As Harshad Thakkar, Managing Director, Ashapura Apparels opines, “The aim is to cover every aspect of the business from yarn, knitting, dyeing, and processing, printing, garmenting, to retailing. If we go in for an SME listing it will happen in 2012. And if we go mainstream, then it will be in 2013. Whatever money we get from the IPO, will go into business expansion. We will have EBOs and a new production unit.”
Adding further, he says, “Since Indian brands have great designs in lounge wear, if I get a chance, I want to launch my brand overseas.” At the moment, Valentine offers an extensive range of bridal wear, home-wear, loungewear and sportswear. Started in 1999 in Mumbai, the company launched with a range of exclusive lingerie and bridal wear suited for the Indian market. With the instant success of its range and subsequent growth of the company new additions were made to its collections. Products like ladies nightwear, lounge wear were added. Today, the two exclusive brands ‘Valentine’ and ‘Nightline’ cater to women/girls and men/boys, respectively.
This year Valentine loungewear closed with a turnover of Rs 101 crores, while the group’s turnover was Rs 170 crores. The company has a unit and warehouse spread over 1,20,000 sq. ft. on the outskirts of Mumbai. The extensive product line consists of lounge wear, lingerie, bridal wear, nighties, slips, sportswear and another brand Night and Day under its umbrella has three categories: maternity wear, bridal premium two piece gowns, and nighties.
Commenting on their product’s USP Thakkar says, “Comfort is the most essential quality one looks for in an attire, apart from quality, fabric, range, fit and style. A culmination of all these is what makes Valentine an exclusive choice for men and women of all ages. Every piece of clothing from Valentine has been exclusive designed, styled and created to suit the needs of contemporary women and men.”
The collection is present in over 5,000 retail stores across India like Big Life Ritu Wears, C&M, Globus, Aristocrat, Bindals, Femina Town, La Lingerie, and Half Ticket. It has more than 20 distributors. “With a wide network of distributors, brand Valentine is now available in all leading retail stores across India. We already have three exclusive stores in Mumbai and plan to launch 20 to 25 more by 2013 in the city. Our Mumbai stores will be company owned and managed. Then we will have franchisees,” Thakkar explains.
Over the last decade, Valentine has evolved globally as well offering a complete family range. The company now exports to UAE, Saudi, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Sri Lanka, and Nepal. Exports contribute 10 per cent of its turnover and the company aims to increase it to 30 per cent by adding more countries.