labels: advertising/branding
Crocodiles 15-year guarantee shirt news
Venkatachari Jagannathan
28 January 2002

Chennai: A readymade shirt with a 15-year guarantee tag. That is what Crocodile Products, manufacturers of the Crocodile brand of ready-to-wear garments, is planning to offer Indian consumers. "Our joint venture partners sell such shirts in Thailand under the brand Cartelo. The guarantee is against colour fading, stitches, breakage of buttons and the like. The guarantee card comes in plastic and not paper," says Crocodile Products managing director Venkatesh Sivaraman.

Priced around Rs 3,000, such shirts will be imported from one of the Crocodile Internationals plants. Currently the company sells shirts, T-shirts, trousers, mens undergarments and accessories like belts, socks, sunglasses, watches and ties.

Crocodile Products, curiously, stays away from ladies wear. Why? "The size of Indian women differs from one state to the other, so it is not an economical option. Further, our women would like to have exclusive designs; it doesnt bode well for production houses," says Sivaraman.

The Rs 18.7-crore turnover company is a three-year-old joint venture between Shivram Associates (holding 66 per cent) and the Singapore-based Crocodile International (33 per cent), having a major presence in the Asian region. "Financial institutions hold 1 per cent," he says. Crocodile International gets a 4-per cent royalty from the Indian company for brand usage.

The Indian venture, excluding the brand, is valued at Rs 80.63 crore by Deloitte Touche Selles. Sivaraman says an additional sum of Rs 8 crore will be invested in brand-building and expansion activities. Till date the company, which broke even last fiscal, has invested Rs 7 crore.

The companys three facilities are located at Bangalore, Coimbatore and Avinashi near Coimbatore. While the Bangalore facility manufactures shirts, the other two plants make knitted garments. "We have an annual capacity of 4.8 lakh shirts and 30 lakh knit garments," says Sivaraman. "By this yearend we plan to increase out franchisee network to 80 stores from the current number of 40."

Replying to a query about the viability of a franchisee model in the light of another leading garment retail chain closing its franchisee deals, he says: "My galleries are small in size ranging between 700 to 2,000 sq ft so there wouldnt be any problem in such a format." According to him apart from the exclusive outlets, the companys products are available in around 2,500 multi-brand outlets.

Apart from franchisees, the company will also expand its network of distributors (authorised and super-authorised dealers multi-brand outlets) with or without separate corners for the Crocodile brand.


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Crocodiles 15-year guarantee shirt