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612 league aims to capture the kids’ world

By Meenakshi Kumar


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Born out of sheer void in proper sizing for kids and bringing global trends, 612 League has come a long way from then. There was a clear segregation between different age groups in the pre-teen bracket found out the founders of the brand Manu Indrayan and Mohita Indrayan in the US. That thought matured in 2011 and led to the creation of 612 League, a brand that they wanted to have the adaptation of international design to the sensibilities of Indian parenting. This ‘imagined in India, international in outlook brand’ came about at a time when branded apparel market for kids in India was at a nascent stage with the intention of putting on the shelves design and quality of global apparels.

Fruition of an idea and the need

Manu, a first-generation entrepreneur with his management background together with his wife Mohita who is a NIFT alumni, commercially launched the brand pan-India in 2011. They started on a small scale through partnerships with Shoppers Stop and Reliance Trends. The kids’ wear market has undergone a phenomenal change, from a time when the apparel was not even differentiated to a time where global trends are frequently shared and discussed on different social platforms.

The unique proposition that the brand offers is differentiated and fashion forward offerings for the pre-teens. The clothing is western inspired. The key lied in perfectly marrying the global trend with the Indian essence. For instance, when Scottish skirts were a rage, the company designed them with in-built shorts. Another example to cite, ripped jeans was a trend that picked up fast in India. The brand tweaked the ripped jeans for tweens with patches underneath. Kidswear is a lot about the comfort that it gives to the parent.

Capturing diverse markets

612 league designs clothes for kids pan-India, they understand the needs of Indian parents and are aware of the sensibility and design appreciation of Indian parents which changes every few kilometers as India is a very diverse country. In order to cater to ethnic sensibilities of people across regions and cultures, the brand hires designers from across geographies. Out of the 500 SKUs that get manufactured in a season, 200 are quintessentially 612 League products, that is, international in outlook, while the rest 300 SKUs are designed with respect to regional and cultural preferences. These attributes give the brand an edge over its competitors.

In India, there were three principle challenges that defined the market for kids’ apparel. First 30 per cent of the market is school uniforms. Second, the market is not brand driven and in that sense quite localised. Third, kids outgrow their clothes very quickly. Therefore, the propensity to buy is impeded by price points.

Getting brand conscious

Unlike previous years, these days parents have become far more brand conscious while buying kids clothing. Although the branded kids’ wear segment has recorded higher growth in recent years, it still remains a largely unbranded market, with products sold mostly through unorganised retail channels. Brands and retailers need to ensure better penetration beyond urban pockets and cater to the price sensitive children’s segment in semi-urban and rural India. Kidswear has become an involved product category. It is as much about utility as it is about style along with being performance oriented. Parents take their kids’ wardrobe far more seriously, thanks to global design inspirations. Kids are far more conscious about their taste and style and actively participate in purchasing decisions.

Growing with time

612 League has become a 100 crores company in five years. It is looking tripling its turnover by 2020. It has grown from 176 touch points in 2013 to 460 outlets spread across 140 Indian cities in 2016. The number is projected to further increase to 800. With 50 EBOs currently and the number projected to double in the next 2 years, the brand is all set to grow in expanse and scope. The company also plans to expanding its product line by including ethnic wear, innerwear and even shoes by 2018 so that they become an umbrella brand for kids.

612 League