Mumbai: In one of the first investments in apparel retail this year, Matrix Partners India invested Rs 60 crore in TCNS Clothing Co. Pvt. Ltd, which makes and markets a women’s apparel brand called W.
TCNS will use the money to expand operations, open more stores, and build its brand. “We are looking at doubling our footprint by next year,” chief executive Anant Daga said, adding that his firm had started the process of raising funds in June.
“The Indian women’s wear market is large, unorganized and untapped,” said Amit Kapoor, managing director, Matrix India. “Being a leading women’s wear brand, W is well positioned to capitalize on this opportunity.”
Matrix Partners, which has $300 million under management, has earlier invested in Brand Marketing India, which has exclusive licensing rights in India for Calvin Klein.
The W brand is available at about 100 exclusive shops in more than 40 cities and at over 600 points of sale in multi-brand stores.
After a rush of investments in the apparel retail sector last year, there were no private equity investments this year as investors’ judged that expanding business was challenging in India. Since 2008, about $245 million has been pumped into the sector, according to VCCEdge, a financial research firm.
However, according to Abhishek Ranganathan, an analyst at MF Global Sify Securities India Pvt. Ltd, if there is a unique proposition such as women’s apparel that has growth potential and good pricing power, then such models will attract investors. “Also, if it’s a smaller brand, then investors will want to invest in it so that they can participate in the growth,” he said.
Other firms in the women’s apparel market include FabIndia and Biba Apparels Pvt. Ltd.
An increase in the number of women in the urban workforce has led to discretionary spending by them, giving an impetus to women’s apparel, according to a 2011 report by retail consultancy firm Images Group. The women’s ethnic wear market is worth about Rs 75,000 crore, the report said. The segments of women’s wear and kid’s wear, with high growth rates of 12% and 10.5%, respectively, will be the growth drivers for the readymade garments industry, it said.