The owners of Mumbai-based fashion house Kimaya Studios are said to be involved in preliminary talks with a host of private equity (PE) firms to divest around 20 per cent stake in the company for close to Rs.100 crore. The funds raised will be channelised towards expansion plans and ramp up the number of stores in the country.
“India has the potential to become the next fashion hub of the world. Fashion has moved beyond metros and large cities, and become a pan-India language. Therefore, we are looking to expand our operation in a significant way,” said Pradeep Hirani, who along with wife Neha Hirani, set up Kimaya in 2002. He, however, refused to divulge details of his fund-raising plan.
Kimaya plans to open at least 50 multi-brand retail stores in the country over the next three years from the existing 16 stores. Some of these stores will come up in tier-I and tier-II cities such as Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Surat and Ahmedabad. Besides, it is also looking to foray into the US and European markets after setting up shop in Dubai.
The company is soon going to launch its private label Pret, which will be positioned as the premium apparel and accessory brand. Kimaya currently caters to the super luxury consumer segment.
As the country’s economy expands and more middle-class Indians spend on discretionary items such as fashion, private equity investors are eyeing these areas as the next growth opportunity. “We are witnessing an upward mobility across all income groups with people shifting from unbranded clothes to branded and it is this shift that is boosting PE investments in the sector,” said Vibhor Mehra, principal at SAIF Partners, a private equity fund, which recently invested Rs.70 crore in Catmoss, the Delhi-based kidswear retail chain, for a 30 per cent stake.
– IndiaRetailing Bureau