‘Our latest campaign is all about blurring gender lines’
Anant Daga is the Managing Director of TCNS Clothing Co. Ltd, the owner of leading womenswear brand ‘W’.
As head of one of India’s most innovative and pioneering fashion brands, Daga has overseen TCNS Clothing’s remarkable growth trajectory in the past few years.
“I think my key professional accomplishment has been creating a winning team at TCNS Clothing, which has resulted in our business growing over seven times in just five years,” he says.
Prior to his appointment at TCNS Clothing, Daga spent seven years at Reebok India, where he was Director-Sales at the time of his departure from the sportswear major.
His mantras for business success include sustaining a strong, intuitive connect with consumers, investing in supply chain efficiency and leveraging technology at every stage to stay ahead of curve.
He has also worked with ICICI Bank as Manager – Financial Institutional Group.
He completed his management studies from Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.
Contemporary ethnic wear firm TCNS Clothing Co has come a long way with its Indo-western / women’s apparel brand W over the last decade. Beginning with ‘W’ the company has made two additions in the form of Aurelia (ethnic wear) and Wishful (premium apparels) to it portfolio thus expanding its offerings in the market.
Propelling ahead with its IPO in 2018, TCNS Clothing, owner of women-centric apparel brands ‘W’, Aurelia and the latest addition, Wishful, has come a long way. The brand attributes its success to a successful retail model and product genre. The journey for TCNS has been exhilarating that culminated in a strong portfolio of 500+ exclusive stores and thousands of SISs.
AG. ‘W’ is the leading women’s wear brand which designs manufactures and retails contemporary fashion apparel and accessories for the modern Indian women. It appropriates the mindscape of the contemporary Indian woman – a unique confluence of Indian and western sensibilities. ‘W’ revolutionized the Indian retail space with its unique design philosophy and since then has remained true to its promise of being a step ahead of the fashion curve. Over the years the brand has constantly worked on providing contemporary fashion to the consumers, taking inspirations for the latest fashion trends & forecasts from the west and transforming them into silhouettes and styles relevant to the contemporary Indian woman. W caters to a woman who is independent, spirited, confident and imbues modernity with an Indian essence
AD: Indian Contemporary women’s wear is the fastest growing segment of the market today. It’s the largest category after ethnic wear i.e sarees. However, organized retail is still a small part of the business though growing at a stupendous rate. ‘W’ is the one of the largest organized player in the segment and enjoys the leadership position.
AD: ‘W’ was launched in 2003 by TCNS Clothing Co. which is part of a leading export house TCNS. The brand grew out of the need to offer the contemporary Indian woman, innovative ready to wear that combine fashion and functionality. With a unique design sensibility, the Indian salwar-kameez was transformed into its chic & urbane – yet comfortable form. This was the first such attempt at reinventing Indian fashion.
AD. The retail industry has been hit hard by COVID-19. Operations were completely shut till gradual unlocking started in early May. Things have been on a progressive recovery curve but even as on date, operations continue to be disrupted. We have seen both supply and demand-side challenges with a set of different issues ranging from workers scarcity to customer’s reluctance to step out of homes. The impact on financial and operational efficiencies has been severe across our industry.
AD. The recovery in the retail sector hinges on few factors – how the pandemic spans out and our response to the same, how quickly the broader economy picks up, and the emergence of the strong reason for consumers to come back to stores. We have seen less disrupted markets recovering far better than their counterparts. We have also seen a significant demand surge during Eid and Rakshabandhan period. All our direct to consumer initiatives giving her an opportunity to shop from her place of comfort have yielded great results. All these make us believe that there is latent demand and continued strong consumer interest in the category. Given a higher disposition towards discretionary spending during festive times and hopefully better accessibility by then, the festive period could see meaningful recovery.
While there is no definitive answer to this question right now, it is crucial for organizations to be extremely agile and build in required flexibilities in terms of range architecture, inventory management and go to market strategies. It is important to have requisite readiness to respond to different possible scenarios.
AD. Festivities always give consumers a strong reason to indulge in discretionary spending. Given the long hiatus of consumers from many of these categories, we expect a meaningful recovery this festive. We have seen encouraging trends during Eid and Rakshabandhan last month and hope to see that trend continue going forward. However, a lot will depend on how the pandemic pans out and our response to the same.
AD. Over the years, we have been able to build both strong online and offline presence. We are a brand company and different distribution channels are means to reach and service our consumers in the best possible way. We are on our journey of becoming a truly omnichannel business – offering a seamless online-offline experience to our consumers and e-commerce has a key role to play in this.
AD. TCNS is a clothing company that has closed its anchor book for the IPO yesterday. We have raised Rs 337 crore. We are happy to share that some of the biggest marquee names of investing world have come aboard. Fidelity Management & Research, Goldman Sachs, GMO, ChrysCapital, Axis Mutual Fund, Birla Mutual Fund, ICICI Pru are some the names that in our anchor book. We are also very excited for the next three days. TCNS Clothing Company is a fashion platform with three very strong brands — W, Aurelia, and Wishful. We operate in space of Indian ethnic wear for women. The company is one of the few professionally run organisations today in this segment with deep shareholding by employees.
We have a proven product and retail model across geographies and across channels, which makes us one of the very few national level players in this line of business. One of the key strengths that we have is the art of balancing creativity and commerce. We have an institutional design process run by a strong supply chain. We are a multichannel, multibrand business with a strong focus on products. We are much more product centric and channel agnostic.We have an extremely capital efficient model with high return metrics of almost 40%.