Fiscal 2016/17 was tough for most consumer goods companies. After decent festival sales, consumption came to a halt after demonetisation. But VIP Industries, under Managing Director Radhika Piramal, sprung a surprise. Its total income rose from Rs 1,209 crore in 2015/16 to Rs 1,283 crore. Net profit jumped from Rs 66 crore to Rs 88 crore.
While Piramal attributes this to a strong portfolio of brands and her team, one can't ignore that her efforts towards building a contemporary company after taking over in 2011 are now bearing fruit. Under her, VIP is no longer a fuddy-duddy luggage brand. It has updated itself with youthful brands such as Skybags and Caprese. "Skybags is now the market leader in the backpack segment with its bold designs and vibrant colours and Caprese is among the top three ladies handbag brands," says Piramal, who is confident of doubling revenue in the next couple of years.
The Indian luggage maker has a 52 per cent share of the Rs 3,000-odd crore luggage industry. Market leaders such as Samsonite, despite being in this market for close to two decades, are finding it difficult to overthrow. "Our strategy for growth is to remain No.1 in luggage, No.1 in backpacks and to become No.1 in ladies handbags. Luggage remains an important focus as it is the core strength of our company. Our dominance in branded luggage gives us the financial strength to successfully expand into new product categories," says Piramal.