MAS Holdings has made its entry into branded retailing in South Asia by introducing its own brand name Amanté in India, in the wake of the Deepavali festival.

"We introduced Amanté in Bangalore to coincide with the Deepavali season on 21 October, one of the most auspicious dates in the Hindu calendar," explains Ajay Amalean, managing director of MAS corporate solutions and retail in India.
The brand was also introduced in Chennai and Hyderabad and will be available across India by mid-2008.

MAS is investing US$10m in the own brand venture initially, and will increase investment up to $25m over the next five years for brand expansion in South Asia.

"We will expand the brand across the South Asian region while establishing it in India. By the last quarter 2008 we will introduce Amanté in Sri Lanka and later in Pakistan," said Amalean.

The company is counting on the brand's strong South Asian focus to gain an edge over other international competitors.

"Until now, international brand name lingerie available in South Asia was made for western markets or for the Far East. But there is a difference in body structure and taste in South Asia. Amanté is developed specifically for South Asian women," said Amalean.  

The Amanté range - positioned for women in the age group of 25 to 45 years old - is cotton lined to suit the South Asian climate.

In the longer term MAS is hoping to take Amanté to the Middle East. Manufactured at MAS Holdings factories in Sri Lanka, its range offers bras, briefs and sleepwear and will also offer swimwear in the future.

The company said that producing its own brand label would not compromise the confidentiality of existing customers.

"We will continue to service our existing customers maintaining a high level of integrity and confidentiality while developing Amanté as an independent business activity. Amanté has its own team of designers and technicians and operates as a separate unit," said Amalean.