Interview: Kanishk Pathare, D2C Head at VIP Clothing

Kanishk Pathare

An interview with Kanishk Pathare, D2C Head at VIP Clothing, leading Indian company engaged in manufacturing and marketing of inner-wear

Meet Kanishk Pathare, the visionary D2C Head at VIP Clothing, a prominent Indian player specializing in innerwear manufacturing and marketing. With a proven track record of strategic innovation, Pathare has navigated VIP Clothing through the complexities of direct-to-consumer dynamics, driving growth and consumer engagement in the competitive apparel market.

Can you provide a brief overview of the history and founding of your innerwear brand?

Kanishk Pathare: The brief history of VIP Clothing Ltd. has been 54 years in the making. Originally, the company was known as Maxwell Industries Ltd. At a time when the innerwear sector was unorganised, Jaykumar Pathare had the vision to shape the sector and began building the VIP empire in 1971.

Between 1981 and 1991, we launched five flagship brands, each catering to a specific customer segment. This launching-spree includes brands like Petals, Frenchie, Blue Chip Shirts, Rivolta, Leader, Brat, retail stores, and overseas stores. Thankfully, this spree has not stopped yet.

Today, VIP Clothing Ltd. is a household brand that is synonymous with quality innerwear across the country and is known for innovative ideas, which has been the core strength of our company. We’re also successfully charting the marketing in the Middle East.

We’re proud to be one of the only companies in this sector that has ventured into backward integration. We spin, process, knit, manufacture, dye, stitch, package, and market our products. Achieving these feats was no easy task and since the beginning, we have believed in core structure to achieve success. And it has come to life only through the employees who work to make dreams a reality.

What inspired the creation of the brand, and what values have guided its journey over the years?

Kanishk Pathare: The inspiration was to redefine the way we knew intimate clothing industry and to make it more mainstream, where people are comfortable in demanding quality. This continues to fuel our vision – to be in every Indian’s wardrobe and then we’ll aim for the world.

In this mission, we aim to become an international symbol of excellence through continuous customer satisfaction, innovation, manpower development, productivity and quality improvement, cost reduction, and time management.

From being Mr. Pathare’s dream to keeping his legacy alive, we march forth guided by our strong values, which are: 

A company is its people: Simply put, VIP Clothing Ltd. is its people. We care for those who make up the company, value and respect their talent and commitment. And, we do so by fostering transparency and honesty.

Commitment to excellence: Everything we do is driven by an unfaltering commitment to be the best – in our service, in our products, and our pursuit of growth and learning.

Embrace change: In today’s fast-paced global economy, change is the only constant. This is why innovation is critical to our company. We innovate as we adapt and excel.

Ensuring Integrity: Operating ethically is the foundation of our business. It is of paramount importance that we ensure fairness and complete transparency.

How has the brand evolved and adapted to changing consumer preferences and market trends since its inception?

Kanishk Pathare: A quick peek at the history of VIP Clothing Ltd will let one know that innovation and evolution has been at the heart of its existence. The same rings true to this day. Currently, we are dedicating our efforts in venturing into the leisurewear section.

Parallelly, as the need and demand for sustainable fashion echoes louder, our R&D team is working hard on creating a range of apparel made using sustainable materials. We plan on entering the Athleisure wear segment as well.

Back in the day, we were the pioneers who catered specifically to teenagers with our brand, Frenchie U19. In the near future, our focus is on building more brands that efficiently cater to dynamic consumer behaviour and preferences. The legacy calls for us to adapt, and so we shall continue to do so.

What sets your innerwear apart from competitors in terms of design, quality, and customer experience?

Kanishk Pathare: To carve a niche in a sea full of fishes is not an easy task. There are multiple forces that have enabled VIP Clothing Ltd. to become successful. The most important, however, is our commitment to innovate. Our product development team is always on the lookout for the next best thing that brings our customers satisfaction, and us, unparalleled excellence.

For each innovation that reaches the end user, there is an uphill battle including market analysis, customer preferences, sales data, innovation potential, and prototyping. The vision is always to incorporate advanced manufacturing techniques that help us redefine boundaries. 

While the drive is essential, the intention is more crucial. For us, achieving excellence is simply offering the best experience to our customers. We often pay close attention to the material, its comfort, breathability, and durability. By hearing what our customers have to say, we enhance our products and ensure that their needs will be taken care of without compromising the functionality.

Can you share any memorable milestones or significant moments in the brand’s history?

Kanishk Pathare: Consecutively, for almost a decade (2001-2005, 2007-08), VIP Clothing Ltd. won “The Most Admired No.1 Brand”. This is a clear indication that our customers value what we set out to do for them.

Supermodel Ujjwala Raut is our brand ambassador for Feelings, our line dedicated to meeting the innerwear needs of Indian women.

How do you maintain the brand’s legacy while also staying relevant in today’s fast-paced retail landscape?

