Indian-based mid priced mass lingerie brand Daisy Dee, from the house of Lovable is celebrating 19 years in the intimate’s business which is an achievement itself
Daisy Dee has been catering to the middle class segment, selling lingerie since 1999.
From its iconic Salwar Kameez Bra; a pioneer of moulded bra, this brand has been growing over the years and has become an integral part of the lingerie industry here. The perspective gained over the years, the long history of this unique brand, respected and admired, as much for its character and innovativeness, it becomes evident that there was a need to put in a story of the many years of creative and economic pursuit.
On this special occasion we interviewed Mr. Giri Raj G.M. Sales & Marketing who has been with the brand for seventeen odd years. A stalwart in the industry proving that personal relations are worthy of more attention even in this cut throat professional world. A marketing MBA from the Nagarjuna University, the man of the moment was previously worked with Zodiac Clothing Limited as a branch manager for two years prior to joining Lovable in 2001.
Presently handling both the leading lingerie brands in the country viz., Lovable and Daisy Dee pan India. As a core member, he is involved in critical decision making, concerning functional as well as managerial spheres. Proficient in handling multiple verticals of business. Discover Daisy Dee’s journey to becoming one of India’s ultimate lingerie mass brand
In Conversation with
- Giri Raj – General Manger (Sales & Marketing), Daisy Dee.
This year you are celebrating Daisy Dee’s 19th Year Anniversary.
What thoughts and emotions come to mind when you think about that? How are you marking the occasion?
G.R: “Daisy Dee is proud of its existence in the lingerie industry. It is also because of the fact that we have reached the 19th milestone; the collective credit of which goes to the top management, dedicated staff, channel partners, retailers and above all our esteemed brand loyalists without whom DAISY DEE would not have grown to such great heights. It has been a great journey witnessing our brand gain recognition over the years from the time of its inception in the year 1999.
I vividly recall all the phases of metamorphosis of the brand, which moved on to become a promising entity in the space of lingerie, despite stiff competition that was then prevailing in the market. For us, every small baby-step towards progress motivated us to perform better. Gaining strength from every small victory, we as a team steadily moved towards the pinnacle with the current marketplace looking up to us as an unmatched leader in the lingerie industry.
It will not be an exaggeration to quote that there are only a handful brands, which have sustained tough conditions over the years, the same being the case with Daisy Dee as well. Cutting the long story short, this is the journey of Daisy Dee; a success story that spells the confidence and conviction of everybody concerned.”
Tell us how the brand began. Where did you draw inspiration in order to start and build this incredible business?
G.R: “Going down memory lane, Daisy Dee has its roots linked to the introduction of Lovable, a premium lingerie brand in the year 1996. After the launch of Lovable and its immediate success, the management’s vision began focussing on the mid-market segment. This led to the emergence of Daisy Dee, a mid-market lingerie brand in the year 1999.
Tagged as a lucrative segment in the Indian market, it was a strategic decision on part of the management to penetrate widely into the mid-segment market to unveil its strong potential.”
Starting at the beginning, tell us about the birth of Daisy Dee. Do you remember the first piece you made and what things were like at the start?
G.R: “To start with, Daisy Dee started as a very small player in the innerwear industry. That was the time when our brand could not benefit from the state-of-the-art brassiere manufacturing tools and processes that were already in place. On the flip-side, we were able to gain strength from our in-house technical experts in the field of bra manufacturing.
To err is human. It was the case with Daisy Dee as well which has looked upon its mistakes as its stepping-stones to success. Every error bestowed us with invaluable learning experiences and within no time, we were able to empower ourselves with both technical and managerial expertise in carving out this brand.”
You are one of the biggest brands in the country today. What excited the company about women’s innerwear business?
G.R: “Making the most of the experience we gained from men’s innerwear, we penetrated into the lingerie to cash on the equality in demographics. With the populace of women standing in line with that of men, this was the basic premise that handheld us to venture into the women’s innerwear business.”
What was the innerwear industry like in India at the time of launch? What about the culture more broadly?
G.R: “Ladies’ innerwear registered a very small marketplace then. The conservative outlook of women made them hesitant to shop for themselves by heading to a nearby store. This attitude posed a challenge to sell lingerie in large numbers those days. With the passage of time, a paradigm shift in the outlook of women was evident through a broad-minded approach. Education coupled with employment opportunities for women, encouraging them to step outside to pick and select lingerie for themselves, ultimately paving way for the growth of Daisy Dee.”
