Ashapura Intimates Fashion Gains on New Investments

Harshad Thakkar, CMD of Ashapura Intimates Fashion
Harshad Thakkar, CMD of Ashapura Intimates Fashion

Harshad Thakkar, 38, chairman and managing director of Ashapura Intimates Fashion, started his journey in the lingerie industry at the age of 15 as a sales manager in a store.

"I started my career with it (the lingerie business). At a very young age of 15 years as a sales manager I started this work. I was the sales manager in India's first lingerie store," Mr Thakkar told NDTV. (Watch)

With a capital of Rs 4 lakh, Mr Thakkar started Ashapura Intimates in 1999. The company's market value now stands at nearly Rs 500 crore. In 2013-14, the company posted a net profit of Rs 5.41 crore over revenues of Rs 166.50 crore.

The company manufactures and retails the 'Valentine' brand that includes kids' nightwear, ladies nightwear, men's nightwear, undergarments, slips, leggings, sportswear etc. Under the 'Valentine' umbrella brand, the company has different lines like 'Valentine Secret', 'Valentine Pink', 'Night & Day' and 'N-Line'.

The company also makes what it calls lounge wear. "Lounge wear is relax wear clothing line which is between underwear and garments...what you can wear outside parties and office," Mr Thakkar said.

Lounge wear is a niche market where the company has the biggest product basket, he said.

This range is also the major revenue churner with 60 per cent of the topline coming from it. "Rest from nighties, maternity night wear slips, leggings, slips, leggings, sports(wear)."

Speaking on one of the world's most famous undergarments line Victoria's Secret, Mr Thakkar candidly said, "Victoria's Secret is a lounge wear player worldwide, they make just for ladies. We along with ladies make for men, kids and the entire family.

"There is no store in any of the world's malls that represents full family wear along with lingerie, we are in a very niche market."

The company has its own manufacturing facility on Thane-Nashik highway near Mumbai, and supplies to 12,000 multi-brand outlets that sell its products through 130 distributors.

Ashapura Intimates has three of its own stores in stores in Mumbai and will take up the number to five, by this month, the company said. The rest of the stores across India and in Nepal are franchises, it said.

"We are a pan India brand and we export as well under our name." The company currently exports to Gulf countries and export sales make up for 10 per cent of total turnover.

Market veterans Lashit Sanghvi and former IDFC Securities managing director Nikhil Vora last week picked up small stakes in the company. While Lashit Sanghvi and Neha Sanghvi bought 1.25 lakh shares at Rs 145 apiece on the BSE, Nikhil Vora bought 1.75 lakh shares at Rs 147.57.

Ashapura Intimates is an SME (small and medium enterprise) stock and has risen 65 per cent between April 10-15 (three trading days).

Ashapura's competitors include Lovable Lingerie and Page Industries that sells undergarments under the 'Jockey' brand in India.

For fiscal year 2013-14, Ashapura reported an earnings per share of Rs 4, Lovable's EPS was nearly Rs 13, while Page Industries led with an EPS of Rs 138.