To improve margins, Royal Classic decided to venture into branded apparel retailing in 2001. In February 2001, the company launched Classic Polo initially in the tee-shirt segment. Today, it has expanded its portfolio of offerings to include shirts and trousers; sports apparel has just been launched under the same brand, and denim wear is on the anvil. Classic Polo alone is a Rs 35 crore brand at ex-factory prices. The company currently has 23 exclusive outlets and sells through another 1,200 multi-brand outlets across the country.
In July 2004, Royal Classic acquired innerwear brand Smash for an undisclosed price. Now the company is on the prowl again looking to acquire brands in the "Rs 15-20 crore range," says Sivaram. "Our intention is to emerge as a major player in the branded apparel wear segment across the country," he adds.
Arun Natarajan is the Founder of Venture Intelligence, which tracks private equity and venture capital in India and Indian-founded companies worldwide. View sample issues of Venture Intelligence India newsletters and reports.