Men’s ethnic Indian fashion brand, Manyavar, was established in 1999 by Vedant Fashions with the aim of keeping traditional fashion sensibilities in vogue at a time when western wear takes up most of people’s closet space. Known for offering exclusive ethnic-inspired clothing at affordable prices, the brand caters to confident, charming and stylish men who proudly flaunt their ‘desi avatar’ on weddings, parties and other special occasions.
Manyavar has, over the years, created a cult following among male clientele, building a substantial customer base across India.
In a freewheeling chat with IMAGES Retail Bureau, Ravi Modi, MD, Vedant Fashions Pvt. Ltd., talks about the evolution of the traditional menswear market, the growth of his brand, marketing and promotional strategies employed, technology and innovations introduced and finally, the road ahead.
Excerpts from the interview…Take us through the journey of Manyavar, highlighting the milestones.
Manyavar, which started its journey in 1999, is the pioneer in revamping ethnic wear for men in India. We are the catalyst and the only brand in the celebration market. Today, Manyavar is not only a market leader; it also symbolises the Indian ethnicwear category.
We opened our first international exclusive brand outlet (EBO) in Dubai and since then, there has been no looking back. At present, we have international presence in markets like UAE and USA.
What was the reason behind betting on a category that was largely dominated by unorganised players?
When we launched the brand, we felt that there was a huge void in the men’s ethnic wear segment in India. No brand considered ethnic wear as ‘fashion’ or even a category to start with. It was over-looked by all the big existing players in the market. Whereas men’s western wear was already big and due to the amount of sheer visibility it had, customers too were more excited to buy a suit than an ethnic outfit.
We saw this as an opportunity to build an ethnic wear brand in India and slowly and gradually, we moved from being a wedding wear brand to celebration wear brand.
Our idea was to bring Indian wear back to mainstream apparel wear, changing the perception of restricting Indian wear only to weddings. We have had proud moments when we created entirely new categories in ethnic wear like fusion wear.
Throw some light on the product portfolio of the brand. What is the USP of the brand that helps it stand apart from the competitors?
Manyavar caters to the confident man who proudly wears his Indian roots at weddings, parties and other special occasions. Our timeless celebration collection includes exquisite Sherwanis, Indo-Westerns, Royal Bandhgalas, Classic Kurta-Jackets, and fashion kurtas. We have introduced an array of cuts, prints, colors, and patterns that are generally not seen in a groom’s trousseau options. A dedicated team of in-house designers closely work together in crafting these innovative and trendy collections.
Off-beat colors like pastels, which were never seen in a groom’s palette, have acquired a large space in men’s ethnic wear range. Asymmetrical cuts and hemlines are trending, making the whole range of men’s wear all the more exciting and innovative.
Some of the country’s finest fashion designers and artisans have been brought together to create the products at Manyavar. Each of the products is a signature product; it is a manifestation of in-depth research, creativity and design, workmanship, technology and benchmarking.
We have also introduced a premium wear brand called 'Twamev', which caters to the upmarket customer looking for an honestly priced substitute for designer wear in India.
Our plan is to transcend cultural and ethnic sensibilities to establish Indian wear as a widely accepted and preferred clothing not only in India but at the global level. We understand that this calls for fresh ideas, innovative products, and even new sections, and as the category widens, it will certainly help in the development of our brand further.
What steps are you taking to be an Omnichannel brand?
We have a very successful online business with a well-established website that continues to serve our customers pan India and overseas. We’ve recently launched ‘Cash on Delivery’ option for an easier payment method for our online customers and continue to expand digital services in stores.
We are one of the few retailers who have set-up systems that mirror Omnichannel functionalities before most retailers caught on to the buzzword. We view this as an essential service that must be offered if brands want to remain relevant. We price our products well and therefore we never offer discounts. We continue to believe that discounting leads to a poor Omnichannel experience as pricing parity becomes impossible to maintain with multiple channel dynamics.
Soon, we will be launching home delivery in our travel retail stores.
What are the innovations that you have introduced at stores to enhance customer experience?
We have a dedicated team of customer support executives, which provides 24/7 assistance. Consumers can contact them via online channels, help desk or toll-free phone numbers. Hence, if a customer requests for a product which is out of stock in a particular store due to size or colour unavailability, we have a robust online management system which tracks the required piece in the nearest stores and an inter-store transfer is carried out immediately with 4-hours.
Share with us the marketing and promotional strategies of the brand.
As far as brand recognition is concerned, Manyavar is among the most visible menswear brands in the Indian market. It is the largest spender in the segment across 360-degree media including a mix of ATL and BTL communication. The brand also leverages on its social media platforms for marketing purpose.
Besides marketing, the brand also focuses on CSR initiatives for brand building. Beyond corporate deliverance, Manyavar makes an active commitment to human respect.
A winning streak in establishing the brand further was taking on-board leading names of Bollywood - Kartik Aaryan, Ranveer Singh, Amitabh Bachchan and Alia Bhatt.