Double Bull, one of India's oldest apparel brands, is looking for a 'strategic partner' - the most likely translation for this being 'buyer'. In business for 27 years, the company is one of the few to have survived for so long without any overseas affiliation.

Apparel manufacture was, until recently, reserved exclusively for the Small Scale Sector. In September last year the government removed apparel from this control, and since then the competition from big-budget rivals has been too intense. The recent imposition of excise duties has not helped either.

Nims Apparel had made Double Bull and Karl Hogan into household names through its powerful marketing. But the brand has not been developed, and newer names have eaten into its market share. Big players like Indian Rayon and Raymonds are in the market for buying out brands, but the smaller labels are believed to be overrating themselves.

By Navroz Havewala.