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UK brands hunt for Indian partnerships

Ringspun and Juice Corporation are among the UK businesses looking for an Indian partner to help them expand in the country, following India’s first international fashion trade show Big Wheel in Mumbai.

Young fashion brand Ringspun is in talks with Indian fabric producer Bombay Rayon, which also works with Pepe Jeans London, to help it realise ambitions to open 100 stores, 30 concessions and 200 wholesale accounts within a year.

Juice Corporation, which owns brands including Joe Bloggs and Santa Monica Polo Club, is also on the hunt for an Indian partner after exhibiting at Big Wheel, according to managing director Lalji Khimji.

Juice Corporation does not have a presence in India but is looking for “rapid growth” there for its Joe Bloggs kidswear and Santa Monica Polo Club menswear across both retail and wholesale. No targets have been set.

Khimji said: “The change in the Indian market over the past five years is phenomenal. The malls are brand driven and we have ties in manufacturing there, so it makes sense to grow in this market.”

A partnership is preferable to licensing or franchise, Ringspun owner David Mallon said, as younger brands need greater control over product. “The key is to find a partner who loves what you do,” he said.

Mallon said that, when a joint venture is signed, he and the Ringspun team would spend several months in India to have “people on the ground and make sure it looks how we want it to look”.

Big Wheel, which ran from March 13-15, was India’s first international fashion trade show. Brands that exhibited included Pepe Jeans London, Ringspun, Religion, House of Gods, Butterfly Twist, Traffic People, Santa Monica Polo Club, Joe Bloggs, Voi Jeans

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