Homegrown brand Bhilwara is making a comeback as 'BSL'

KOLKATA: Bhilwara Suitings, a name that needs no introduction in the world of textiles and suitings but got lost following the entry of international brands, is shaking off its slump to regain its past glory. Owner’s of the brand, the Kolkata based Churiwal’s has chalked out a three-pronged strategy to achieve the goal over the next three years. In an interview to ET’s
Anuradha Himatsingka, BSL Ltd’s joint managing director
Nivedan Churiwal said the strategy includes revamping the BSL brand, professionalising management and scaling up its presence nationally. Edited excerpts:

What compelled the management to take this decision?

The company’s domestic suitings business has been languishing for sometime now following aggressive domestic competition from the likes of Raymond, Siyaram and entry of reputed global apparel brands coupled with consumers’ inclination towards branded ready made apparel. We currently produce over 18 million meters of fabric annually including furnishing fabric.

Can you elaborate on the corporate strategy chalked out by the company?

The strategy includes revamping the three business verticals – mainly, suitings for domestic and export, as well as the furnishing segment. A blueprint has been made to improve each business segment. Over the last one year, we have hired professionals to achieve this goal. Initiatives are being taken to revive brand ‘BSL’ and make it a household name. The company’s domestic suitings’ business is being strengthened with the help of innovative marketing strategy. We are offering better quality in attractive packaging. We have also introduced tempting schemes for dealers and retailers. A new TVC has also been launched to woo consumers. Additionally, we have started digital marketing and aggressive advertisements across India. We have revamped the company’s marketing structure to corner a larger pie of the domestic suitings space. We have appointed four zonal heads with clear cut assignment. We currently supply fabric to 1500 MBOs which we plan to ramp up to 6000 MBOs within the next two years. We don’t plan to open exclusive retail stores.

Do you intend to rope in celebrity to endorse ‘BSL’ brand?

No. We haven’t roped in any celebrity, but have made a new TVC to refresh consumers memory. Going forward, we may rope in a celebrity.

Where do you see the company by financial year 2021-22?

The proposed strategy is aimed at improving the company’s bottomline growth which was stagnant for the last two years. The results have started showing and we hope to clock higher bottomline this fiscal 2019-20 and continue to grow, year-on-year. The company registered an PBIDT of Rs 34.68 crore in 2018-29 fiscal. It hopes to clock a PBIDT of Rs 40 crore on a total turnover of Rs 460 crore in FY’2019-20. Going forward, we are expecting topline growth of 15-20% year-on-year on the back of substantial growth in PBIDT. We export our suitings and furnishing fabrics to more than 60 countries. Although the segment is doing well, we are exploring new markets in Africa, Australia, Europe, USA, Canada and other Latin American countries.

We manufacture and sell furnishing fabrics to Swedish home furnishing giant IKEA. Since IKEA’s business is on the rise, our volumes too will grow in the coming years.

How much does the three verticals – domestic suitings market, export suitings segment and export of furnishing fabrics – contribute to the company’s total turnover? Will the contribution change in the coming years?

Presently, the domestic suitings market contribute 20%, while the export suitings and export furnishings contribute 35% and 25% respectively. In the coming years, all three will grow. No segment will grow at the cost of the other. However, our furnishing business may grow more compared to the the other verticals since the scope is huge.


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