Opportunities are growing simultaneously along with the increasing challenges for apparel manufacturers and retailers, as retailers are changing their strategies to put in their best in these difficult times. Many global retailers are already sourcing from India and now they are increasing their sourcing from India. One such prestigious retailer is The Netherlands-based The Sting Company.
Having 160 stores of its own and with a turnover of 400 million euros, the company is one of the main Dutch retailers. Offering all kinds of product categories for men and women, the 40-year-old company has many brands under its portfolio like The Sting Multi Brand, Costes, Cotton Club and Distrikt. Sting Sourcing and Productions is its exclusive sourcing division. With sourcing offices in China, Hong Kong and Turkey, the company recently restructured its India office and Subaash Dhananjayan has been appointed as its MD-India & South Asia. In discussion with Apparel Resources, Subaash candidly shared his planning and strategies for sourcing from India.
400 million euros sale
The Sting as a company has had connection with India for 15 years through multiple channels in a scattered way and now with its own office set up for India and South Asia region, it has embarked upon a focused approach through a single channel for maximising its sourcing. Subaash asserts, “The overall sourcing potential of The Sting brands as of last year was 110 million euros and we are working on to build up a strong and sustainable supplier base in India and South Asia region to meet all our requirements in circular knits, flat knits, denim, woven shirts, trousers, soft woven dresses, etc.”
China and Turkey contribute 85 per cent of the total sourcing of the company and balance sourcing happens from other countries like India, Bangladesh and Morocco. However, presently the company is inclining more strongly towards India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar in its pursuit to develop these regions as its significant sourcing bases.
85% sourcing is currently from China and Turkey
25% of the total sourcing in next 2 years shall be from India and South Asia
“So far India is an untapped potential for the company, so it has a clear strategy for India to explore the maximum in all categories of products,” states Subaash. Being a commercial, premium and prestigious brand with a very strong reputation in business, he is hopeful that the company will be able to manage costing with a focused partnership approach with limited suppliers’ base, leading to a win-win business strategy. He further adds that the clear strategy of their office in India is to increase the sourcing share from India and other South Asian countries by 25 per cent in next 2 years.
The Sting’s India office is building a strong team with 10 professionals already assigned with different roles and responsibilities. Currently, it operates and manages the business from Tirupur since there is a strong focus there on the knit category. “In future, based on the requirements, we would have few more satellite offices across India and South Asia to control the overall business,” Subaash tells.
The company is looking for new vendors across all categories of products and the KPI with regard to the selection of vendors would be speed and accuracy in new developments and order delivery, self-controlled quality performance, continuous inputs on newness in fabrics and designs. Besides, sustainability initiatives like organic products, using green energy, recycled and CSR initiatives are also on the company’s agenda.
Having 22 years of experience in various segments of the fashion industry, Subaash feels that this new opportunity is like a dream destination for him. He now feels more responsible and needs to connect all the dots to make the vision of the company come true in the shortest possible time. He concludes, “My strong network across the country at different levels is going to play a major role in making this a successful journey. It is teamwork and with the right team and right vendor partners with mutual respect and understanding, I am very confident that as a team, we can meet the purpose.”