Harshad Thakkar, 38, chairman and managing director of Ashapura Intimates Fashion, started his journey in the lingerie industry at the age of 15 as a sales manager in a store.
“I started my career with it (the lingerie business). At a very young age of 15 years as a sales manager I started this work. I was the sales manager in India’s first lingerie store,” Mr Thakkar told NDTV.
With a capital of Rs 4 lakh, Mr Thakkar started Ashapura Intimates in 1999. The company’s market value now stands at nearly Rs 500 crore.The company manufactures and retails the ‘Valentine’ brand that includes kids’ nightwear, ladies nightwear, men’s nightwear, undergarments, slips, leggings, sportswear etc. Under the ‘Valentine’ umbrella brand, the company has different lines like ‘Valentine Secret’, ‘Valentine Pink’, ‘Night & Day’ and ‘N-Line’.
The company also makes what it calls lounge wear. “Lounge wear is relax wear clothing line which is between underwear and garments…what you can wear outside parties and office,” Mr Thakkar said.
The company has its own manufacturing facility on Thane-Nashik highway near Mumbai, and supplies to 12,000 multi-brand outlets that sell its products through 130 distributors.
Ashapura Intimates has three of its own stores in stores in Mumbai and will take up the number to five, by this month, the company said. The rest of the stores across India and in Nepal are franchises, it said.
“We are a pan India brand and we export as well under our name.” The company currently exports to Gulf countries and export sales make up for 10 per cent of total turnover.