“Lingerie for the longest time was a staple product without any innovation,” notes Pankaj Vermani, Founder & CEO, Clovia. “However, the last few years have seen unprecedented growth in awareness – both from sizing/hygiene as well as fashion perspective,” he adds. On its part, Clovia launches over 200 styles per month with over 75 per cent of its inventory being less than 30 days old. “We aim to redefine the Indian lingerie market and help customers choose beyond standard cuts, shapes, and colors,” affirms Vermani.
A full-fledged lingerie brand, Clovia started as a bra-n-brief brand before extending to nightwear, shapewear and loungewear. The brand has identified a lot of verticals in its products such as the beginner’s bras, maternity bras, etc. “We monitor our products through a state-of-the-art backend technology, which predicts future sales of styles that we offer to our customers,” adds Vermani. The brand also offers an easy exchange and return policy which reduces apprehensions.
Social media, fashion awareness drives demand
The Indian lingerie marketplace has gained momentum because of two things: an increase in working women; and an increase in disposable income. “The rise in working women has led to a change in preferences as women have found a way to pamper themselves,” states Vermani. There is an increase in the affinity towards brands, especially fast fashion. Media, awareness towards fashion and health is driving customers to demand more. Coupled with rising youth population, the rise of women spenders, increasing disposable income and a need for more solution-based approach, the lingerie market is on a growth spurt. “This is the best time to innovate in products as customers have become far more demanding and aware,” beams Vermani.
Social media is changing mindset in lingerie and moving the needle by talking about hush-hush topics. Creative and quirky content helps in driving conversation about this topic and also helps in educating women so they can make wise choices.
Stale inventory and efficient management of omnichannel, are the some of the challenges that the innerwear industry faces. “Another big challenge is that of ‘one size fits all’. We do not have an India specific size chart for the Indian body type,” Vermani opines. Clovia has introduced a breakthrough technology by creating a tool called the Fit Test to solve this fundamental problem. “We did extensive research and developed this test that asks a woman five questions about her body type before recommending the right bra. This tool has been used/attempted over 150,000 times. We are now focusing on meeting customer’s demands and ensuring growth on all channels of distribution,” he sums up.