How has the brand and its products evolved since the launch?
G.R: “Initially, we started with a minimum of 12-15 styles in four categories featuring basic colours. Given the fact that we were conservative in our product presentation, we carefully treaded the marketplace with very few new products. Once we gained a grip over the purchasing behaviour, it was then that we went on to add newer styles and categories to our already strong product line. To name a few, we have Super Shapers as a full-coverage bra, 16 Hours Day and Special Moods made of Chikan lace; a fancy lingerie. Keeping teenagers in mind, we have come up with our most patronized Salwar Kameez Bra. Likewise, there are many categories in the brassiere segment, supported by camisoles and panties.
College Style, the padded brassiere segment stands next in line as a notable offering. Gaining from the global popularity of padded bras, management expected the same to mirror in the Indian market. With this futuristic vision, we went ahead and introduced the College Style as an “ahead of time” proposition for the youthful market. College Style gained enormous success, adding another feather to our multi-faceted product portfolio.”
What do you consider the most innovative product?
G.R: “With a deep sense of pride, I would like to quote the introduction of Daisy Dee‘s seamless Salwar Kameez Bra as our innovative offering to the Indian women. Cashing on the innate need to manufacture a brassiere without visible and peeping seams on cups, this very idea led to the emergence of Salwar Kameez Bra providing a one-stop-solution to multiple issues faced by the women of today. With this bold revolution, modern women of today can confidently get dressed in their seamless brassieres without the seams dampening the look of a garment. These bras are specially styled with unique machine-moulding seamless cups that eliminate ungainly seams, awkward creases and embarrassing bulges showing through the body hugging Salwar Kameez.
It will be an interesting trivia to note that this category commands wide patronage even today, after its launch, which has taken place 15 years ago. This fills us with a great sense of pride when women recall our innovative product and specifically ask for Salwar Kameez Bras at stores. With various aggressive inputs invested, the brand has become a run-away success and is poised to grow exponentially in the coming years.”
What challenges has Daisy Dee faced?
G.R: “The presence of many unbranded products in the market was a top challenge the brand faced, repeatedly. Next in line is the domination of regional lingerie brands eating up a lion’s share of the market. These two are the big challenges that Daisy Dee faced that helped the brand bounce back stronger year after year.”
Describe your brand. What separates Daisy Dee from other lingerie brands?
G.R: “Daisy Dee’s products are perfectly designed to fit and match the different contours of a woman’s body. The bra fulfils most of the demands and has been designed keeping in mind the constantly evolving needs of every Indian woman. The use of special elastics, fabrics and many other innovative features add up to make Daisy Dee the best in the league. Our uniquely styled product range ensures a perfect fit along with superior comfort supported by optimum coverage. To sum it all, Daisy Dee comes as a perfect solution for daylong wear.”
What do you see as the biggest accomplishments since your start ?What has been your highlights the year on year so far?
G.R: ” I would like to answer this question in the form of pointers.
- To start with, my first accomplishment came in the form of identifying the right channel partner for our business and I proudly admit the fact that 80% of these channel partners are still associated with us. They have extended their support to us all through our 19-year journey.
- Secondly, I would like to speak about my dedicated and organized field force. Tagged as a backbone of our business, these sales personnel recruited by me have stood by the company through thick and thin.
- Let us now move on to the retail business associates who were instrumental in developing out brand to gain nation-wide recognition. And it is with a deep sense of pride that I would like to highlight the strong inter-personal relationships that I have nurtured over the years, all of which are still intact. I have at every juncture lead by example, giving utmost importance to professional relationships; the life-blood of any business.
- With a deep sense of satisfaction, I would like to draw your attention to all my efforts, which have translated into results through perfect product placements.
Wrapping it up, the above mentioned can be recognized as the tip of the iceberg as there is no end to the achievements I am proud of, being a part of a successful brand for so long.”
How do you define the Daisy Dee woman? Who is she? How does she identify? And how has she changed over the years?
G.R: “It will be apt to describe Daisy Dee customers as women who are youthful and smart with an enterprising personality that is evident in both professional and personal spheres. Juggling with chores and multi-tasking are the two other characteristics that set the Daisy Dee woman apart from other women who are diffident about making the right lingerie choice. She is well informed and intelligent who links her purchasing judgement to the information that is made available through visual and print media.