Kanishk Pathare: Maintaining VIP Clothing Ltd.’s legacy while staying relevant in today’s fast-paced retail landscape is both a challenge and an opportunity. Our strategy is multifaceted, focusing on innovation and expansion to keep pace with evolving consumer demands.

First and foremost, we are committed to strengthening our core brands by expanding our product lines. We have introduced outerwear and are incorporating sustainable materials across our range, aligning with global trends towards eco-friendly fashion. This not only modernizes our offerings but also appeals to a growing segment of environmentally-conscious consumers.

Expansion is a key pillar of our growth strategy. We plan to significantly increase our retail footprint from 25,000 to 40,000 outlets across India. This ambitious growth plan is designed to enhance our accessibility and ensure our products reach a broader audience.

By focusing on both offline and online channels, we aim to provide a seamless shopping experience, meeting consumers where they are most comfortable.

Innovation in product development is another critical aspect. We’ve launched the Frenchie U-19 line, catering specifically to teenagers with unique sizing needs. This move taps into an underserved market segment and positions us as a forward-thinking brand that understands and addresses diverse consumer needs. Additionally, we are expanding our women’s offerings under the VIP Feelings brand, aiming to capture a larger share of this growing market.

Enhancing customer experience is also central to our strategy. By leveraging advanced analytics and consumer insights, we tailor our marketing efforts to better connect with our audience. This includes personalized campaigns and compelling content that resonate with today’s tech-savvy consumers.

Our commitment to quality and consistency remains unwavering. We continue to invest in our supply chain and production processes to maintain the high standards that have defined our brand for decades.

VIP Clothing Ltd. is poised to blend its rich heritage with contemporary strategies, ensuring we remain a trusted and relevant choice for consumers in this current retail scenario, which keeps changing from time to time.

What role does innovation play in the development of new products and strategies for the brand?

Kanishk Pathare: Innovation plays a pivotal role in shaping the future of VIP Clothing Ltd., driving our product development and strategic decisions. By constantly implementing new ideas and technologies, we stay ahead in the ever-evolving market and cater to the dynamic preferences of our consumers.

Let’s talk product development first. Innovation is our guiding light here. We’re not just sticking to the basics; we’re expanding our horizons. Take our new leisurewear line, for example. It’s all about comfort and versatility, responding to the modern consumer’s desire for multifunctional clothing.

And then there’s our commitment to sustainability. By incorporating eco-friendly materials, we’re not just keeping up with a trend; we’re meeting a growing consumer expectation for ethical fashion.

We’re also diving into niche markets with innovative products like the Frenchie U-19 line, designed specifically for teenagers. This isn’t just about filling a gap in the market; it’s about recognizing and addressing unique needs that have been overlooked.

Expanding our women’s line under VIP Feelings is another move that shows we’re attuned to our customers’ diverse preferences, ensuring we offer something for everyone.

When it comes to strategy, innovation is our secret weapon. By leveraging data analytics and consumer insights, we create personalized marketing campaigns that truly resonate with our audience.

This isn’t just about throwing ads out there; it’s about connecting with our consumers on a deeper level, fostering loyalty and engagement. Imagine getting a product recommendation or an ad that feels like it was made just for you – that’s the power of innovative marketing.

Innovation also streamlines our operations. Advanced manufacturing techniques and optimized logistics mean we can maintain our high standards while being cost-effective. This agility allows us to respond swiftly to market changes, ensuring our products are always in sync with consumer demands.

Innovation is what drives VIP Clothing Ltd. It’s what keeps us relevant, competitive, and aligned with our consumers’ needs. By continuously embracing innovative approaches, we make sure that our brand not only maintains its legacy but also thrives in the fast-paced world of fashion retail.

How do you ensure that your innerwear meets the diverse needs and preferences of your customer base?

Kanishk Pathare: Ensuring that our innerwear meets the diverse needs and preferences of our customer base at VIP Clothing Ltd. is central to our mission. We achieve this through a multi-faceted approach that combines market research, innovation, quality control, and inclusive product development.

Understanding Consumer Preferences

Our journey begins with a deep understanding of our consumers. We conduct extensive market research to gather insights into consumer behavior, preferences, and trends. This involves analyzing purchasing patterns, conducting surveys, and leveraging social media feedback. By staying attuned to what our customers want, we can tailor our products to meet their specific needs.

Innovation and Product Development

Innovation is at the heart of our product development strategy. We are constantly exploring new materials and technologies to enhance the comfort, functionality, and durability of our products. The introduction of leisurewear and sustainable materials into our product range demonstrates our commitment to innovation. By incorporating eco-friendly fabrics, we not only cater to the environmentally-conscious consumer but also contribute to a more sustainable future.

Quality and Comfort

Quality and comfort are non-negotiable aspects of our innerwear. We have stringent quality control processes in place to ensure that every product that reaches our customers meets the highest standards. From the selection of raw materials to the final stitching, every step is meticulously monitored. Our commitment to comfort is evident in our choice of soft, breathable fabrics and ergonomic designs that provide a perfect fit.

