Indian Terrain looks to stay in step with the spirit of youth

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on January 09, 2018 Published on August 07, 2017

Venky Rajgopal, Chairman, Indian Terrain Fashions Ltd, at a talk in the Loyola Institute of Business Administration , Chennai - Photo: Bijoy Ghosh   -  BusinessLine

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Company chairman shares brand identity with LIBA students

“The world is changing around you and if you’re a clothing company that aspires to stay in step with the young community, you need to be in step with their aspirations,” said Venky Rajgopal, Chairman, Indian Terrain Fashions Ltd.

He was speaking to around 250 students of the Loyola Institute of Business Administration (LIBA) as part of its ‘Beyond Management Initiative’ on ‘Building the Indian Terrain brand.’

Selling a proposition

When the brand was founded in 2000, the country was opening up to a new century of limitless possibilities.

Rajgopal referred to the dazzling stories of the tech entrepreneurs of today, the Olas and Flipkarts and the multi-million dollar funding they receive.

Building a clothing brand may be perceived as boring, but it’s all about building a brand in the ‘real’ world of business.

“The business of clothing is selling a proposition or making a promise to the emotional side of you. And if I don’t get your heart to think and your emotion to register the connection with what we make, it’s going to be an impossible task to build a clothing company of a national size and scale which has a community of people who believe in what we do,” Rajgopal said.

Resources, promises

As a brand, Indian Terrain uses up millions of metres of fabric; sources products from China, Bangladesh, Turkey and different parts of India. Apart from its own large factories it outsources to people willing to manufacture products for the brand to the standard and style that it chooses. “To build this ecosystem is going to take time. It has to be done step by step. That’s the good news. If you have the resources and money these are physical things you can accumulate and put together. But it’s when you’ve done all of this you realise you’re only half-way there or even less. Because now you have to communicate a promise and people have to buy into that promise,” he said.

The Madras heritage

Rajgopal said it was sheer serendipity that the brand was named Indian Terrain because of the fervour around ‘Make in India’ today.

Today, the brand is wearing its heritage on its sleeve, literally, by touting its Madras heritage.

“We sell Western looking clothes but we’re from Madras. I used to wonder earlier whether, if people got to know that we’re from Madras, it would take away from the aspirational quality of our brand. But most of our competitors are international, Western names,” he said.

Rajgopal recalled that the Yale University was named after Elihu Yale, a former Governor of Madras in the 1850s, while the Madras Checks fabric is used all over the world. Madras already had global renown.

“That’s why we started talking about our identity. Emphasise where we belong and our heritage of originating in this city,” he added.

Fr Christie, Director, LIBA, and A Indira, Associate Professor, Economics, were present at the interaction. The event was organised by BusinessLine On Campus.

Published on August 07, 2017
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