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Lessons for Fashion Startups in India

Author of this Article is Devyani Sharma
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Many start-ups in the fashion industry are emerging in the market. Now, top branded clothes, accessories, shoes etc. are available online making it easier for people to have access to them. Fashion start-ups in India are trying to make the world of online and offline retail meet through means of innovative technology and market efficiency.
Earlier, Indian fashion startup was the monopoly of online big weights like Flipkart, Jabong, Myntra etc but now as the industry is growing many new startups are getting the limelight.
 
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Roposo, Wooplr, Klip, Cupcakes and closet, Postfold are a few to name. These startups not only sell but also act as a platform where people can connect,know what is trending ans where to find it. Another brand Flyrobe is very famous today as it provides high fashion brands’ clothes and accessiories on rent. You read that right! Now you can rent clothes as per your need and not necessarily buy them. Talk about affordable fashion, haha!
Jabong is one famous startup in india.
 
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It sells shoes,apparel,accessories,home decor and furniture through its website. It has added top international brands like UK’s high street fashion brand Dorothy Perkins, River Island along with Spanish brand Mango. It partnered with stylista. It launched an exclusive collection designed by Rohit Bal. Jabong follows both an inventory model and managed marketplace model. The company has been active on social media, launched many TV campaigns. In a bid to position itself Jabong has entered into many partnerships. It even launched the India online fashion week in 2014. It also has an international online shopping store called Jabongworld.com which attracts traffic mainly from the US.
 
Another startup called Abof (an acronym for “all about fashion”), is also emerging under the parent company Aditya Birla Group and sells brands like Louis Philippe, Van Heusen, Allen Solly, Peter England etc. It partnered with UK based virtual fitting room technology startup Metail that allows shoppers to create a 3D model of themselves which can be used to measure garments.
 
 
 
 
Fashion startups are taking over the world rapidly. US based startup Acustom uses innovative digital technologies to craft custom clothing for everybody irrespective of their sizes. Bib+Tuck, a New York and Miami based startup is basically a re-commerce platform that allows shoppers to barter or exchange pieces virtually. Users upload garments they’d like to sell on the app and when it is sold they get virtual money which they can use to buy other’s items.
There is a huge growth potential and opportunity to generate high top line revenues by startups in India. I believe that India will be the next unicorn from the fashion tech space.
 
 
 
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Now, a question arises how to build a fashion startup and make it reach a billion dollar valuation. This requires a unique value proposition and constant innovation in products and services.
 
 
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
1) Getting the right investments: Only the idea is not enough, you will need capital to build a startup.
You have to map sources, stages and check the sizes of funds, given the fact that not many investors in India invest more than $50Million, so you need to chose carefully.
2)Robust finance team: Often paid less attention, a dedicated finance team helps with sorting finance but keeps fast growing organisation on a disciplined track.
3)Demand : Because of increase in online shopping, fashion companies are expected to have the styles consumers want available for purchase in every season, in every color and pattern and with fast delivery options. They should know what consumers want to buy before they buy it.
4)Be Consumer Centric: confirm every order with a call and entertain the smallest issues of the customers.
5)Building and continuing the momentum: Hire a strong team and demonstrate that you have the leadership team in place.
6)Be different: Its not necessary that what works well in the US will kick off well in India too. Being different and unique is important.
 
A company can become a huge success only if it is solving a problem of a very large market and the market is growing. There is no single solution, some aspects lie on the choices these unicorns make. Every market opportunity has a timing window. Technology is going to be a big driver for business growth, efficacy and profitability for companies on fashion industry, making the startups the unicorns.
In India’s crowded and bourgeoning e-commerce sector, it helps to stand out with a differentiated product,promise and its positioning.
 
A bunch of fashion startups reckon they can differentiate themselves from the clutter by focusing on specific consumer groups. These startups are not only carving a niche for themselves but also coming up strong in a sector dominated by the big horizontal marketplaces. They have changed the way India shops for clothes and stuff. Anchal Jain, a global fashion industry veteran says, “Fashion marketing is a different science, and is layered with the art of presentation and easy discovery. Shopping becomes delightful when you let your senses do the product discovery.”
 
According to industry experts, the reason these fashion startups are having a good funding time is the rapidly growing 7000 crores worth online fashion market which is going to make up to a total of 35% by 2020,that is almost double of the current 18%. Online fashion has become a high growth category with specialised fashion and youth fashion being two of the most important agent of its growth.
As the technology is evolving, the way people percieve fashion is evolving. What do you have to say about it? Comment below and let me know.

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