by Tanya Krishna
15-January-2019 | 9 mins read
How often do we see a manufacturing company with all its subtlety emerging as one of the mainstream brands and also reigning high with remarkable turnover and market presence in a short span of time? Certainly not many but Alcis Sports is one such case that is fascinating for us as well as for its retail counterparts. The journey started with a rising demand and inception of a new trend in the country — athleisure, a trendy extension of sportswear with a hint of function, comfort as well as style all incorporated in one. “As an industry, athleisure has evolved at a fast pace over the years. We are witnessing a retail boom of sorts in the country, both in the offline as well as online mediums. As people are becoming more fitness-conscious, there is an inherent demand for specialised apparel to aid their fitness pursuits. This coupled with the rise in disposable incomes and the exposure to global trends has enabled the per capita consumption to grow substantially when it comes to the athleisure garments. While it is very difficult to drill down the exact market size for this segment, industry reports have pegged the sportswear market as a whole in India at around Rs. 37,000 crore, growing at a CAGR of 23.7 per cent,” asserts Ravish Nanda, Director, Alcis Sports.
En Route From Manufacturing To Retail
Roshan Baid, MD, Alcis Sports and Paragon Apparels narrates, “In 2016, we realised that there was a huge gap in sportswear market in India which was dominated by only the international brands. India either had a very low-quality sportswear or high priced ones being offered by the foreign brands. Paragon Apparel being the largest sportswear manufacturer in India for the last 17- 18 years, we found ourselves in the best position to capitalise on this opportunity and we wanted to hit that sweet spot between quality and affordability and this gave birth to Alcis. India needs homegrown brands for growth and we want to be a significant part of this growth story. Alcis caters to the Indian environmental conditions and geographical locations.” Alcis prides in offering the quality of international brands while the prices are kept as per the Indian context. While the decision to go ahead and enter into retail was exciting, a lot went into making it a success that it is today. “We started from Paragon Apparels office but later created a different office for the brand Alcis. We created a culture which was required for Alcis since we wanted to present it as a young and vibrant brand. We were funded by Singapore-based VC firm RB Investments which helped us create all the infrastructure which are completely different from our manufacturing firm,” he adds. Today, Alcis flaunts an expansive retail presence in 12 EBOs, 700 MBOs and around 200 large format stores which includes retail outlets in Tier-2 and Tier-3 regions. The brand started initially with men’s and women’s product offerings wherein 60 per cent of the product basket comprised of menswear while the remaining 40 per cent included womenswear and it was only in the last season that Alcis incorporated kids’ section as well.
Delving into the Details
Alcis offers product assortments in categories like running, training, yoga, soccer, tennis, etc. in order to cater to its target consumers. The brand targets young population starting from 25-year old reaching up to 35- 40-year old fitness enthusiasts. While Alcis maintains that quality is a key for all its products, what really goes into the making of these quality products? Apart from its two annual collections — Spring/ Summer and Autumn/ Winter, Alcis creates SMU ranges for e-commerce portals like Myntra, Flipkart and Jabong and also for retail chains. On an average, in one season, Alcis offers around 700 SKUs which are distributed between its online and offline stores. As Ravish informs, “Ours is a 6-month cycle from product conceptualisation to retail. The first three months go into sampling and range creation and the other half goes into delivering the product to the retail stores. We are the only company in India which is a yarn-to-retail one. We have our own fabric mill set up with Korean collaboration which enables us to produce our own quality fabrics rather than importing from Korea or Taiwan. We are running almost 2,000 machines and produce almost 40,000 t-shirts and other merchandise which are mainly synthetic performance oriented fabrics, jacquard, plain or normal interlocks, body mapping fabrics, polyester and sometimes nylon and lycra as well.” While majority of the brand’s fabric requirement is met in-house, Alcis does import certain extraordinary fabrics that are more technical and are not available in India.
Alcis also embraces sustainable development by setting up high manufacturing standards while minimising the environmental and ecological impact. For example, Wonder Tee Wonder Polo range by the brand is being made from recycled polyester, whereas about eight plastic bottles are used to make one t-shirt and each t-shirt saves approximately 27 litres of water, uses 50 per cent less energy to produce and reduces carbon emission by over 54 per cent.
The athleisure trend is gaining momentum. The segment is successfully bridging the gap between casualwear and sportswear and is gradually becoming the fastest growing category within the apparel segment. Alcis also sees potential for the category in Tier-2 and Tier-3 areas and has expanded its retail presence in these regions as well. Presently, 60 per cent of the brand’s revenue comes from Tier-2 and Tier-3 areas while the remaining 40 per cent comes from A-class towns and metros. “Our average ticket size is around Rs.750 in summers and Rs.1,300 during winters. Moving forward, we are planning to open two flagship stores – one in Delhi and the other in Mumbai and are on an aggressive expansion drive wherein we will have 40 EBOs by the next financial year, majority of which will be franchise-operated. We are launching a premium collection, Alcis X Nari during Spring/Summer 2019. With respect to product range, we will be soon launching accessories including shoes, caps, bags, socks, etc. in FY ’19,” maintains Roshan. Alcis prides in offering technological advancements in its product range which includes features like anti-odour, ice tech, oxy dry, reflex 360, etc. at an affordable price, offering lot of product differentiation, and having know-how of the international market and trends which helps the brand adapt to the changes in time. “We registered a turnover of Rs.24 crore during FY ’18 and are expecting to close around Rs.60 crore for FY ’19 and Rs.120 crore for the next financial year. We are growing at a phenomenal rate at par with the international brands and I don’t think any Indian brand can compete with us right now. In fact, if all goes well, we can even beat Adidas and Reebok in the next five years,” boasts Ravish. While athleisure was a trend from the West and it was a challenge to carve out this market in India, the present time shows a very different scenario wherein brands like Alcis are ruling the charts among domestic consumers.