Inclusive Range of Products

We understand that our customer base is diverse, with varying preferences and requirements. To address this, we offer a wide range of products across different categories. Our brands, including VIP, Frenchie, Feelings, Leader, and Brat, cater to men, women, and children. Each brand is designed with specific customer segments in mind, ensuring that we have something for everyone.

For example, VIP Feelings focuses on women’s innerwear with an emphasis on style and comfort, while Frenchie and Frenchie X cater to different segments of the men’s market.

Customer Feedback and Adaptation

Customer feedback is invaluable in our continuous improvement process. We actively seek and incorporate feedback from our customers to refine our products and services. This two-way communication ensures that we stay relevant and responsive to the changing needs of our consumers.

Strategic Advisory

The recent appointment of Sunil Kumar Alagh as a strategic advisor further strengthens our ability to innovate and adapt. His vast experience in the industry provides us with strategic insights to enhance our marketing and sales activities, helping us to stay ahead of market trends and consumer expectations.

Expanding Accessibility

Our commitment to meeting diverse needs extends to making our products widely accessible. With plans to expand our retail footprint from 25,000 to 40,000 outlets and open 100 franchise stores in the next five years, we aim to ensure that our innerwear is easily available to a broader audience.

So, by combining market research, innovation, quality assurance, inclusive product development, and strategic expansion, we at VIP Clothing Ltd. ensure that our innerwear meets the diverse needs and preferences of our customer base. This comprehensive approach allows us to uphold our legacy while staying relevant in a fast-paced market.

Can you discuss any notable collaborations or partnerships that have helped elevate the brand’s profile?

Kanishk Pathare: Logicloop, a digital solutions provider, has entered into a partnership with VIP Clothing Ltd. Through this collaboration, Logicloop will exclusively manage the digital mandate for VIP Clothing’s prominent categories: VIP Innerwear and VIP Frenchie.

The agency is set to lead VIP Clothing’s digital marketing initiatives, focusing on brand development, organic growth through SEO and content, social media marketing, performance marketing to drive ROI, and web development.

Nirav Gosalia, co-founder of Logicloop, says “We have been entrusted with the digital mandate for VIP Clothing, a renowned name in the industry. At Logicloop, our primary focus is to deliver creative brilliance and strategic insights that redefine success for our clients. The collaboration between VIP Clothing and Logicloop further strengthens our commitment to driving digital excellence for all our valued clients.”

Shraddha Sonavane, head of marketing and communications at VIP Clothing, added, “VIP Clothing is committed to enhancing its online presence, and Logicloop’s innovative team and skills will play a crucial role in optimizing our digital strategies and achieving our long-term marketing goals. We are thrilled to embark on this new journey with confidence and enthusiasm,”

New collaborations and partnerships in business are vital as they bring fresh perspectives and expertise, fostering innovation and growth. They allow companies to leverage each other’s strengths, explore new markets, and enhance their competitive edge, ultimately driving mutual success.

What does the future hold for your legacy retail innerwear brand, and what are your aspirations moving forward?

Kanishk Pathare: The future for our legacy retail innerwear brand looks incredibly promising as we navigate the evolving market landscape. Our primary focus is on strengthening our existing brands by expanding our product range to include leisurewear and incorporating sustainable materials.

This strategic direction is not only a response to current consumer trends but also a commitment to innovation and environmental responsibility.

Leisurewear represents a significant growth opportunity. As consumers increasingly prioritize comfort and versatility in their wardrobes, introducing a range of outerwear allows us to cater to these evolving preferences. By blending style and functionality, we aim to position our leisurewear as the go-to choice for consumers seeking both comfort and fashion.

This expansion also opens new avenues for customer engagement and brand loyalty, as we can reach a broader audience that values the comfort and practicality of our products.

Embracing sustainability is another key pillar of our future strategy. The shift towards eco-friendly materials is driven by a growing consumer consciousness about environmental impact. By integrating fabrics and production methods which are eco-conscious, we not only reduce our environmental footprint but also align our brand with the values of a more eco-aware consumer base.

This commitment will differentiate our products in the market and appeal to consumers who prioritize ethical consumption.

Looking ahead, VIP Clothing Ltd. plans to build and diversify its brand portfolio in response to dynamic consumer behaviors and preferences. We are constantly analyzing market trends and consumer feedback to identify new opportunities and areas for growth. This proactive approach ensures that we remain relevant and competitive in a rapidly changing market.

All in all, the future for our legacy retail innerwear brand is centered on innovation and adaptability. By expanding into outerwear and committing to sustainable practices, we are well-positioned to meet the demands of today’s consumers while also preparing for the trends of tomorrow.

Our aspiration is to continue evolving, building new brands, and maintaining our reputation for quality and reliability in the innerwear market.

Kanishk Pathare’s leadership at VIP Clothing underscores a commitment to innovation and consumer-centric strategies, setting benchmarks for D2C excellence in India’s innerwear industry. His forward-thinking approach promises continued success and transformation in the evolving landscape of retail and consumer goods.

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