With an enviable 15 per cent market share in the Indian innerwear market and a significant percentage in exports, Kolkata-based Dollar Industries Ltd. is a leader in branded innerwear segment. Initiated in 1972-73 by Shri Din Dayal Gupta, the company is extensively penetrated across 29 states in India. The brand offers a plethora of products, catering to various sets of consumers. Currently having a turnover of Rs. 1,030 crore, Dollar is targeting to become a Rs. 2,000 crore company by 2024. Apparel Resources spoke to Vinod Kumar Gupta, Managing Director, Dollar Industries Ltd., discussing the company’s strategies to achieve this target.
The ambitious target of the brand in these unprecedented times is backed by the long-term planning and right steps at all levels. Vinod agrees that the market is full of challenges now. While last few quarters were not very enthusiastic for the company, the COVID-19 pandemic has only worsened the situation. Despite that, the company is now geared up for long-term growth.
“The challenges are at various levels like the Indian retail industry consists of over 15 million retailers (small as well as big) and employees approximately 40-50 million Indians. The pandemic and lockdown have majorly impacted the sector. A number of layoffs have happened during the lockdown. Secondly, the sector has witnessed a major shift in consumer behaviour from offline to online shopping. Therefore, a number of brands are venturing into e-commerce space as a part of their sustenance strategy. Another major shift in consumer behaviour is that they may choose to purchase products that are really required and restrict their expenses. Though there is a significant impact on the sector, I am hopeful that the recovery process will take time and happen gradually,” said Vinod.
One of the main reasons for this strong growth plan is the recent developments by the company as it revamped its brand architecture and consolidated all its products into five broad categories – Dollar Man, Dollar Woman, Dollar Junior, Dollar Always and Dollar Thermals. Each category consists of various product ranges. Just a month back, the brand came with up a new identity including a logo as well as a punch line – ‘Wear the Change’.
“With our youthful new outlook, we aspire to reach out to potential consumers in addition to the existing ones. We are constantly improving our supply chain management to expand our consumer base. Along with that, we will also enhance our product portfolio in the near future,” highlighted Vinod.
Similarly, the brand has consolidated its manufacturing facilities. Having four manufacturing units in Tirupur, Delhi, Ludhiana and Kolkata, it has already established a consolidated manufacturing unit – with end-to-end facilities required for its products. It is the first Indian innerwear company to have a fully integrated manufacturing unit which is equipped with all the latest processing technology and the top-most finishing range to produce finished raw material dyed in any possible colour.
The company is not leaving any stone unturned, like it recognised the immense potential of e-commerce portals and sells its products through various portals. Vinod informed, “Interestingly, post our rebranding exercise, we witnessed four times growth in our online sales.”
India is the primary market for the company. In addition to Tier-1 markets, it caters to Tier-2 and Tier-3 regions as well. In fact, a large part of its consumers is based in rural areas. At the same time, Dollar has emerged as the highest-selling Indian innerwear brand in the UAE and the Middle East. Marking its presence in countries like Oman, Basra, Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Yemen, Iraq, Myanmar, Nepal and Nigeria, the brand is further exploring new overseas markets. The company is extending its horizons gradually and testing deeper waters. “We are on the roadmap to venture and explore newer opportunities. As and when that happens, we shall explore other markets as well,” commented Vinod.
The brand is also working collectively to ensure more growth opportunities, like its joint venture with Pepe Jeans has been tremendously fruitful and it created a very exciting range of products for overseas markets. The joint venture helped Dollar increase their market share and penetrate the premium innerwear segment.
There is a very tough competition in innerwear segment, be it other strong Indian or global brands and start-ups, but Vinod is not worried about this, “India consists of a vast consumer base, with varied aspirations and opportunities. The consumers that we cater to differ from the consumer target audience of newer players. Overall, the sector consists of a wide gap and has presented immense opportunities for these players to capitalise on. Additionally, the usage of artificial intelligence (AI) and Customer Relationship Management Systems (CRMs) has helped them to understand consumer behaviour and demographics.
“Undergarments or innerwear is a basic human necessity and the product category is next to essential services. Therefore, there is a constant demand for these products. We are witnessing a growth in demand gradually. We have a vision to emerge as a complete brand and distribution company present across multiple categories of fashionwear – from garments to innerwear,” he concluded.