As unfamiliar as the name of a conglomerate sounds in the first paragraph, the name of the brands this giant operates, it will start making sense by the time you start reading the next one. Arvind Limited is one of India’s largest integrated textile and apparel companies with a strong retail presence and a pioneer of denim in India. Arvind has an unmatched portfolio of owned and licensed brands and retail formats.
The company’s own product brands include Flying Machine, Colt, Ruggers, Excalibur amongst others while its licensed product brands have big global names like Arrow, Gant, Izod, Elle, Cherokee, US Polo Assn to name a few.
It has a joint venture in India with a global major like Tommy Hilfiger and GAP. It also has retail brands like Megamart The Arvind Store, Club America, Next and Debenhams.
The company’s principal business consists of manufacturing and marketing of Denim Fabric Shirting, Fabric Shirts, Knitted Fabric and Garments. The company has production facilities at Ahmedabad, Mehsana, Gandhinagar in Gujarat, Pune in Maharashtra and Bangalore in Karnataka.
HISTORY AND EARLY DAYS!
Arvind Ltd was incorporated in the year 1931 as Arvind Mills Ltd by three brothers Kasturbhai, Narottambhai and Chimanbhai. At a time when there was hardly any manufacturing activity in India, Lalbhai Dalpatbhai set up his first mill, the Saraspur Manufacturing Company.
In the year 1934, they established themselves amongst the foremost textile units in the country. By 1935, Arvind’s butta voiles were being exported to Switzerland and the United Kingdom (UK), thereby realizing the full potential of the spirit behind Swadeshi.
Post Independence Expansion
After two decades of success in the textile industry, Arvind set up India’s first dye and chemical plant, under the aegis of Atul Products Ltd, in order to reduce the nation’s dependence on imported dyes, and chemicals.
Flying Machine, became India’s first denim apparel brand and was launched to meet the aspirations of the emerging youth segment.
Innovating the Future
Renovision, a new strategic plan for the Company, was introduced in Arvind. It was to put Arvind and India on the global map of denim manufacturing. Just as India, a protected economy, was opening to the world, Arvind had firmly shifted its focus on domestic to international markets.
They are the first company to bring globally accepted fabrics such as Denim yarn dyed shirting fabrics & wrinkle free gabardines to India in the year 1986. Arvind was soon to emerge as a global leader in denim production. In the year 1987, they started retail outlets for ‘Arrow’ brand and became the first company to bring international shirt brand ‘Arrow’ to India.
The New ARVIND
To accurately reflect the multi-faceted nature of the organization, the name of the Company was changed to Arvind Ltd. from Arvind Mills Ltd.
Arvind Mills in 1985 has diversified into electronics by setting up a plant to manufacture electronic telephone exchanges (EPABX). They also entered into marketing pharmaceutical products and B&W and color television sets under the name Pyramid.
During the year 2003-04 the company expanded their shirts manufacturing capacity from 2.4 million pieces to 4.8 million pieces per annum. During the same year, their subsidiary company Arvind Spinning Ltd commenced their operation.
In March 2005 the company commenced their operations of producing Jeans Pant in Bangalore with the installed capacity of 4 million Pcs per annum. During the year 2005-06 new Denim collection was launched which was aimed at the Super Premium brands of the USA, Europe, Japan, & Korea. The response to this collection was good and they have opened new venues for the Denim division.
The company has a joint venture company namely Arvind Murjani Brand Pvt Ltd through which they hold a license to sell Tommy Hilfiger brand apparel in India.
In March 2008 the company signed an exclusive license agreement with The Philips-Van Heusen Corporation for designing distribution and retailing of IZOD brand apparels in India.
From May 2008 the company’s name was changed from Arvind Mills Ltd to Arvind Ltd so as to accurately reflect the multi-faceted nature of the organization.
In 2010 The Arvind Store was set up to house the best brands of Arvind under one roof.
The store offers the entire range of the company’s fabrics and apparel.
In September 2010 Arvind announced its decision to set up 30 million meters of the denim manufacturing plant in Bangladesh with a total investment of $60 million. The plant will be set up in a joint venture with Nitol group of Bangladesh. Nitol group will have a 20% stake in the joint venture company. In 2011, Arvind brought some of the biggest global fashion brands like Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, GAP, Ed Hardy, Hanes Nautica and Elle to India.
In 2011, Arvind announced that it has divested its minority stake of 40% in VF Arvind Brands Private Limited (VFABPL) to VF Mauritius for Rs 257 crore. VFABPL which is engaged in marketing products under the brands Lee and Wrangler was formed in September 2006 with 60:40 shareholding between VF Mauritius and Arvind.
Arvind’s subsidiary Arvind Lifestyle Brands announced the acquisition of the business operations of British fashion retailers Debenhams and Next and American Lifestyle brand Nautica in India from Planet Retail. Also during the same period, the company launched denim fabric Khadi Denim.
INNOVATIONS, NEW LAUNCHES, AND Ecommerce
Arvind collaborated with the world’s largest internet giant and the world’s most renowned denim brand to launch wearable denim technology and smart denim jackets.
It also launched a 4-in-1 smart shirt in collaboration with Arrow. In 2016 Arvind Fashion Brands tied up with cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar to launch True Blue a menswear label that embodied the spirit of the global Indian. Arvind launched Nnnow.com, a one-stop shopping destination for trendsetters across the country.
A Legacy and A Brand to look out for
Today, the fabric made by Arvind can go around the earth 6 times over. Overall, That’s where a US$ 1.7 billion dollar conglomerate stands today. From being just a textile company, Arvind has come a long way and are striving every day to create opportunities where none exist. It employs 42,000 people across verticals ranging from retail to advanced materials, environmental and social solutions to real estate, apparel to agriculture.
Arvind owns 22 global patents for environmental solutions and is the largest fire protection fabric producer in the country and 2 pieces of apparel are sold by an Arvind managed brand, every second in India.