| Bindu D Menon
The Hindu Business Line
New Delhi, 28 January 2014
Aditya Birla Group's fibre division Birla Cellulose is keen to chart a new course in fashion by entering the retail segment with its 'Liva' brand.
The $3-billion company, which so far has been catering viscose or cellulose fibre to other apparel brands, said the growing popularity and adaptability of viscose is creating an opportunity for it.
"We were till recently a B2B brand. However, going forward, we want to have a consumer connect. Liva was created with this aspect in mind. Also, cellulose is the fastest growing fibre in the world. The manmade fibre has been growing on the back of high consumption in the apparel segment," said Manohar Samuel, President-Marketing, Birla Cellulose.
To reach the end-consumer, the company has partnered with designers. "We have roped in designer Puja Mehra. We believe our innovation in fibre will work in formal, casual and ethnic wear," he added.
Birla Cellulose currently caters to a host of both domestic and international textile brands such as Target and Marks & Spencer, besides its own brands like Van Heusen, Allen Solly and Louis Philippe.
The company has sub-brands called Birla Modal, Birla Viscose, Birla Spunshades and Birla Excel, among others.
Samuel said the company has invested Rs 2,500 crore in its fourth plant at Vilayat in Gujarat.
It also has its fully integrated manufacturing facilities extending from plantation to pulp to fibre in countries such as Canada, Laos, Sweden and fibre plants in China, Indonesia and Thailand.
Birla Cellulose had previously entered the consumer goods segment with wet wipes under the Kara label.
The company, which has about 25 per cent market share in the commodity fibre, says its application can be extended to large products umbrella such as home linen and babycare.