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Story of Genesis

Value for money and a wide range is the USP of this brand


IN THE beginning... there was a two-man tailoring outfit.

As the crow flies, the Sattar brothers — Hanif and Suhail may not have travelled very far in the last 16 years, at least not in terms of where they live and work. But Hasbro, (acronym for Hanif and Suhail Brothers, no link with the toys manufacturers) the company the brothers own, has come a long way in this period.

Set-up in 1987, the two-man outfit tailored shirts and trousers for the export market and for several multi-brand outlets (MBOs). Hanif, who was part-time store manager of a garment shop in Chennai, while pursuing his college studies decided to harness the 150-year tradition of his family with the textile business. By 1992, the Chennai-based company had two brands in its portfolio - Genesis, a men's formal wear brand and Basics, a smart casual wear brand.

With an urge to perfect men's wear, Hasbro has covered uncharted horizons to make their presence felt. The merchandise is manufactured in Chennai and Bangalore and fabrics for the products are sourced from the best names in the business- Arvind, Mafatlal, Madura and Ashima. The company has 17 exclusive stores in India (mostly in the south) and counters at over 200 leading MBOs all over the country. Though the presence is definitely pan-Indian, in the north, merchandising is through these MBOs. The company also has an international presence; products are sold in almost all Gulf countries and in Sri Lanka. The policy of providing "quality at sensible prices" has been the hallmark of the company. Despite upward revision of prices, most products do not breach the Rs.1000 barrier.


Having a store in a plush mall is every retailer's dream. The company opened its second outlet in the city at Prasad's IMAX Mall (the other outlet is in Banjara Hills). The store also introduces a new range of clothing labelled "Primo-Cotton Trousers".

According to Hanif Sattar who was present at the launch, the new store and the new product launch were in "response to the tremendous popularity of our brands in this city." The store will have the entire range of the Genesis and Basics shirts, trousers and belts. Latest lines such as the "No Sweat" T-shirt range will also be available.

For a company whose focus is brand innovation, the new range of trousers bring together the best of stain free and wrinkle free technologies combining durability and colour vividness. They are body friendly, highly reflective and have 40 per cent more yarn per square inch than other trousers. Due to the teflon coating liquids just roll off leaving the trousers stain free. Priced at Rs. 1,199, these trousers are targeted at young executives to make them "feel comfortable and still look well-dressed."

On the road ahead, Hanif said that five more stand-alone stores with one each at Ernakulam and Bangalore are in the offing. The brands will be focussing on expansion in the next two years, especially in South India, in their objective to become a dominant player in the southern market.

Over a decade's hard work with a keen desire to understand market trends and "great value to customers in terms of money and fashion range", the story of Hasbro is an inspirational reminder of the power of the human spirit.

D.A.

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