Dirk van Quaquebeke, Brandmile : Group Buying for luxury shopping in India

By Team YS|17th Feb 2011
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Dirk co-founded Brandmile in 2009. Before relocating to Delhi as an interim CEO of brandmile Dirk worked as an investment professional at zouk, a leading venture capital firm focused on cleantech, coming from another London-based private equity house.Prior to private equity he worked for Deutsche Bank Asset Management London as a portfolio management professional investing mainly into European equities as part of a 10 people team with responsibility for €13bn.brandmile is a online private shopping club selling top branded fashion, home decor and lifestyle products at up to 70% in a members only environment. Membership is free but you need to be invited - snap up yours’ here: http://www.brandmile.com/invite/yourstory/

YourStory caught up with Dirk to understand more about his venture.

Explain in detail how Brandmile works

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Every day we feature fantastic campaigns offering coveted fashion, home decor or lifestyle brands at up to 70% off. Each sale last up to 7 days and only limited stock is available - so first come first serve. Sales take place on brandmile.com which is a by invitation only website. Membership is free and one can either become a member through a friend's invitation or by signing up on the waiting list.How did the idea come about?

The idea is very well know business model that exists in various markets. We were one of the first to bring it to India in the end of 2009.

Your geographic focus

Our focus at the moment continues to be India. We see a very healthy demand from 2nd/3rd tier cities which currently account for more then 50%. We are aiming for break-even in the 1st half of 2010. Our user base is below 100,000 users.

Why did you choose to work in India ? Market opportunities for luxury shopping in India?

As mentioned earlier the business model is already well known and hence established in other markets. When we chose India the 1st mover advantage was a big criteria in addition I am a macro-economist by training and believe in the power of large numbers & growth. Hence when I compared the c. USD1bn luxury industry in India against other markets it looked little promising but when adding any other contextualized matrix, like internet/credit card/brand penetration as a % of absolute population and the underlying growth rates we got very excited. We are here for the long-term and believe in India as a fashion but moreso deal conscious premium market.

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