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Brand Profile: Flying Machine

India Launch: 1980

Parent Company: Arvind Ltd’s Garment Division

Brand Format: Brick-and-mortar and D2C

CEO: Nidhi Raj

 

About the Brand

Flying Machine is a brand that is owned by Arvind Ltd.’s garment division. It started in 1980 and is India’s first homegrown denim brand that was created to appeal to the younger generation of the country. It designs and sells apparel that is fresh, young, and that are driven to innovate and set trends.

The brand originated at a time when only smuggled jeans or denim were available in the country. Their idea of providing customers with Indian-made denim was an instant hit and the brand developed a huge following for the next ten years. By 1994, it had become a leader in branded jeans in India.

Today, Flying Machine is a trendsetter that chooses to constantly innovate and cater to the fashion-conscious men of the country. The brand is recognized as trendy and premium by its target audience who are mostly millennials.

About Arvind Ltd.

Arvind Limited, formerly known as Arvind Mills, is a textile manufacturing company of the Lalbhai Group. Its headquarters and additional units are located in Gujarat, India. The company manufactures cotton shirting, denim, knits, and bottom-weight (khaki) fabrics.

In the early 1980s, the ‘Reno-vision’ project was led by Sanjay S. Lalbhai, who is also the current Chairman and Managing Director of Arvind and Lalbhai Group. Through this project, the company brought denim into the domestic market, thus starting the jeans revolution in India.

Today, the company retails through brands beyond Flying Machine, like Newport and Excalibur, and licensed international brands like Arrow, Tommy Hilfiger, and Calvin Klein through its nationwide retail network.  Arvind also runs three clothing and accessories retail chains, the Arvind Store, Unlimited, and Megamart, which stock company brands.

India Presence

Nidhi Raj is the current Chief Executive Officer of Flying Machine at Arvind Fashions Limited. The company retails through brick and mortar as well as through a D2C medium. It has around 1300 stand-alone stores and around 5000 departmental and multi-brand stores across India. By 2014, the brand had grown from a 170 crore brand to around a 350 crore one.

Because Flying Machine was incepted in the 80s, it ranked alongside the few brands back in the day that had entered the denim category in India. Along with the brand, the idea of denim in general, was fairly new in the market. Because of this, the need for the product and its consumption was very low.

Despite these initial setbacks, Flying Machine maintained a good public image and reputation and was positioned in the retail market as a ‘guaranteed brand’ due to its unique pricing and product innovation.

Challenges Faced

As the retail market in India advanced, brands started opting for more of an online presence to boost their profile, value, and reach. Although Flying Machine had an online presence, it started experiencing operational hurdles and stagnancy because of a lack of an omnipresence strategy.

As the brand achieved a decent amount of success online, it realized that to keep up with a similar growth trajectory, it needed to expand its presence across multiple channels and marketplaces. But doing so would require more technological aid and smart, modern-day algorithms that would help in enabling the brand to boost its growth and market presence.

How the Brand overcame them

To overcome these challenges they partnered with Ace Turtle; a vertically integrated tech platform, that transforms retail through technology. The e-commerce platform is at the forefront of new-age commerce and brings efficiency and scalability through the digital transformation of traditional brands and retailers.

Ace Turtle’s omnichannel platform Rubicon enabled Flying Machine to handle increased inventory levels while simultaneously automating and optimizing its catalog across multiple marketplaces. The platform integrated all the stock points of Flying Machine and provided a single view of inventory to multiple marketplaces. With Ace Turtle, Flying Machine was able to increase its inventory significantly and expand its presence across multiple marketplaces.

Since integrating with the Rubicon platform, Flying Machine has increased its online visibility, strengthened its marketplace business, and grown its sales quite significantly. Moreover, the platform allowed Flying Machine to showcase all their categories and reach out to newer marketplaces, and significantly increase their sell-throughs.

Following are some of the positive impacts and growth that Flying Machine achieved after using Ace-Turtle’s services –

  • 23 times rise in Gross Merchandise Value
  • 22 times rise in orders across marketplaces
  • The fulfillment rate increased to 99%
  • Sell-through increased by 25%

Company’s USP

Despite initial upheavals in its operations and public presence, Flying Machine has managed to maintain its status of being a recognizable, premium brand to date. Here are some of the brand’s USPs that have enabled its market success –

  • The Brand has tied up with Italian designers to get an Italian touch to Indian clothing. This gives its wearables an international feel despite being homegrown.
  • It owns over 100 stores in India and is present in five countries abroad.
  • Belonging to Arvind Ltd adds to Flying Machine’s brand image in the retail market and makes it reputable and trustworthy when it comes to investors, bagging the best brand ambassadors, and more.
  • It mainly caters to the youth, whose segment is huge in the Indian market.
  • The brand undertakes good advertising and brand building through its ad campaigns, such as the company’s 2019 ‘Zero-Gravity’ campaign for its F-Lite denim.
  • The brand is premium and high quality yet affordable.

Sustainability Initiatives:

In 2018, Flying Machine in a press release said,The world is on its way to define a sustainable future, and rightly so. It is high time that brands begin taking responsibility in initiating the call for the days to come.”

The brand stands for eco-friendly and fair retail practices and here are some of the initiatives it has undertaken to become more sustainable –

  • Flying Machine has a line of eco-friendly clothing that is created using recycled PET bottles and includes organic cotton.
  • This line also involves the use of natural dyes as opposed to its chemical-based counterparts, which play a key role in polluting water bodies.
  • While most of their collection features a generous spread of monochromatic jeans, shirts and tees the focus largely is also on sustainability.

 

 

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