Kolkata-based knitwear maker, Rupa and Company Ltd - a dominant player in the men’s innerwear segment, is betting big on the women’s category.

According to KB Agarwala, Managing Director, Rupa and Company Ltd, while the men’s segment has been growing at 10 per cent, that of women’s has been registering a sales growth of around 20 per cent on a year-on-year basis.

The company currently has women’s leggings under Softline brand and plans to rollout more products. As per information available in the company’s latest annual report, it may foray into women’s lingerie segment and is looking for a tie-up for the same.

“There is a big scope in leggings and we are focussing on it. We have also roped in Anushka Sharma as the brand ambassador. The growth in this segment has been good. Women’s category currently account for 15 per cent of our total turnover and has been growing at over 20 per cent,” Agarwala told BusinessLine .

Industry sources said that the women innerwear category, which is driven by value-added products, contributes around 60 per cent of the total market and has been growing at over 15 per cent on a year-on-year basis. The market is largely dominated by mid-priced and economy segment contributing to 80 per cent of the market, while remaining comes from the premium and super-premium segments.

Growth in sales

The company, which saw its turnover grow by four per cent to ₹1,126 crore in FY18, is expecting around 5-7 per cent growth in revenue this fiscal due to poor demand and the impact of GST. However, its expects 2019-20 to be a better year in terms of sales growth.

According to Agarwala, while the rollout of GST has been good so far, some of the smaller players find it difficult to migrate onto the new system thereby impacting the value chain.

“This year we are expecting a flat growth as the market is dull due to poor demand and high competition. But we expect next year to be good with GST easing out. This might translate into better sales,” he said.

Rupa expects 10 per cent growth in turnover in 2019-20 backed by the launch of new products and focus on premium categories. Apart from innerwear, it is into casualwear, kidswear, winterwear and footwear and some of its brands include Jon, Frontline, Euro, Bumchums, Torrido, Thermocot, Softline, Macroman, Macroman M-Series, Macrowoman W-Series and Footline, among others.

The company’s premium product portfolio under Macroman M-series and Euro, currently account for 15 per cent of its total sales.