The Indian Intimate Wear Market
Its Current Scenario, Growth, The Market Players and Their Latest Strategies
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© Paulomi Patel 2008
Innerwear (underwear) today has achieved new dimensions. An unending list of brands present in the Indian lingerie market is the proof of the great potential of the market in India. The strong Indian middle class is still growing and attracts even the foreign lingerie manufacturers to latch on to the Indian bandwagon. With faster lifestyles, people in the developed nations have lesser time to shop, add to that the economic slowdown currently facing the western nations. This has led the innerwear industry to spend more time looking for new markets such as China and India where people, especially women not only have more time on their hands, but also have a growing disposable income. In such a scenario it is important to analyze the innerwear market in India to understand the direction in which it is headed.
Innerwear has slowly come out of the closet in India today. About a decade ago the subject of lingerie was discussed in hushed tones. Today the scenario has changed. People are more comfortable talking about lingerie now. Purchasing intimate wear is a common phenomenon and companies selling undergarment brands are gaining popularity and awareness. Also consequently, these innerwear retailers are going full throttle in making their products visible and tempting. It is safe to say that currently, intimate apparel is a strong business segment in India, vying for a good part of the customer’s pocket.
The innerwear market in India is currently valued at over Rs.5500 crore in value and some 100 crore in units. Presently, there are more than 1000 innerwear brands in the country, but hardly 20% of these are popularly known even nationally. Historically, the business has been very local-area-centric where manufacturers generally supply only in their vicinity and as a result, not many brands have gained a nation-wide status. About 70% of the Indian innerwear market is unorganized. These figures are fast changing though. With the influx of new national and international brands the lingerie sector is poised for a leap. This is a result of the increasing domestic demand coupled with more opportunities in the production and manufacturing sector.
PAULOMI PATEL Fashion Writer for the Autumn/Winter Catwalk Supplement, Vogue India.Responsible for expanding, revamping and starting the online version for the company magazine as the Communication Coordinator at Roots Canada. Specialized in covering fashion and entertainment related events as a Freelance Journalist – Indian Express, North American Edition.Invited to be a researcher and contributor for a coffee table book, Lord Rama – The Divine, to be launched in Toronto in 2008.Started a new section focusing on International Students as the Assistant Editor of The George Brown College Student Newspaper.