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‘BIBA has the highest online brand recall amongst all Indian wear brands’

BIBA has significantly diversified its product portfolio in the last few years. It has been working towards developing a ‘complete look’ for its customers by increasing the range of products offered by its brands in adjacent categories such as jewellery, footwear, wallets and fragrances. In a tell-all chat with IMAGES Business of Fashion, Siddharath Bindra, Managing Director, BIBA Fashion Limited, talks about how the brand is positioned in the ethnic wear industry, its products portfolio, retail strategy, expansion plans and much more.

Excerpts from the exclusive interview…

How is BIBA positioned in the Indian ethnicwear market?

BIBA Apparels, the leading Indian wear brand, has positioned itself as a leading player in the market. With its established presence and reputation in the industry, we are at the forefront of the ethnic wear market, providing its customers with a wide range of traditional and contemporary apparel choices.

BIBA is a ‘category creator’ in the women’s Indian wear segment benefiting from a rich legacy, leading market position across the category and an industry leading online presence. We develop, design, source, market and sell a wide portfolio of Indian wear for women and girls across multiple brands, namely our flagship brand, BIBA, and our value fashion brand, Rangriti.

Our products are specifically tailored for the Indian consumer, our range of products offer distinct price points for our consumers. Furthermore we have the highest online brand recall amongst Indian wear brands, as of February 2022 (Source: Technopak Report).

Market Research

According to a Statista report, the ethnic wear market in India was in excess of Rs. 925 billion in 2018, and it is projected to grow to Rs. 1.7 trillion by the end of this year i.e. 2023.

  • Over the past several years, the segment has seen a change due to the explosion of ethnic wear-related online retailers and technological advancements in product and design development.
  • The disproportionate size of Indian wear in womenswear is an outcome of the distinct positioning of Indian wear for women compared to that for men in India. For Indian women, Indian fashion is a mainstream need for daily wear use (in addition to strong occasion wear) whereas for men it is currently restricted to occasion wear viz. weddings and festivals.
  • Within Indian wear for kids, Indian wear for boy’s accounts for 7% of overall apparel for boys, while Indian wear for girls is ~21% of the overall apparel market for girls.

 

What separates BIBA from competition?

BIBA has several factors that set it apart from its competition. The company entered a largely unorganised market at the time of its commencement of operations and was one of the first brands to develop the women’s Indian wear market. This early entry allowed us to establish ourselves as a leading player in the market.

Over the years, we have expanded our product offerings beyond women’s Indian wear to kidswear and women’s accessories and have continued to maintain our position as one of the top brands in the women’s Indian wear market. Despite the competition, our early entry into the market and continued innovation has allowed us to maintain a strong position in the industry.

How much product portfolio diversification has happened in the last few years?

BIBA has significantly diversified its product portfolio in the last few years. The company has been working towards developing a ‘complete look’ for its customers by increasing the range of products offered by its brands in adjacent categories such as

  • Jewellery
  • Footwear
  • Wallets
  • Fragrances

We have been closely assessing consumer demand, international and local fashion trends and evolving market preferences to evaluate the feasibility of new types of product introductions.

In September 2021, we launched our fragrance under the beauty brand, Spelle, in 162 of our exclusive brand outlets.

The company’s efforts towards widening its audience and capitalizing on its pan-India distribution network have been met with success, and we continue to develop and launch additional products for women’s wardrobe requirements.

In what regions are you witnessing strong growth? To what factor/s would you attribute this?

  • BIBA has witnessed strong growth in Tier II, Tier III, and Tier IV cities across India.
  • The distributive growth across India has resulted in the growth of demand from these regions, which together accounted for 34% of the demand in the apparel market in the financial year 2020.
  • The company intends to capitalize on this trend by setting up new exclusive brand outlets and expanding its network in additional regions across India.

Given India’s diversity, how do you address divergent design tastes?

We have a broad range of products which are well-designed and high in quality. These include Ready-to-Stitch wear, kidswear, bottom-wear, and accessories.

Our product mix has evolved significantly over the past several years, and we continue to expand our product range to meet a varied range of consumer needs for its target segment.

What is your 2023-24 retail strategy? How many stores are you planning to launch and what is your location strategy?

  • We have already established a strong presence in Tier I cities in India and now intend to expand our focus to Tier II, Tier III and Tier IV cities to drive further growth and widen our reach among our target audience.
  • This expansion strategy is expected to enable us to capture the untapped potential of the Indian ethnic wear market and strengthen our leadership position.

Which fashion designers have you partnered with and why?

Our first range with a fashion designer was launched in 2016 and was a massive success. We followed it up with many more collaborations since then, including with several renowned designers such as Rohit Bal, Anju Modi, and Manish Arora, to name a few to bring fresh and innovative designs to customers and provide them with a unique shopping experience. This helps us periodically expand our product range while keeping up with changing fashion trends and these collections are sold through our EBOs, LFS and online channels.

As of now (2023) we have a BIBA by Rohit Bal collection which is our premium product range. This range caters to the premium formal and eveningwear segment.

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