Being Human is a clothing brand with a heart. In a unique licensing arrangement with The Salman Khan Foundation, Mandhana Industries entered an 18-year deal with an investment of ₹150 crore in 2011. Royalties from the clothing line support education and healthcare initiatives of the foundation.
Mandhana Industries launched the brand in 2012 in Europe, followed by the Middle East and India. Currently, the label is available in 15 countries worldwide including Bahrain, Belgium, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, France, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Pakistan, Spain, South Africa and UAE. The parent company Mandhana Industries Ltd is a textiles and apparel manufacturing company with a turnover of over ₹1300 crore in FY 14-15 and a market cap of over ₹900 crore.
Building a Brand
Being Human had to grapple with a few challenges when it launched in 2012.
“The biggest challenge was to change the image of the brand. Before we launched officially the market was flooded with T-shirts that were selling everywhere from the stores to the streets, and worn by everybody across the length and breadth of the country. It was also hugely plagiarised. Turning it into a brand and giving it a new identity was a huge task. Entering the large format retail stores with national brands, finding the right space in malls, to establishing ourselves as a brand so that other people could take us more seriously hasn’t been easy. We managed to do it step-by-step. We are growing at about 40-50 per cent and would continue to grow at the same pace for the next three years,” says Manish Mandhana, MD Mandhana Industries.
According to Mandhana, actor Salman Khan is totally involved in the designing of the merchandise and no product finds a place on the store shelves without his approval. “He looks at everything before selecting a particular line,” reveals Mandhana. Targeted at 18-30 year olds, Being Human recently beefed up its offerings which was earlier limited to tees, denims and jeans. The women’s casualwear line not just has a wider offering, but is also more feminine now.
Competition from other fast fashion brands doesn’t faze the company as they believe that not many brands help you look good and do good themselves at the same time. “We continue to grow at a decent pace despite competition from other brands and omni-channels. The like-to-like growth at our stores is more than 20 per cent. Our USP of fashion, charity and celebrity sets us apart from other brands,” says Mandhana. Being Human accounts for 10 per cent of the Group global sales. In 2014-15, Being Human apparel brought in ₹170 crore, up 29.7 per cent from ₹131 crore a year earlier.
Made in India with an international edge
Being Human is a completely homegrown brand from Mandhana Industries which has diversified into related fields like textiles, yarn dyeing and retailing. So how easy or difficult is it to make in India?
“In India, we have advantages like ease of employment and abundance of natural resources for apparel and textiles manufacturing that act as a catalyst to the concept of making in India. This concept allows companies to grow in their own space, paving way for the overall development of not just the respective industries but also overall development of the economy. It levels the Indian standard of manufacturing to that of the manufacturing worldwide, making India a more trusted hub for production and export,” believes Mandhana who made a conscious decision to launch the brand in Europe and the Middle East in 2012 before launching the Being Human clothing has over 300 retail and seven online selling points worldwide including 220 retail and six online selling points in India. brand in India in 2013.