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‘Branding, a key driver of Indian clothing industry’

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‘Branding, a key driver of Indian clothing industry’

Changing pattern in clothing reflect changes in lifestyle, mindset and economic status. Reason enough for us to look at trends in clothing market that can have a larger impact, beyond ‘new campaigns’ and ad spends. The IMAGES-KSA Technopak study on the Indian Clothing Market gives us some interesting insights.

According to the study, till the early 90’s, the unorganized players catered to almost 97% of the clothing market of India. And then branding, particularly in male-wear began to change the structure.

The study puts total size of the domestic clothing market at Rs. 431 billion where the share of men’s, women’s and kid’s wear is 46%, 37%, and 17% respectively. In value terms, readymade fetched over 300 billion that’s about 70% of the total apparel market.

However the total ‘branded’ market is about Rs. 90 billion only but is growing fast. It has grown at about 20% per annum in the last 3 years. Refer table 1 below for a detailed break up.

Growth of Branded Segment in India-in million Rs. and percentages
Category 1998-99 Growth (%)
Growth (%)
Growth (%)
Men 30670 19 36500 20 43800 22 53450
Women 17000 22 20750 22 25320 23 31140
Children 3900 12 4360 10 4800 14 5450
Total 51570 19 61610 16 71520 26 90040

Source: IMAGES-KSA Technopak Study

But what is driving this move towards the branded clothing? Says Harminder Sahni, Associate Director, KSA Technopak, “The shift is basically because of the Convenience. Status, Quality and Fashion orientation are among other reasons for this shift. “

Agrees R S Roy, Managing Editor, Images – a magazine on commercial aspects of fashion, ” We are in the era of ready-mades. It’s not only the garments; we prefer today everything ready-made – house, furniture, jewellery, food and so on.” He further adds, “Rising disposable income, quality awareness, fashion consciousness coupled with exposure to media, travel and growing excitement in the marketplace enthuse consumers to go brand savvy. Today’s consumers want to relate themselves with brands that match their lifestyle or that they aspire for. “

Let’s take a quick look into the branded Men’s Wear segment, which is accounted to be Rs. 53 billion. Here, the shirt holds the largest chunk with 38% share, followed by T-shirts - 14% share. Trousers and Jeans, which have similar share adding upto 26%. Interestingly the ‘active Sportwear’ segment account to mere 1% share, even less than socks!

On the other hand, the branded women-clothing accounts for Rs. 31 billion. The most dominated segment is of Sarees, which enjoys a share of 68%, followed by the inner- wear, which holds a share of 11%.

“Largest spenders for branded clothing are men between 20 -40 years age group in urban areas. And it is mainly because there isn't much ready to wear branded clothing available for women”, asserts Sahni. Table 2 has more insights

Male spending on clothing
Age Group People in million by Sep.2001 Number of Individuals % of Total population % of spending on clothing Spending on clothing (Rs. Million)
0-14 356 184      
15-24 202 105 30 27 53482
25-34 160 83 24 30 59424
35-44 126 66 19 22 43578
45-59 120 62 18 14 27731
60+ 73 38 11 7 13866
Above 14 681 353      
Total 1037 537     198080

Source: IMAGES-KSA Technopak Study

This perhaps explains the rush to launch other male clothing brands. According to the study, there are over 125 significant brands in the market already. Perhaps the opportunity lies in another segment. Wait till we bring out the next part based on this research.


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