Co-authored by O’Brien Browne,Instructor in International Management at the Orfalea College of Business, Award-Winning Author, Business & Personal Coach, Intercultural Expert, Public Speaker, Director of OpenMinds OpenMarkets
The world of fashion is fickle, fast-changing and fleeting. It is arguably one of the most brand-driven industries in global business. Whether low-end or high-end, its materials are typically silk, cotton, wool, polyester, Lycra, etc. The market is currently dominated by powerful design centers in Milan, London, Paris and New York…
…and Mumbai, India. Headquartered in Mumbai is the Aditya Birla Group, the world’s number one producer of Liva, a fabric that is revolutionizing global fashion and could very well open the grand potential of Indian high-quality production to the world in a way that other major Indian corporations, such as Tata, have been slow to do.
Liva is the hot brand name of a man-made fiber, technically known as Viscose Staple Fiber (VSF). The Aditya Birla Group is the largest producer of VSF in the world with five plants in India, Thailand and Indonesia. While developing VSF, Aditya Birla researchers carefully analyzed the competition, concluding that wool can be heavy and unwieldy, polyester often has an artificial feel and a “cheap” market image, and silk, though very fine and elegant, is pricy and ill-suited for everyday wear. VSF fabrics and garments are specifically designed and targeted to fulfill the market gap for a material that is comfortable yet fashionable, promising a fluid, “soft drape” feel to consumers. Liva also has enormous potential for “ingredient branding” due to its proven quality and versatility.
This innovative product fits perfectly into the Indian government’s current “Make in India” campaign designed to highlight Indian innovation, creativity and capacity for world-leading quality. With more than US $40 billion in revenue and 120,000 employees the little-known but mighty and highly diversified Aditya Birla Group is a formidable and promising manufacturer in the fashion industry, as well as in other industries such as carbon black, insulators and cement, etc. The group also operates aluminum recycling plants in the USA, where 95% of its workforce is American. It is listed in the Fortune 500.
Unique for a classic fiber and industrial company, the Aditya Birla Group has also created the Birla Cellulose brand, which is an eco-friendly, VSF-driven fiber that does not consume as much water as the cotton growing and production process. Aditya Birla is perhaps the only company in the world operating fully integrated manufacturing facilities extending from fiber to fashion. Moreover, the innovative Liva ingredient branding concept empowers consumers to recognize and appreciate the specific advantages of the fluidity and comfort of this remarkable fiber. This, in turn, drives customer demand while accelerating sales and revenue.
Innovative, global, results-focused and bold, Liva and the Aditya Birla Group are well positioned to showcase the might and agility of India’s manufacturing and marketing prowess. The company’s success and ambitions highlight the fast-approaching juggernaut of Indian business. With a population of 1.2 billion, and a GDP ranking at around number seven in the world, India’s potential mirrors Aditya Birla’s. There is only one direction for both: up.