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Sanjay Behl to help transform Raymond into a global player

Raymond Ltd has roped in Sanjay Behl, former head of brand and marketing atReliance ADA Group, as the CEO of textile and apparel businesses to lead the textile major's transformation into a global lifestyle company. 

The 45-year old IIT graduate, who started his career at 
HULBSE 0.39 %, will focus on strategies to reposition Raymond's textile business in tune with the changing wardrobe trends in India and elsewhere. "I was inspired by the challenge to transition successful homegrown brand into a trend-setting lifestyle global brand," said Behl who spent more than eight years in the telecom industry. 

Clothing business constitutes 80% of Gautam Singhania-owned Raymond's turnover of Rs 4,500 crore. The 88-year old company is also present in personal grooming and tool businesses. 

Behl has already taken charge at Raymond and is currently meeting top executives to gain deeper insights into the business. Rising disposable incomes and growing preference for branded products have resulted in India's clothing industry growing at the rate of 17%. Total size of the industry is around three lakh crore, out of which 40% belongs to menswear products. 

"Behl's challenge will be to grow more than the industry average and make use of the rising opportunity," Harminder Sahani, CEO at lifestyle consultancy firm Wazir Advisors, said. "Raymond stands as a strong brand. He will have to find newer strategies as fashion trends are changing," he added. 

The former head of Reliance's DTH business will have to deal with stiff competition from rivals in his bid to grow Raymond into a leading lifestyle brand. The Mumbai-based company plans to expand its large-format retail store network aggressively. It already has close to 1.8 million square feet of exclusive retail space as it expanded aggressively in the smaller towns and cities. 

"Raymond plans to continue with rapid penetration into smaller towns and cities spearheaded by our exclusive retail network and expand on our distribution reach," the company said in a recent corporate presentation.