International Trading Company, championing tech strategies to maintain relevance

by Dheeraj Tagra

30-October-2019  |  4 mins read

Zahir SAIT
Zahir SAIT, CEO, International Trading Company, Tirupur

Consistent revamping of strategy and technology is an essential factor that ascertains the survival and growth of Tirupur’s apparel manufacturer, International Trading Company (ITCRmg). Well-known across the world for its implementation capacity, ITCRmg relies heavily on information technology for product diversification and retail. Zahir SAIT, CEO of the company, shares his strategic moves with  Apparel Resources.

“While we work with some of the most respected brands in the market, we have also worked with 40+ distributors from the unorganised market, which was extremely tiring,” he shared his experience. The fact that over 90 per cent of the domestic market is unorganised is something that cannot be overlooked. Zahir soon decided that catering to this segment through distributors is not a fruitful strategy. Instead he chose technology, via the Ajio B2B Business Model.

“With Ajio B2B Services, our payments are safe, and the commitments are fulfilled. Not only that, today our reach is up to 20,000 POS covering only 4 south Indian states. We are estimating 2 million POS in next 2 years,” Zahir added.

The Ajio B2B platform allows sale of larger quantities with lesser documentation, in order to make matters simpler for companies like ITCRmg. Ajio markets the products appropriately and works with a commission-based distributor to ensure zero wastage of resources.

Most brands choose well-known online portals to sell their labels. However, Zahir chose to abstain from this platform. He said, “I don’t want to compromise on my margin. I am more concerned about the topline and the bottomline. I would rather serve in a B2B role.”

Having increased its reach into domestic and international markets, Zahir’s company is also launching a private label in partnership with Amazon, US.

On the product front, ITCRmg offers everything from T-shirts to home essentials. The main differentiator is that the products are primarily organic, reasonably priced and extremely versatile. Created with recycled fabric, ITCRmg’s round neck tees are available merely at an MRP of Rs. 249.

Currently, the company is working on a shoe line with an upper knit base, which will be soon available in the Indian market. ITCRmg’s flat knitting machines and knitting expertise have made this new initiative easy, even though shoe manufacturing is a new venture for the organisation.

“Whatever the market conditions are, it is my responsibility to innovate and keep my workers gainfully employed. This is one of the reasons which has motivated me to come out with new product categories. Our shoes will be at par with the world’s leading brands, and will be available at a reasonable price,” said Zahir.

Of course, there will be some modifications in the existing infrastructure and a few new machines will be installed for shoe manufacturing. But how easy will it be to sell?

Products of International Trading Company, Tirupur
Products of International Trading Company, Tirupur

To this, Zahir answered, “Rather than a brand-based strategy, it is the product-based marketing strategy which is going to survive. Anything which is in line with international trends and quality must be affordable to masses as well.” In order to understand customers deeply, the company uses AI as well as perceptual mapping.

“Manufacturing is one part of the business. The cost of travelling and all traditional methods of marketing are a big burden nowadays. We need to shift from conventional ways. We are still in the learning process and looking closely at the way the market is going to swing.” concluded Zahir.

ITCRmg produces and manages to sell 2,500 pieces per colour on an average, and it has 6,000 SKUs including products for winter and summer.

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