The ethnic wear market in India is witnessing growth. The present market not only associates ethnic wear with festivals but is aggressively pairing it with western wear, bringing an Indo-Western flavour to work spaces across India. The growing fashion consciousness has turned women’s ethnic segment into a highly evolving market. The surge in demand has led entrepreneurs to invest in the Indian ethnic wear market, which was estimated to be around `82,220 crore in 2014 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9% to reach Rs.1, 26,210 crore in 2019. According to Kanti Prakash Brahma, Principal Consultant - Fashion at Technopak, the market is dominated by women’s ethnic wear which contributes nearly 83% and is followed by the kids’ ethnic wear and men’s ethnic wear categories with shares of 9% and 8% respectively.
According to a Technopak study, the unorganised segment caters largely to the ethnic wear industry and has demonstrated steady growth over the past few years. It is set to grow further by 8.4% over the next decade from the present Rs. 61,679 crore. Modern retailers, especially large format retailers are ramping up their expansion plans. This will contribute to the growth of the Indian ethnic wear market.
Women’s ethnic wear brand growing rapidly
Salwar kameez is the dominant category in ethnic wear and is largely popular among working women. Most of the women with whom BE interacted stated that they prefer salwar kameez because of its comfort level. With a market share of Rs.35,804 crore, it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12% to reach
Rs.1, 11,203 crore by 2026.
The ethnic wear market is becoming more brand conscious. This can be attributed to rapid urbanisation and higher disposable incomes. The customer preference is shifting from tailor made garments to the ready-made market. The prominent players of ethnic brands in India TCNS Clothing (maker of W and Aurelia brands), BIBA, House of Anita Dongre (AND and Global Desi brands), and Ritu Kumar have all posted a 14% to 64% year-on-year jump in their revenues last fiscal even as the overall Indian apparel market slipped to single-digit growth at around 8%.
Sabhyata, a famous ethnic wear brand from Delhi that opened its first store in Kolkata is one of the leading manufacturers, suppliers and exporters of kurtis, churidars, leggings and patialas. Chayan Varma, Marketing Head, Sabhyata, told BE, “The unorganised segment, which largely, caters to the ethnic wear industry, has demonstrated steady growth over the past few years. Ethnic wear was initially a category that was largely restricted to the older age groups. However, it is now finding acceptance even among younger consumers, especially women. Fusing ethnic wear with western wear is the latest fashion statement. This has led to brands focusing on ethnic fusion wear product offerings in western styles and prints. These brands have completely redefined ethnic wear for younger consumers. A very crucial pocket of growth will be the demand from the small towns.”
Growth in men’s category
Innovative marketing and promotion by different brands have targeted Republic Day and Independence Day. Corporate offices too have made certain days as ethnic wear day, where employees are expected to wear traditional attire. Manyavar, a men’s ethnic wear segment has around 415 stores and targets to touch 600 by March-end of 2018. The stores are a mix of company-owned and franchisee-owned shops. The franchisee model is only used in tier-II cities. Its women’s apparel range, branded Mohey Celebration Wear, has made a mark through the 11 standalone stores and is planning to open 100 stores by 2018. Manyavar enjoys 30% share of the market in the men’s celebration wear segment.
Chayan Varma added, “While the market for men, presently at Rs.1623 crore, is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.5%, this will largely be within the high fashion, high value segment that is heavily guided by occasion-based purchases. Till 2010, Sabhyata had only two stores, and now we have 54 stores all over the country and plan to take the total count to 100 by the end of 2018. We aim to grow nationally as well as globally and aim to cater a larger clientele through both retail and e-commerce spaces.”
The Indian ethnic wear market is growing in India and consumers seek uniqueness of the design, a glorified heritage of location that the product is sourced from, to add exclusivity to their designs. Brands are trying to fulfil those demands by dealing with multiple artisans, sourcing partners, working in collaboration with them to develop products accordingly to achieve sustainable profit in ethnic wear market.