When Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli tied the knot at the tail end of 2017, the nation rejoiced as one. After all, films and cricket are the two primary passions of India, and on this auspicious winter day they’d come together in one of the most spectacular wedding ceremonies of the year!
And while the occasion was special for the young couple and for India as a whole, it was extra-special for the Kolkata-based wedding apparel manufacturer, Manyavar.
A Path-Breaking Promotional Campaign
The company had pulled off the marketing coup of the decade – two of the most popular celebrities of India, Virat and Anushka, were its brand ambassadors at the time when they were getting married to one another in real life.
Virat Kohli had been the company’s brand ambassador since 2015, over two years prior to the wedding. Some months before the ceremony, Manyavar brought Anushka aboard for a viral campaign aimed to make the nation’s youth fall in love with the company’s unique ethnic designs.
Soon after that, the two young heartthrobs tied the knot in a ceremony that had been breathlessly anticipated by Indians around the world. And Manyavar’s wedding apparel got a publicity boost that no amount of money spent on a traditional marketing campaign could have achieved.
Brand Building Through Sport
Manyavar’s love affair with all things cricket didn’t end with Virat Kohli’s much-watched nuptials. The company was one of the key sponsors of four of the teams competing in the 2018 Indian Premier League. The teams sponsored by Manyavar were – Kolkata Knight Riders, Rajashthan Royals, Sunrisers Hyderabad, and Delhi Daredevils.
Each season, the most prominent players from each of the four teams would be caught on camera wearing outfits designed by Manyavar. Such advertisements, featuring the players in the company’s trademark apparel, would run in the commercial breaks during the IPL matches, creating a seamless and almost surreal experience for viewers.
Overall, this promotion strategy, of positioning the business through IPL and its most well-known players, has worked wonders for the brand and drastically increased people’s awareness of it. Not only that, during the 2014-15 season, the Bangladesh Football League had Manyavar as one of its title sponsors.
The Origins of the Brand
Manyavar, a company that began in 1999 with a seed capital of ₹10,000, has indeed come a long way over the past two decades.
It began when a 22-year-old Ravi Modi, while working at his family’s clothing store in Shakespeare Sarani, Kolkata, realized that India had no prominent brands when it came to ethnic men’s fashion.
He had recently graduated from the renowned St. Xavier’s College with a degree in Commerce. His educational and family background both played a role in his entrepreneurial journey, allowing him to see the vacuum in the ethnic men’s fashion space as an opportunity to build a brand and change the fashion landscape of the country.
Rising from Humble Beginnings
Initially, Manyavar sold its ethnic party wear pieces through large retail chains such as Shoppers Stop and Pantaloons. However, this did not satisfy founder Ravi Modi, who incorporated his company, Vedanta Fashions Private Limited in 2002, and went on to set up the first Manyavar outlet in Bhubaneshwar in the year 2008.
Unlike traditional clothing retailers, Manyavar doesn’t rely on an end-of-season sale to get rid of unsold products in its inventory, instead using data analytics for stock replenishment, inventory management, and inter-store stock transfer, in accordance with demand.
Today, Manyavar sells its gorgeous sherwanis and kurtas through more than 400 outlets located across 173 cities. Apart from India, the brand operates thriving stores in Nepal, Bangladesh, UAE, and the United States. It has successfully brought traditional Indian fashion to the doorstep of the world.
According to experts, the company’s willingness to innovate and try new techniques and strategies has caused much of its trailblazing success in India and around the globe.