Chicago: Sara Lee Corporation, the US-based consumer products and foods giant, with brands such as DKNY, Fila, Bali and Wonderbra, plans to enter the Indian apparel market.
Company officials say the company is talking to leading management consultants to advise the multinational for its proposed foray and is also studying the Indian apparel market to formalise the exact structure for its entry.
Initially, Sara Lee is planning to launch Hanes, its biggest casual wear brand for both men and women, which competes with the Jockey brand worldwide, Champion brand of sportswear and Playtex brand of innerwear in India.
Sara Lee's products will be priced in the premium as well as popular categories as it sees more volumes in the latter.
Sara Lee Corporation has a presence in India through Godrej Sara Lee, its joint venture with the Godrej group for household products and a wholly owned subsidiary Sara Lee TTK, which manufactures Brylcream and Kiwi Shoe polish.
Sara Lee TTK Pvt Ltd started as a joint venture between Sara Lee Corporation, US, and the TTK group in October 1993. But in January 2002 this was converted into a 100-per cent subsidiary of Sara Lee. However, the US-based company continues to have a distribution arrangement with the TTK group for its Kiwi and Brylcream ranges.
Sara Lee is now seriously looking at India and China as potential key markets for special focus. The company's biggest market is the US, which accounts for nearly 70 per cent of its sales. Sara Lee's growth mode path globally has been through acquisitions, and it is open to the option in India as well.
Sara Lee worldwide has three highly-focussed businesses: food and beverage, intimates and underwear, and household products. Its largest division is Sara Lee Branded Apparel. Sara Lee has operations in 55 countries and markets products in nearly 200 countries employing about 1,54,900 people worldwide.
In fiscal year 2002, Sara Lee Corporation achieved a turnover of $17.6 billion and $1.0 billion of net income.