and more leaner, we fail to do so because of the lack of manufacturing infrastructure in India. We are hopeful that this will change moving forward and PrettySecrets will shift its manufacturing process to India.”
Furthermore, the brand greatly values technology and it is integrated in every aspect of its functioning. PrettySecrets has raised multiple rounds of private equity investment from prominent investors.
Tapping the Potential Market
PrettySecrets claims to be the fastest growing lingerie brand across all online marketplaces and also the second largest chain of lingerie stores in India within just 10 months of its launching the first offline retail outlet in April 2017. As per a report, net revenues of its competitors Zivame and Clovia were Rs.60 crore, Rs.39 crore
Respectively, with PrettySecrets raking in Rs. 10 crore in FY16-17.
Behal apprises, “The size of the intimate wear market including the nightwear segment, is Rs.20,000 crore and has been growing at CAGR of 20% over the past 5 years and it is going to reach around Rs.30,000 crore by 2020. In online category, at best, we see a contribution of anywhere between 8-10% by 2020. This may not seem like a large number, but it is a tremendous increase from the current 1-2% contribution. With PrettySecrets.com, we are presently catering and delivering to more than 19,000+ pin codes in the country and we have our own 21 exclusive PrettySecrets outlets across 14 cities in the country. The next 1-2 years will see a continued awareness building up on our extensive plan for increased retail footprint, with 300 franchise owned stores in the next two years, presence in over 150 SIS counters and 1000 MBOs.”
Seeing the potential of the evolving and and every growing segment, Behal is leaving no stone unturned in grabbing the largest pie from this market. PrettySecrets have a bridge price point wherein it is neither placed as a mass brand nor a luxury one. The brand is conveniently serving the three long pending needs of women — size, fit and style — through its innovatively designed products. The lingerie brand also customizes its products for different regions depending on demography, body type, etc.
While cotton has been the most favourable fabric for innerwear since time immemorial, the advancements and inclination towards trendier styles have brought in other fabrics including linen, nylon, etc. Today, there is an array of fabrics to choose from — satin, modal, silk, spandex, rayon, lace, mesh, polyamide, power net, etc. Also, in terms of style, the segment has had a huge leap with underwired, strapless, push-ups, bralettes, front open, convertible being few styles widely accepted by consumers.
Today’s consumers are more confident about themselves and are not afraid of experimenting with colours, cuts and designs. Going by the trend, PrettySecrets doesn’t offer whites but rather goes for geo-pop prints, colours and new designs. According to Behal, “From luxurious velvet bras to sultry lace bodysuits, the top trends for 2018 would include geo-pop prints, pop colours, embroidered lingerie, camisoles, floral appliques, strappy bras, trendy sports bras and chemise.” Besides, ‘the innerwear-as-outerwear’ trend is becoming popular with time as well along with use of elements like metal rings, chains, leather straps, etc.
The innerwear category has broadened from being a basic requirement to a sassy, ‘flauntable’ product and PrettySecrets understands it very well. With 100 percent annual growth, the brand claims that it is the only Indian lingerie brand to partner with the biggest e-commerce websites of UAE and Southeast Asia, Souq.com and Lazada.com respectively. Going forward, PrettySecrets has unveiled an elaborate marketing strategy in order to get up close with its consumers. “We recently unveiled our brand advertising campaign with print and OOH. The campaign comprised of a series of advertisement messages that shared a single idea and theme which made up an integrated marketing communication across the diverse media channels over a period of 4 weeks targeted to an identified audience for PrettySecrets. 20 OOH billboards were strategically placed in and around the brick and mortar touch points of PrettySecrets. This will be accompanied by 4 full page print ads in the Mumbai Mirror and 4 half page print ads in the Bombay Times with 2 ads every week for a period of 4 weeks. The Mumbai release of this ad campaign was followed by Delhi and Bangalore in October 2018,” informs Behal.
Today, PrettySecrets has 24 stores across 10 states panning all four corners of the country. The brand is aiming to take this number to 100 by the end of 2018 and is further planning to have 300 outlets by the end of 2019. “Presently, we retail through 350 trade stores across the country and are aiming to reach 1500 stores by the end of 2019. We plan to achieve this coupled with growing our market share on online marketplaces and making PrettySecrets.com the largest culmination of brand loyalists. Our international exposure is currently limited but we are aiming to grow that exponentially this year,” asserts Behal.
Nevertheless, the lingerie brand also acknowledges the potential of tier-II and tier-III towns as “half of its sales actually comes from these regions”. PrettySecrets also have stores and distributors in the tier-II and tier-III towns of the country and prides in its aspirational nature and affordable price points which makes it desirable in these areas as well.