With reference to the article “How Dhirubhai’s iconic brand became his son’s castaway” (July 11), as someone who has been associated with the industry for 28 years and was part of the competition in the market when Vimal was introduced, I would like to point out certain inaccuracies. First, it is incorrect to say Vimal was the first textile chain. The first textile chain was DCM Textiles, which had around 600 stores by 1982. Bombay Dyeing and Tata Textiles also had a formidable presence, along with Binny Limited.
Second, it is preposterous to claim that Siyaram was a competitor and to associate it with the likes of Raymond and Reid & Taylor. Siyaram as a brand was never in contention in the premium segment in the worsted woollen industry. The only other players in this segment were Raymond, OCM, Digjam, Dinesh – in order of merit – and then Vimal. Reid & Taylor is the youngest player in this segment — born as late as 1998 and it started making an impression only in the early 2000s. This was when Vimal was out of contention in the textile industry.
Yes, the Vimal brand promotion, via Mudra Communications that was set up to handle the account, did create a lot of buzz, but it was never matched by performance. According to the trade, the reason was that Reliance thought its monopoly on polyester filament yarn and a state-of-the-art manufacturing set-up would help it take the market by storm. In the process, the company overlooked the key link — the traditional intermediaries of wholesalers and retailers. In the textile sector, word of mouth is the watchword and it is the wholesalers and distributors who push the products, not advertisements. The company underestimated the ever-so-traditional textile sector, which was (and is) controlled by a strong syndicate of a particular community across India.
P N Nanaiah, Bangalore
The article did not state that Vimal was the first textile chain in India, but that it was one of the first. Editor
Letters can be mailed, faxed or e-mailed to:
The Editor, Business Standard
Nehru House, 4 Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg
New Delhi 110 002
Fax: (011) 23720201 · E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
All letters must have a postal address and telephone number