The Indian lingerie market has witnessed a major boom in the last decade, and is now considered to be one of the fastest moving categories in India with a growth of 15 per cent CAGR. As inner wear graduates into a staple in the Indian women’s wardrobe, the industry has burgeoned, albeit in pockets of different states in India as a small scale unorganised sector.
But is the Indian lingerie industry competent enough to cash in on the rising opportunity and rival the global brands?
CEO, MAS Brands India and Sri Lanka’s premium lingerie brand, amanté, Vivek Mehta says that with a lot of international brands communicating with the consumer, the Indian women has started to see lingerie as a fashion category.
In an exclusive interview with Indiaretailing Bureau, Mehta talks about the growth of the lingerie category in the country, and the challenges they face in a market like India.
Lingerie is no longer regarded as just an undergarment but is worn as a fashionable article of clothing, worldwide. Has India come of age, according to you, as far as lingerie is concerned?
In India, a large percentage of population still considers lingerie a basic necessity. That being said, the trend has been rapidly changing over the last few years. With a lot of international brands communicating with the consumer, the Indian woman has started to view lingerie as a fashion category.
As far as amanté is concerned, we have witnessed that the more fashion-oriented part of the portfolio is growing disproportionately faster than regular wear. The new age Indian woman is now willing to spend to look good inside as well as outside and understands that fashion starts with perfect lingerie.
There is still a long way to go as far as lingerie in India is concerned, but I’m confident that in a few years, the divide with the West should completely disappear as far as the urban Indian consumer goes.
What is the demand – in terms of percentage – of luxury lingerie in India?
The demand for premium and luxury lingerie is still extremely small in India. According to our estimates it is about 5 per cent of the overall market but growing about 25-30 per cent YoY.
What innovations have you introduced in your products?
Passionate and uncompromising with brand experience, amanté’s international design and styling has always been the focus of its collections. The brand uses the finest material and accessories to suit modern women. Through the years, amanté has offered its consumer better products through its innovations, be in it seamless bra, the no show Vanish Panty or daily comfort with Aloe Vera finish. The year 2010 also saw the brand being voted as ‘Product of the Year’ in the lingerie category.
Is your lingerie produced locally in India?
Our products are 100 per cent imported and made at the factories of MAS Holdings, South Asia’s largest supplier of niche market intimate wear. The brand embodies 25+ years of excellence held by the conglomerate in lingerie manufacturing. The brand’s fully integrated supply chain and design offices in New York, London and Hong Kong offer a premium product set to the latest international trends and styling.
The innerwear market in India has traditionally been dominated by unorganised players. However, in the last few years, the organised segment has shown promising growth. Where, in your opinion, is the lingerie market currently headed in India?
We think the Indian lingerie industry has been going through a significant transformation. The industry will see more organised players and a lot international players entering the market. Similar to other mature markets, we will probably see a few brands which will understand and cater to the Indian consumer needs dominate the market. This is our aspiration for amanté as well. We want to be a dominant intimate brand in this rapidly changing market.
Where is amanté ranked in the Indian market?
amanté is one of the leading premium lingerie brands. We are a brand of choice across all sales channels and research indicates we are also amongst the more aspired and recalled brands in the premium lingerie category.
What is the size of the global lingerie market? What is amanté’s share?
There are a lot of projections about the lingerie market in India. Current estimates will peg it between US $2.5 to 3 billion. amanté enjoys upwards of 20 per cent share in the premium lingerie category.
What is the contribution of online and offline channels in the overall revenue? Do you see it changing, going forward?
The online chain has seen a growth of 5X in the last two years, and now is a significant contributor to the overall business. We can see a 2x growth from this channel for the coming two years.