In keeping with all the innate qualities of a Daisy Dee woman, we do not see any change in her loyalty towards our brand. On the contrary, we take pride in letting you know that we have become the single-window source to address the minute details that are demanded by the modern Indian woman, concerning lingerie.”
In what different ways have you grown Daisy Dee, over the past 19 year?
G.R: “It is not my ideal to stick to job descriptions. Given this philosophy of mine, I have put my heart and soul into every functional department of Daisy Dee. We agree to the fact that we started small. However, with every passing year, we gained insights about our performance. This introspection helped us identify pain points that were addressed on time so that they do not affect the brand or its market presence. Not about singling out my contribution, it is the combined effort of various departments that helped our brand reach the pinnacle of pride.
Taking baby steps, we made a humble beginning with a thin distribution network. To this day, we have grown to an extent that we are now managing 200 odd distributors operating across close to 15,000 stores pan India. The brand has grown rapidly and has a wide spread of sales and distribution network, garnering a nation-wide presence.
Professionalism is the buzzword that drives every department of Daisy Dee, helping the brand to stay in close touch with the market at all times.”
Could you tell us about your existing collections in brief? And talk to us about the fabric, colours and designs. Where did this collection get its inspiration from?
G.R: “Our product line consists of brassieres, panties and camisoles. All these are crafted employing high-quality cotton yarn. The brassieres come with imported hook and eye teamed with special elastic brands. To top it all, the use of superior fabric along with many other innovative features enable our products stand out from our competitor products.
Speaking of the palette, earlier basic colours dominated our product offerings. However, as of today we have umpteen colour choices that can go with multi-colour outfits.
Daisy Dee has a very skilled team comprising of designers and merchandisers who are in line with the emerging trends of the lingerie fashion market and the consumer needs. Coupled with this, the constructive feedback coming from experienced marketing and sales teams is our key to overall product growth and brand visibility.”
What are you most excited about for the future of retail?
G.R: “The future of retail is not only interesting but also challenging. A major challenge comes in the form of competing with “me too” brands that are thronging the market place. Making our presence felt amongst competitor products and gaining recognition,as a market leader is the other face of the same coin.
Subjects of interest stem from the innumerable avenues that are now open to explore. Markets are growing at a rapid pace, prompting us to offer the best of products to not only sustain but also flourish in the highly competitive segment of multi-brand lingerie industry. Retailing through MBOs, EBOs, online sites, hypermarkets and LFS offer a potential for growth and product visibility. Putting these channels to the best possible use is an advantage that ensures sustainable results. Today, customers have become knowledgeable and have the first-hand information about the product they wish to choose. Hence satisfying their needs to match their expectations is both a challenge and an incentive.”
Mr. Ashok has said previously, “Online buying has become an important element of shopping today as it is more convenient.” Could you tell us more…
G.R: “In addition to brick and motor stores that are meeting the multiple needs of customers, now is the age of online shopping interfaces. Bringing in convenience by avoiding the physical strain of knocking on the doors of showrooms, an online website is the single-window platform to order a host of products. Some platforms offer the “try at home” feature, which enhances the comfort of making a well-informed choice from the comfort of your home. Simply sign up with your favourite online partner, browse through the huge collection of products and order those that are needed by you. You also have the luxury of availing huge discounts, which are tagged to online products. Aping the western lifestyles, an online platform is a perfect solution for working women to order their choicest products from the comfort of their living rooms. Warranty and “purchase on returnable basis” are the two other advantages that are in store for online customers. The ability to view and assess the quality of an online product is possible through various angular views supported by 3D visuals that only an online shopping site offers its customers.”
What comes next for Daisy Dee? What will the years look like? In what ways do you expect to grow? Are there any new products or services in the pipeline?
G.R: “There is never a dull moment when working with Daisy Dee. Supporting a brand that has gained a strong market presence since its inception 19 years ago, the future looks promising. We are foreseeing a multi-fold growth with the emergence of newer avenues. Be it the expanding markets, popularity of online shopping sites and the impressive presence of MBOs and EBOs, all these parameters will accelerate the growth of business. Cutting short the time that was taken to arrive at this successful juncture, the day is not far away when we will proudly announce to the Indian lingerie market that we are here to stay for the long haul.
To answer the last part of your question, we have many more product offerings which we are sure will create multiple ripples in the market; repeating the success story of what happened with Salwar Kameez Bra.
To sum it all, I would like to conclude at this point in time is to JUST WAIT AND WATCH!“