15 February 2019
How often do we see a manufacturing company with all its subtlety emerging as one of the mainstream brands and also reigning high with remarkable turnover and market presence in a short span? Certainly not many but Alcis Sports from the house of Paragon Apparels Private Limited is one such case. The journey started with a rising demand and inception of a trend in the country - athleisure, a trendy extension of sportswear with a mix of function, comfort and style. “As an industry, athleisure has evolved at a fast pace over the years. We are witnessing a retail boom of sorts in the country - both offline and online. As people are becoming fitness-conscious, there is an inherent demand for specialized apparel to aid their fitness pursuits. This is coupled with the rise in disposable incomes and the exposure to global trends has enabled the per capita consumption to grow substantially when it comes to the athleisure garments. While it is difficult to drill down the exact market size for this segment, the industry reports have pegged the sportswear market in India at around Rs 37,000 crore, growing at a CAGR of 23.7%,” asserts Ravish Nanda, Director, Alcis Sports.
Roshan Baid, MD, Alcis Sports and Paragon Apparels, narrates, “In 2016, we realized there was a huge gap in the sportswear market in India, which was dominated by international brands. India either had a low-quality sportswear or high priced one offered by foreign brands. Being the largest sportswear manufacturer in India for the past 17-18 years, we found ourselves in the best position to capitalize on the opportunity and we wanted to hit that sweet spot between quality and affordability and this gave birth to Alcis. India needs homegrown brands for the growth and we want to be a part of this growth story. Alcis caters to the Indian environmental conditions and geographical locations.”
Alcis prides in offering the quality of international brands, similarly the prices are kept as per the Indian context. While the decision to go ahead and enter into the retail was exciting, a lot went into making it a success that it is today. “We started from Paragon office and then created a different office for the brand... We were funded by Singapore-based VC firm RB Investments which helped us create the infrastructure, which was completely different from our manufacturing firm,” he adds. Alcis flaunts an expansive retail presence in 12 EBOs, 700 MBOs and around 200 large format stores, including retail outlets in tier-II & III regions. The brand started with the mens’ and womens’ products, wherein 60% of the product basket comprised of menswear and 40% includes womenswear. Recently, it incorporated the kids section in its selves.
It offers product assortments in categories like running, training, yoga, soccer, tennis, etc. in order to cater to its target consumers. The brand is targeting a population from 25-40 years. Alcis maintains that quality is a key for all its products. Apart from its two annual collections - Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter, Alcis creates SMU ranges for portals like Myntra, Flipkart and Jabong, and also for retail chains. In one season, Alcis offers 700 SKUs, which are distributed between its online and offline stores.
Nanda informs, “Ours is a 6-month cycle from product conceptualization to retail. The first three months go into sampling and range creation and the other half goes into delivering the product to the retail stores, the only company in India which is a yarn-to-retail. We have our own fabric mill set up with Korean collaboration, which enables us to produce quality fabrics rather importing from Korea or Taiwan. We are running 2,000 machines to produce 40,000 t-shirts and other merchandise, which are mainly synthetic performance-oriented fabrics, jacquard, plain or normal interlocks, body mapping fabrics, polyester and sometimes nylon and lycra as well.”
Majority of the fabric requirement is met in-house, Alcis does import extraordinary fabrics that are more technical and not available in India. Alcis also embraces sustainable development by setting up high manufacturing standards while minimizing the ecological impact.
With the athleisure trend gaining momentum, the segment is bridging the gap between casualwear and sportswear. The athleisure major sees a potential in tier-2, 3 areas. Presently, 60% of its revenue comes from this areas, while the remaining 40% comes from A-class towns and metros.
“Our average ticket size is around Rs 750 in summers and Rs 1,300 during winters. Moving forward, we are planning to open two flagship stores - Delhi and Mumbai. On an aggressive expansion drive, we will have 40 EBOs by the next financial year, majority of which will be franchise-operated. We are launching a premium collection, Alcis X Nari for Spring/Summer 2019. We will be soon launching accessories including shoes, caps, bags, socks, etc. in FY19,” maintains Baid.
Alcis prides in offering technological advancements in its product range, features like anti-odour, ice tech, oxy dry, reflex 360, etc. at an affordable price, offering lot of product differentiation, and having know-how of the international market and trends which helps the brand adapt to the changes in time. “We registered a turnover of Rs 24 crore during FY18 and expecting to close around Rs 60 crore for FY19 and Rs 120 crore for the next fiscal. We are growing at a phenomenal rate at par with the international brands and I don’t think any Indian brand can compete with us right now. If all goes well, we can even beat Adidas and Reebok in the next five years,” boasts Ravish.