Ankur Textiles, Lifestyle Division of Arvind Limited is a leader in the Voiles Segment for womenswear. The company reaches out to more than 10,000 retail outlets throughout India. For more than five decades, Ankur has been designing high-quality voiles ranging from 100 per cent cotton to all fancy blends that are available throughout India and exported to Switzerland, Middle East, China, Thailand and Africa. A heritage brand of Arvind, Ankur develops high-quality fabrics for womenswear and menswear. The company recently expanded into multi-fibre fabrics segment for womenswear. To know more about the overall business, product portfolio, trends in the industry and the way forward plans for the company, Apparel Views Editorial team interviewed Brijesh Bhati, CEO, Ankur Textiles. Given are some excerpts….
Please tell us more about Ankur Textiles, including your manufacturing facilities and different types of fabrics you are offering?
Ankur Textiles, a division of $1.7 bn textile-to-retail conglomerate Arvind Limited, is India’s largest organised manufacturer of Lifestyle voiles fabric. We make tailor-made products in ethnic-wear and ladies dress material using a wide range of fabric such as Cotton, PC, PV, Ramie etc. We deliver a wide range of colours and printed fabrics. Chakori, Tip-Top, and Panama are some of our biggest brands. We have over 500 products, a network of around 150 dealers, and presence in over 7,500 retail outlets across India. Our Swiss voiles are exported to Switzerland, Sri Lanka, and countries in the Middle East.
What was the reason behind expanding into multi-fibre fabrics for women’s wear?
We wanted to produce fabrics that would substitute traditional cotton, so we introduced a wide range of modal, viscose, cotton Lycra blended fabrics. These fabrics are designed for contemporary Indian women and are available under brands like Zoya, Glam and Glory, Blossom, Zoya Silk, and Lilac. They can be tailor-made into Western and ethnic womenswear such as dresses, blouses, kurtis, and tunics.
Out of your total production how much are you exporting and supplying domestically?
Majority of our fabrics are sold domestically.
What kind of distribution network Ankur Textiles has right now?
And, what are your promotional strategies?
Our distribution network includes 7,500 retailers and 150 dealers across India. We plan to double this number in next 3-4 years. We are currently investing our time and energy into creating separate, secondary sales force for promoting the ‘Ankur’ products, especially in tier-2 and tier-3 cities. Our brands, Tiptop and Chakori, enjoy a very strong recall in PAN India and we are investing significantly to create more legacy products to make them equally popular in the country. We want to have top-of-the-mind recall amongst women in both the Indo Western fashion and Indian ethnic-wear segments.
What edge does Ankur Textiles has over other companies operating in this segment?
We have a strong network of dealers across the country, which enables us to reach customers faster. We have built a reputation for having the shortest lead time and for offering a wide range of colours in each category.
What challenges as a fabric manufacturer and supplier you are facing today?
It is a challenge to keep pace with innovations and changing consumer preference in a disruptive, fast-fashion market like womenswear.
What are the latest trends in fabrics?
The seasonal trends for women’swear in India are driven by festive and wedding seasons, and they vary widely depending on local tastes and preferences. In the last 2-3 years, fashion tastes have shown an inclination towards jacquards and prints. Women’swear fabrics need soft and fluid drape, hence modals, Tencels and their intelligent blends would become extremely popular.
What is the present status of the Indian fabric industry?
The textile industry currently contributes to 4 per cent of India’s GDP and to 15 per cent of the country’s export earnings. With over 45 mn direct employment opportunities, it is one of largest sources of employment generation in the country. The government has been focussing on increasing textile manufacturing by building superior manufacturing infrastructure, bringing in innovative technologies and enhancing skills in the textile industry.
How do you look forward to 2019-20 for the textile industry?
Future of textiles is extremely bright in the Indian context. The Indian consumer is becoming more andmore discerning and aware and so demand of Indian fabrics will always be increasing and supreme.
What are Ankur Textiles way forward plans?
We plan to broaden our product basket by diversifying into high-end prints for domestic as well as international markets. Our current manufacturing capacity is 50 mn mtr per annum and we aim to reach 60 mn mtr per annum in the next three years. We also plan to have a comprehensive offering comprising of smart fabrics with distinctive functional features like moisture management; and soilresistant, oil-repellent, and thermal properties. We might also experiment with fibres such as nylon and hollow yarn.