Atul D Shah, owner and founder of Leegend & Caesar shares about the target audience, manufacturing and retailing plans, consumer engagement strategies and more about his brand.
Atul D Shah, founder and owner of Charchit Apparels, has grown up seeing his father, Devichand Hazarimal Shah, managing their garment business, which was then sold under the brand name Lovely Garments. In 1994, with his two brothers Amit D Shah and Ashish D Shah, Atul ventured independently into readymade garment manufacturing and marketing. The initial products manufactured by them was readymade kidswear. The brand Leegend came into existence in 2001, during which time they also started a manufacturing unit for men’s cotton trousers. Taking forward his father’s philosophy, Atul swears to follow the policy of always manufacturing garments with designs and quality that do not fade with time and remain in fashion. Henceforward, simplicity in diversity is their prime motto at work. Meanwhile, later in 2008, Charchit Apparels launched Caesar brand, through which they added denim and corduroy trousers to their collection. While Amit handles the designing unit of the garments, Ashish looks after the entire production process. It is sheer hard work of the brothers that has made Leegend and Caesar so popular among the masses.
CASUALWEAR MARKET IN INDIA
According to Atul, “The casualwear market in India is picking up. However, we are still far behind the western countries where people swear by the brands.” He further says, “Consumers’ awareness about garment quality and styling has given a boost to the casualwear market in India . Today, consumers are not ready to compromise; they want full value of the money they spend. International brands, which were earlier out of the reach of Indian consumers, are now easily available in the market. The style, look, material, etc. Have a deep impact on the choices of consumers while buying casualwear. When I compare the Indian market to that of European garment industry, I feel we still have a long way to go before we reach their level of quality, styles, trends, marketing and much more.” Furthermore, Atul feels that it may take another 2–3 years for the casualwear market to grow completely. According to his observation, particularly in the past fi ve years men have shown more liking and preference towards cotton trousers. Just a few years ago, men showed the same preference for denim trousers. Of late, men have realised the variations they Brand can get to wear in cotton trousers. At present, the market share for cotton trousers and denimwear is 50:50. Moreover, previously they used to buy rowdy colours but the choice has now shifted to pastel shades and basic colours in cotton trousers.
PRODUCT LINE AND TARGET AUDIENCE
The company’s target consumers are men between 30-40 years of age. They are usually from middle-class and upper-middle class income group. Therefore, tier-II cities are the main market of Leegend and Caesar, as the mid-segment consumer group is based in these cities. Under the brands Leegend and Caesar, Charchit Apparels offer cotton trousers, corduroy pants and denims. With simple style and pattern, it offers perfect fittings and elegant look that go unaffected by changing market trends. Also, the company usually avoids adding jazz and loud designing as it does not go down well with its target client base. Charchit Apparels boasts of using superfi ne fabrics and provide 100 percent guarantee on comfort and longevity. Recently, they have added a new product line of men’s casual shirts in half-sleeves and full-sleeves made from 100 percent cotton fabric to their collection.
The company has a good identity in the market and it enjoys monopoly in manufacturing corduroy and cotton trousers. These two are the fastest selling segments in the market and they fetch maximum profi t in terms of sales.
MANUFACTURING AND RETAILING
Atul Shah shares, “We source our fabrics from the best mills to get the products made at our factory unit. Before approving any fabric for making trousers, we take a 9X9 inch square piece of the fabric to check its shrinkage. Every garment has different shrinkage level. If it passes the set criteria, only then is the fabric used for making readymade garments.” Presently, the company does not sell its brands through any EBOs, but they have sales channel in MBOs across India . The number of MBOs is between 400 and 500 outlets. Moreover, majority of their sales are done by distributors in every region where they have a depot in each part of India, from there the retailers pick the brand products for selling to the consumers.
The best performing state in terms of sales and consumption is Maharashtra with Rs7 – Rs8 crore annual turnover and 15 percent growth rate. This is followed by Chennai with Rs3 – Rs4 crore and Bengaluru with Rs2 crore annual turnover. In Gujarat, Surat is the highest market yielding an annual turnover of Rs1.5 crore and contributing 10 percent growth in sales.
CONSUMER ENGAGEMENT POLICIES AND STRATEGIES
Since the beginning, Charchit Apparels has kept the prices of its products range uniform, with slight increase due to rise in fabric costs with time. Known for its quality and elegant product line, ‘word of mouth’ is Charchit Apparels’ main marketing tool.
The company believes in maintaining a very cordial relationship with their distributors and retailers. Timely payment to their sales channels is their priority. Thus, it has built a strong and intact team, which plays a signifi cant role in the growth and prosperity of Leegend and Caesar.