MUMBAI: Former Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar plans to take his joint venture clothing brand with ArvindNSE -1.11 %, True Blue, to global markets including the US and UK.
“Whenever I travel, I am not surprised to see made in India tag in clothes. So why not an Indian brand in those markets?” the cricket legend told ET in an exclusive interaction. The menswear label, which blends Indian authentic cloth making and dyeing techniques into western wear, was launched in 2016 and is currently sold through nearly 75 outlets including eight standalone stores in the country.
“Our creative team travels extensively from Kashi to Kashmir and Rajasthan, spending days trying to absorb the energy to create the collection,” Tendulkar said, adding that he is personally involved in the design process. “I give my inputs and the brand is lot to do with what I want to give to people. I have to be comfortable wearing them — from colours to styles and cut.”
Tendulkar, who peppers his conversation with cricketing lingo, said True Blue is a tad different since it has swerved from being a sports or cricketing brand, that was presumably expected from him. “We need to be recognised as a global brand and not just for a cricket playing nation,” he said. “In the second innings of my life, there is no 75 yard boundary line that we need to set. We have a bigger playfield in terms of markets and merchandise.”
Incorporated in 1931, Arvind, the country’s largest textile company has gradually diversified into higher margin retailing business and now runs stores of nearly two dozen brands, including Gap, US Polo, Arrow, Sephora and Children’s Place as a licensee or JVs. It also owns brands such as Flying Machine, Excalibur and Ruggers. True Blue will be its first owned brand to venture outside India and stretch into a wide range of adjacent categories.
“It can be extended into India inspired stationary, accessories or even women’s wear, where you can take Indian sensibilities and design elements and interpret,” said J Suresh, CEO at Arvind Brands & Lifestyle. “The opportunity is much beyond menswear but we can’t put a timeline for entry into these segments,” he said.
India’s fashion retail market is worth $56 billion and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.7% to reach $103 billion by 2027, as per India Business of Fashion 2018 report. During its launch, Arvind group had said it is eyeing revenue of Rs 200-300 crore from True Blue in the next five years. The company has yet to file its 2017-18 results, the first full year for True Blue. Tendulkar said he is not worried about when will the brand will reach the Rs 100-crore mark. “When you start counting your centuries, they stop coming,” said the man who is often referred to as the god of cricket by many Indian cricket lovers.