The Economic Times
07 March 2016
With a vast array of prominent brands in its armoury, Madura Fashion & Lifestyle has left a distinctive impression on the Indian apparel space
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and the pioneering story of Madura Fashion & Lifestyle can be traced back to the U.K., when it was a faction of the erstwhile Coats Viyella PIc, Europe's largest clothing supplier. Madura F&L was acquired by the Aditya Birla Group in 1999, growing to become a predominant favorite in the ready-made menswear industry in India. In 2000, the company became a division of Aditya Birla Nuvo Ltd. Since then, the company has spearheaded the branded apparel retail revolution in India and become a premium lifestyle player in the retail sector. To unlock shareholder value, recently, Madura F&L was de-merged from Aditya Birla Nuvo Limited to become part of the newly created pure-play fashion lifestyle company 'Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Limited', India's largest branded apparel entity.
Madura F&L was the first player to operate on a national scale, dedicated to the core business of fashion retail in India. It was also the forerunner in introducing premier international brands, enabling Indian consumers to buy the most prestigious global fashion wear and accessories within the country. This led Madura F&L to become the powerhouse of the four best-selling branded apparel brands in India, namely Louis Philippe, Van Heusen, Allen Solly and Peter England. Today, the brand has a presence in more than 4,000 multi-brand stores and is the most preferred brand in over 3,000 shop-in-shops (SIS) across departmental stores in the country.
Perhaps most importantly though, it was the first to have a complete end-to-end, demand-driven, manufacturing-to-retail ecosystem in India comprising a unique combination of exclusive outlets and premium multi-brand stores including Planet Fashion, The Collective, Hackett London, and its in-house online store, Trendin.com. By being present at every touch point of the retail ecosystem, Madura F&L has uniquely positioned itself to respond to the challenge of multi-channel retail that is a reality of today's times.
A key part of Madura F&L's rise to prominence is the technological innovation that acts as its underpinnings. It was the leader in successfully implementing the SAPERP system in the retail industry, and its manufacturing division was also the first apparel manufacturing unit to win India's prestigious Ramakrishna Bajaj National Quality Award. Little wonder then that today, ABFRL is the single largest apparel company in India of which, the Madura F&L business boasts of the largest and strongest distribution network spanning 2,000+ exclusive stores across 2.8mn sq ft of retail space, with a presence in 4,000+ multi-brand outlets, and availability in 3,000+ department stores, besides being widely available across leading e-commerce portals.
Madura F&L has always had its finger on the pulse of the consumer, and this can be best seen in recent innovations from the brand. An exampIe of this is the Van Heusen Style Studio, a first of its kind unique technology-led fashion revolution in the country. This has helped the brand create a distinctive mark in the fashion space. Another example of the company's proactive style can be seen in the manner in which it has sought to fill the gap in the luxury lifestyle space with The Collective. A premium lifestyle store, it offers a unique blend of global fashion, international trends and luxury services to customers.
In June 2013, Madura F&L adopted the Sustainability motto - 'Re-Earth for our tomorrow', with the vision 'We are committed to give back more than what we take from our ecosystem', addressing various aspects related to the long-term sustainability of the businesses. The three key pillars of its CSR Mission focus on 'Girl Child Education', 'Building Sustainable Livelihoods for communities around its factories' and 'Health & Sanitation'. It is through efforts such as these that the organization aims to give back to society in a sustainable and meaningful manner.
The company also undertakes sustainability missions, which include energy and water conservation, sustainable manufacturing and packaging, reducing carbon footprint and waste management. Some of the top-selling brands also actively use sustainability techniques in the manufacturing process. For instance, Louis Philippe's 'Evolve' shirts are created using natural herbal and mineral dyes and Peter England's 'Oxygeans' saves approximately 80 litres of water per pair of jeans through indigenously developed washing methods during its production phase.
Indeed, Madura F&L plays a holistic role in the overall development of the communities in which it operates. Its journey of sustainability encompasses not just the well-being of the environment, but also the socio-economic welfare of the people whose lives its touches in the course of its activities. The organization's business model has transformed over the past decade whilst creating a robust retail network comprising of the most successful brands in the country.
Madura F&L's endeavour to excite its consumers has been an enthralling story of growth. For FY14-15, the organization recorded a turnover of Rs. 3,735 crore and has been consistently growing at a CAGR of approximately 20 per cent over the past 10 years. Madura F&L's journey has been one of pro-actively partnering the ever-evolving Indian fashion consumer, in the process exciting them with new age fashion. It is doubtless a success story, albeit one still in the making.
Dr. Pragnya RamGroup Executive President, Corporate Communications & CSRAditya Birla Management Corporation Private LimitedAditya Birla Centre, 1st Floor, 'C' WingS.K. Ahire Marg, WorliMumbai 400 030.
91-22-6652 5000 /2499 5000
Fax: 91-22-6652 5741/ 42