Mustang Socks was founded by Naazneen Katrak 26 years ago. She understood the need of cotton socks back in the 90s, which compelled her to single-handedly set-up Mustang. In 2004, Naazneen collaborated with Lubeina Shahpurwala, who teamed up with her as co-director at Mustang and took it to a new level as a brand; a sector which was almost untouched by Fashion in India.
Shahpurwala and Katrak have paved their path to success, as Mustang today manufactures more than 1 million pairs of socks, and has 36 distributors across India. They have tie-ups with some of the largest international brands and retailers and are trusted partners.
Lubeina Shahpurwala, Co-Director, Mustang, in a tete-a-tete with the Editor of the Indian Textile Journal, speaks on the inspiration behind setting up the company.
ITJ Editor: When was Mustang founded? What was the inspiration behind the name and setting up of Mustang?
Lubeina Shahpurwala (LS): Mustang Socks was founded in 1986 by Naazneen Katrak, and in the year 2004, we collaborated to take the Mustang brand to a new level. The name Mustang was inspired from the American feral horse that is typically small and lightly built. Naazneen has always been fond of animals, particularly horses, thus this brand thought was an immediate hit with us. She realised all the way in the 1980s that there were no quality cotton socks available in India. The only way to get good quality cotton socks in India was through shops which sold imported goods; seizing this opportunity, Mustang vowed to offer great quality socks for India manufactured right here at home.
ITJ Editor: How´s Mustang faring in the Indian market as well as in the international market?
LS: The socks market in India has grown tremendously over the years, and although we did face many challenges in the beginning, the unexplored sector gave us a great opportunity and scope for various designs, colours, and market variants.
Today, Mustang manufactures 1 million pairs of socks every month and has presence in over 2,500 multi brand outlets and 36 distributors across India covering almost every major market segment in India. This itself is a great opportunity for us! From the industry importing great quality socks, we take pride in exporting our socks manufactured in India to the Middle East, including the UAE, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, England, and Italy. Currently, we are exploring the US market as well.
ITJ Editor: Since socks is a segment, which is dominated by the unorganised sector, how does Mustang tackle competition?
LS: Socks, being such a niche product, sales are mostly impulse driven. But this segment has a high aspect of brand loyalty, and today, customers and retailers alike are loyal to products that are consistent on quality, service and innovation. At Mustang, we do not believe in merely promoting our products, but being in touch with our customer to make constant improvements and keep getting better. We firmly believe that every rupee invested in the product will garner enough goodwill and word of mouth with our consistent efforts. This has been the core ideology and foundation of our growth. We also use our retailers and distributors feedback in product innovation and design. This gives us a grass-root level understanding of consumer demands and needs. Our constant innovations are the key reasons for sustaining Mustang as one the established and successful socks brand in India.
ITJ Editor: What are the technologies used in the plant? Please give us some details about the production and marketing set-up.
LS: Consistent innovation is in the ethos of our brand, and this includes our production set up