Outdoor gear and trek-travel apparel firm Wildcraft India, which counts Sequoia Capital and Flipkart Group as some of its investors, has bagged an order from the defence ministry to make rucksacks for the Indian army. The Bengaluru-based company, known for selling rucksacks and bag packs, was in talks with the ministry for the last five years.
“We have bagged a multi-million dollar order from the Ministry of Defence to make rucksacks for the Indian army. It is an unchartered territory but creating an ideal rucksack for an Indian jawaan who spends maximum time outdoors in challenging terrain will be good learning. The order will be executed next year,” said Siddharth Sood, cofounder of Wildcraft India, at a press meet to announce the launch of a new category of travel cases.
Wildcraft has ventured into the trolleys market driven by increasing outbound tourism and short haul travel by the rising population of young travellers in India.
“Our estimate is that the organised travel bag industry is about USD 2 billion in India, increasing at 7-10% CAGR. Outbound tourism is growing at a similar CAGR. Indian travellers are one of the highest spenders who like to equip themselves well before a journey,” said Sood.
The outdoor gear firm started its operations 12 years ago with a line of rucksacks and bagpacks which continues to account for the majority of irs earnings. Four years ago, the brand introduced clothing and specialised footwear which it retails through an omni-channel format.
Wildcraft clocked Rs 650 crore sales by growing 15% during the year ended March 2019. Tepid demand in certain markets and liquidity issues on the distribution side were cited as reasons as the company failed to meet the expected 20% growth. The founders, however, found the sluggish market the best time to launch a value-proposition product in trolleys which will compete with Samsonite and VIP Industries. With the launch of the trolley category, Wildcraft is looking to increase its CAGR from 20% to 25% by the end of this fiscal.
About 40% of the company’s revenue comes from the southern states of the country. Two years ago, Wildcraft expanded overseas to the Middle-East market which currently accounts for nearly 5% of its earnings.