In 1973-74 when the Indian textile industry experienced different export performance during the pre-liberalisation reforms, Dindayal Gupta started Bhawani Textiles. Today, 80-year-old Dindayal Gupta is the Chairman of the renamed Dollar Industries Limited, which is one of the leading brands in hosiery sector with a 15% market share. Their textile exports stands at 9% of their total production in Indian hosiery market.
Under Vinod Kumar Gupta, MD of the company, and next-gen business leaders Ankit Gupta, Gaurav Gupta, Aayush Gupta, and Vedika Gupta, Dollar Industries’ clocked a turnover of Rs 984.52 crore for FY 2017-18.
The company, listed on both NSE & BSE, has a fully integrated manufacturing unit at Sipcot, near Tirupur. Available in 20+ countries, the company’s distributors grew from 750+ to 850+ in the last three years and the presence have also increased in the multi-brand outlets from 70,000+ to more than 80,000.
Kolkata-based Dollar has successfully used Bollywood celebrities to endorse its products. In 2005-06, it signed Salman Khan as the brand ambassador and in 2008, Akshay Kumar was signed as the brand ambassador of Dollar Bigboss. He is still associated with the brand making him the longest associated brand ambassador of any brands in similar category in the Indian retail market.
In an interaction with SMBStory, Vinod Kumar Gupta, MD of Dollar Industries, says, “From a small hosiery brand to one of the foremost name in innerwear market, the journey was not less than a roller-coaster ride.”
All one can do is mouth Akshay Kumar’s lines: “Fit hai Boss.”
Excerpts from the conversation:
SMBStory: How did you scale?
Vinod Kumar Gupta: Over the years, Dollar Industries, through its range of premium products, has focused on achieving global excellence in cost, quality, and productivity. From a small hosiery brand to one of the foremost name in innerwear market, the journey was not less than a roller-coaster ride.
Today, we have a wide product catalogue ranging from Rs 50 to Rs 650 and are present in economy, premium, and super-premium segments. Our products cater to the entire family, not just men.
We are using the online selling platform extensively to reach out to our target audience. We believe in providing superior quality thus we have invested in high productivity manufacturing facilities.
The company has a substantial pan-India presence and established market in other countries like UAE, Oman, Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Yemen, Iraq, Nepal, and Sudan. The association with Bollywood celebrity actor Akshay Kumar as the brand ambassador of Dollar Bigboss has yielded exponential growth for the company.
Having consolidated our position in the Gulf countries, we are now aggressively looking at the rest of the world with collections that promise to redefine evolution.
Today, we are the first Indian innerwear company with a fully Integrated manufacturing unit. This new processing division is in Sipcot, near Tirupur. It is equipped with all the latest processing technology and the top-most finishing range to produce finished raw material dyed in any possible colour.
To monitor the product quality, we have stringent checking procedures in every step of production starting from yarn to packaging and delivering at every manufacturing point.
SMBS: How did the company diversify into so many categories?
VKG: The company’s sensible investments in manufacturing assets distinguish its products from its peers. Dollar’s young asset quality has helped it reap multiple benefits. The focus is to be the best integrated hosiery textiles company with the ‘smallest balance sheet’.
Investment in proprietary manufacturing facilities helped Dollar add value to our bottom-line. Approximately 30% of our sales were derived from captive consumption. Also, introducing manufacturing units include services like spinning, knitting, bleaching, dyeing, garmenting, and branding has boosted the production.
We diversify into multiple categories as the main focus is on customer choices and preferences. Offering more choices in terms of products, sizes, styles, and colours, categories like men’s innerwear to children and women’s wear.
We have entered into a joint venture with Pepe Jeans Europe to manufacture and market premium range of fashion innerwear, loungewear, gym wear, sleepwear and track suits for adults & kids in India.
SMBS: How are you using digital in your business journey?
VKG: With the surge in smartphone penetration, internet is playing an essential tool for business growth and brand recognition globally. The young consumers of the country are showing a higher affinity for online purchases. Being a forward looking brand, we are already selling our products through our e-tail (www.dollarshoppe.in) and various social media pages. We are aggressively doing digital marketing and promotion for our products across India.
SMBS: What is your advice to those venturing out in this sector?
VKG: Nearly two-thirds of the Rs 25,000-crore hosiery and knitwear market in India is controlled by the unorganised sector. We welcome and encourage the new players in this sector, it will overall boost the growth and development of the sector. We should all focus on delivering quality products and aim at bringing more and more global trends into the Indian market.
More competition opens the scope for the formal sector to consolidate. For a long-term sustenance in the sector, product quality is very important, one needs to maintain the premium quality, and comfort in their products.
SMBS: How do you manage critical areas such as supplier management, cash flow management, channel strategy, and capital management?
VKG: We have specialised team who are looking after each sector and coming up with various services and facilities.
SMBS: How are you differentiating from the competition?
VKG: Dollar Industries holds 15% of the total market share in the organised segment. We started as a hosiery brand but now we are one of the most preferred apparel brands in India. We manufacture our popular brands Bigboss, Champion, Ultra Thermals under the brand Dollar and premium brand under Force NXT. We manufacture leggings under the popular brand Missy.
The focus of the company lies in the expansion of Force NXT and Dollar Missy by completing product portfolio with brassieres and athleisure for women. We are going into the premiumisation of brands like Force NXT and Missy and expecting organic and inorganic growth simultaneously.
Our state-of-art new processing division is equipped with the latest processing technology and the top-most finishing range to produce finished raw material dyed in any possible colour. Our listings at both BSE & NSE also give a boost to the brand.
In terms of product innovation, we are the only player using premium quality Egyptian cotton for some of our products. With an established reputation of being the "best" cotton in the world, its softness, strength, and superior characteristics have made our products more comfortable.
SMBS: What are your future prospects?
VKG: We are aggressively looking for inorganic growth through M&A. To boost its growth further, the company is eyeing for substantial number of EBOs, SIS's (Shop in Shop) and kiosks across major cities of India. We are also looking for the expansion of women wear and kids wear segment for further premiumisation of these categories.
SMBS: What is your opinion of the MSME market in India?
VKG: I believe MSME sector is the most influential engine of India's growth. It may come as surprise that the primary driver of the constant high evolution of India's GDP is enabled by the MSMEs. In developing countries like India, we are majorly depended on the shoulders of small businesses, especially those involved in providing various services.