Ag Talk | The 'Killer' Instinct is now Alive

​Incorporated in 1981, and headquartered in Mumbai, Kewal Kiran Clothing Limited (KKCL) today is amongst the few large branded apparel manufacturers in India. They  have  customers in Asia, Middle East and CIS. The company designs, manufactures and markets branded jeans, and a wide range of apparel products for men and women. The manufacturing units are undoubtedly the real growth enablers for the company.

Being one of the early players in the Indian jeans industry, KKCL today has international manufacturing setups in Mumbai, Vapi and Daman. After completing about 30 plus years in the industry, the brand Killer is set to launch another brand that will be retailed through shop-in-shop and e-commerce platforms.

While ​​India’s denim apparel market is estimated to be worth INR 10, 980 crore and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 14% to reach INR 21, 250 crore by 2018. (Source: Technoc Analysis; The Denim Bible India- 2014), the brand has a​ ​market capitalization of around 2500 crore, the profits of the company scaled new peaks in the financial year ended March 2014 with a net profit of INR 67 crore, up 25 percent against INR 53.42 crore a year ago.

To get deeper insights on the brands growth so far, upcoming strategies and way forward, we at Adgully caught up with Hemant Jain, Founder, KKCL.

Adgully (AG): Share some insights on the  strategy for the Brand ?
Hemant Jain (HJ):
KKCL has been around for about 30 odd years now. We've always retailed our brand through our existing stores and now  we will be  retailing through other department stores as well.​ ​So its not a new new brand. It's an existing brand. We've not put much efforts  behind it till date ,however now  we're putting all our marketing muscle behind it. So the brand is all set to flourish in the market now. The timing is right..Sports wear  is for the new age​  young at  heart consumer.Like wearing Jeans has become a style statement. so have caps . shoes, watches etc in  the men's wear range.

​AG: What according you the brand 'Easies ' stands for ?
What we are seeing in the current lifestyle of the customers is to get back to living. It's not just about working and earning money, you got to get more relaxed as there is more to life, get yourself a social life and that's what we are offering to customers. So all the clothing in formal line is very stiff, you just tend to look at the lighter side of life. So as we say you need to work harder, you need to pay harder and like the name goes "Easies" you need to ease life a bit.

AG: How are you working at increasing your market share?
The Indian Fashion industry, has seen a sea change over the last decade. Our team is looking at increasing our market share .We intend to beef up the availability of the products.In the months to come we're definitely going to be one of the most  widely available brand we will not only be present  in select stores but otherwise also. We are now looking at offering our product to other department stores also going forward we intend to be available on all  e-commerce platforms.

AG: How has the brand fared so far in the country?
When Killer was launched, India was very under brand conscious also the market was very fragmented. Over the last two decades we have been able to establish an iconic brand in the country,  widely distributed with more than 2000 points of sale. I think Jeans wear as a product category is  most widely available  nationwide. We have our stores in 170 cities, 2000 retailers, our products are available with all the  top  retailers. It's been a long journey and a fulfilling journey. We've been  very open to  innovations with our brand. We were the first to launch shredded jeans, low waist  jeans also we have  innovative in our technology. We use world class eco-friendly technology to produce our jeans.  It's been an amazing experience.

AG: How open are you to customer engagement?
Yes, absolutely. We have a large presence on the social media on FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram and we do a lot of activities to engage with our audience.

AG:What are your plans to take the brand " Killer" to the next level?
We have worked at a strategy to diversify and take brand Killer to next level.  We' have just introduced the Killer personal care segment . We have  launched  Deodorants, and  innerwear range. We've licensed out our Killer Sunglasses and shades, socks;We see an opportunity in footwear as well. So we are extending our brand portfolio  into businesses related  to apparel which is accessories etc. We believe that it's a big area to expand our business into a " Killer wardrobe " at any given time.

AG: What is the Plan of Action for other brands from the group ?
The focus is on Killer as it is the flagship brand of KKCL. It has a long way yet to go.However we have just launched campaigns for Integriti and  Lawman on television, digital and a little bit of print.

AG: Consumers prefer shopping online today. What kind of choice do you have online vs offline?
Our  efforts in the online space is still at its infancy stage. In India, as per reports  online has penetrated about 7-8%  of the trade business coming. Of that Apparel business is about 4-5% of the fashion business. We feel that's in line with what kind of fashion business we do with our brand. We have observed that customers like to transact on mobile .They like getting  exclusive deals on mobile. Online business is more fashionable and  its bound to grow .

AG:What has been your pricing strategy over the years?
Our pricing has been best product for the best price, and that's what we work at. We are starting at INR 799 going up to a pair of jeans for INR 2999.  Different prices for different products and we believe that if you're selling it at the right price then the customer is willing to pay for it, and  that's where the market has tipped in our favour.

AG: How have you managed to stay ahead of competition?
We're one of the largest  players in the premium segment, say the top five in the segment.

AG: What rate is the industry growing?
The industry is growing at about 16-18% CAGR. By Archit Ambekar | Twitter: @aambarchit


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