Lingerie Segment in India – Trends & Opportunities

Having completed his Executive Program in Management & Business Administration from Cornell University, Monish joined Zivame in 2022, prior to which he has held key roles across an array of companies that include Intel Labs, Brave Bison, BT Group, Myntra, MFine and Halodoc, and even incepted a community & lifestyle startup for women named Doozie Care in 2019.

Current Fashion Industry Scenario

The fashion industry generally suffers from the manufacturing side. You will see higher lead times and higher MOQs. Currently, we can see manufacturers from the same assembly line getting aggregated, thus enabling even smaller companies to start a brand with lesser capital of Rs. 10-20 lakh. This is one essential change that is happening. Secondly, fashion is slowly becoming a personalized commodity. More and more brands are trying to personalize every product before you buy them. They are also producing that offer the flexibility to customize them to the maximum limit possible. For example, if a t-shirt operates in a particular school sizes wherein 90 percent of the demand comes from the same school size and design pattern, they will different personalized variants of that particular pattern pre-ready. So yes, fast fashion will be seen much more in small brands as well.

Technologies Disrupting the Fashion Industry

For fashion, digital and omnichannel combined, omnichannel CRM is one of the latest trend emerging in India today especially for fashion. You can buy a piece of apparel anywhere, try it on, buy & return it on the showroom, or order it online or on the store variant of the website. The new thing is that inventory as a concept is moreover seen as a common asset between the digital platforms like D2C online channels and offline retail & trade channels as well. This means that inventory and replenishment systems will get intelligent over different sales channels a company has, which was generally not the case in India till now. Many consulting companies and private label startups are both managing this.

Apart from this, in fashion, usage of generative design is becoming more mainstream and being adopted much faster than it was initially expected to happen, wherein Myntra was the first company to try that. What this actually means is that you already know the core styles you sell are the designs preferred by the people, and those designs can be learnt by machines, post which new trends can be generated by machines as well. Thus, going forward, the inventory would be curated and designed by AI algorithms. These have a higher chance of selling as well as compared to the standard inventory. What this means for the company is, the design cycle which usually took 2-4 months for launching a new variant, season or collection can now be reduced to one day. This will cut-down the time-to-market very drastically for every new variant of apparel being launched into market. This is a great value-add to the entire fashion community.

Fashion Market – India vs. Abroad

Indian market is more price sensitive than the market abroad. We deal in bulk capacities, and fashion consumption primarily happens via trade model. Though in abroad we see more private retail stores, EBOs and MBOs, they acquire majority of the business. In India, privately owned normal retailers are the main trade setting of the business, and they sell approximately 90 percent of the overall sales that happens. This is a major fundamental difference between the two markets.

Lingerie Segment in India

Currently, Zivame is the market leader in the lingerie segment, and is expanding into athleisure wear, nightwear and loungewear segments already. Even though Zivame is the biggest player, it does approximately 1-1.5 percent market penetration and general apparel does approximately seven percent market penetration on digital channels. That means it is all set to grow by 3-4x easily. Also, since lingerie as a category has not been consolidated yet, Zivame has been part of the Reliance Retail umbrella. We are trying to consolidate lingerie as a category under Reliance so that all top brands of India belong to a same parent family. This will enable us to cross-sell, maintain our lead and even create a bigger lead in terms of curation, inventory, design & number of showrooms we serve, and the number of digital channels we can cross-sell it.