The clothing business is in Rajiv Batra’s genes. At 19, he joined the family business in Bombay, which included ownership of a textile mill. Thirteen years later, he took £100k of his own money and launched Ink (Clothing) in London with Ketan Shah. The two developed Urban Stone, the company’s flagship brand, targeting customers who want brand name clothing for less. The pair produced ads as well as clothing in-house. Real growth started, says Batra, in 1994, when fashion magazine FHM awarded Ink its Best Ad award, over companies like Hugo Boss and Rockport. Since then, sales have grown from £589k in 1994 to £3.4m in 1997. Ink distributes its clothing through 250 independent retailers, primarily in England.
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