Starting as a buying office, then getting into manufacturing, Renaissance Creations has created its niche in quilts and designer cushions. Eighty per cent of the company’s business is between these two products. Design-oriented products is what the company believes in. Ankit Kansal, Managing Director of the company talks with Team Apparel Online about the new directions he is taking for his business and growth strategy. Besides entering into newer markets, the company has also ventured into non textile home products… When the clouds of recession clamoured in 2008, almost every company was affected by it and Renaissance too was gripped. At that time the company had almost 85 buyers on board and it became very difficult to handle them. “In 2009, we took a conscious decision of hand-picking the big and stable buyers, and from 85 we slashed the number of buyers to 15 and trust me, we have a bigger turnover now and much more focussed and easier business, because with every customer we are doing reasonably good amount of business and we can service them better,” confides Ankit. With majority of its buyers from Europe and that too high-end, creativity and constant product development is key for the company. “I believe in investing a lot on product development as my buyers depend on me for design inputs; however at the same time they want to keep tight pricing. The best way is to get cleverer in your product development; the product should give the feel of more value for money and not working on lesser margins. What we do is we work with alternate fibres which may give the feel of a silk or any other expensive fibre but is far more cheaper,” shares Ankit, who is doing both hand and machine quilting, mixing different techniques from embroideries to other surface ornamentations. The FOB rates of the quilts start from somewhere around US $ 40 going up to US $ 250 and for cushion covers it ranges from US $ 3 to US $ 20. Quilts are mainly with lots of blending but cotton is still the favourite with most of the buyers. “We do a lot of cotton velvets which is quite a niche product; we also do a little bit of silk and linen and of course when a customer gets very price conscious then we use polyester as well,” says Ankit. Exploring newer markets and newer product categories is the agenda for Renaissance. The company is now looking at penetrating deeper into CIS countries which broke away from USSR, Latin America and South Africa. “All these are emerging economies and their purchasing power is reasonably growing. As we deal in high-end products, it would be easier for us to penetrate in these markets though volumes might not be huge,” points out Ankit, who is already working with a buyer in Kazakhstan and one in South Africa. Besides newer market, Renaissance has recently ventured into non textile products as there is tough competition in textiles, so rather than diversifying in textile based products, the company has started home fragrance products like candles, potpourri and the likes. “We got into quilts and cushions ten years back and at that time we were almost minting money because there was hardly any competition but gradually more players started mushrooming and our margins started shrinking so to make money we have to see newer and niche options,” says Ankit. He is very confident that the new category he has initiated will result in growth. “We think that is going to be developing very well; our philo sophy is very clear we do not want to compete on a market which is already saturated. It’s ideal to get into something where not many players are there so that we derive better margins,” avers Ankit who has bought off a brand in UK which was dealing in these products. Right now, Renaissance is distributing home fragrance products in 41 countries and is planning to expand its buyer base across the globe. “We are investing our time efforts and energy in this product now because I think textile based home products are getting highly competitive and is not giving the kind of returns which it should,” shares Ankit who is looking at approximately 30% growth this year and feels that he is pretty much on track.