Tell us in detail about Angarkh
Angarkh.com is an online luxury retail store. It started with the idea of providing easy access to traditional and yet novel, fashionable and yet classic, crafty and yet stylish Indian designer wear to the Non-Resident Indian community - more broadly, anyone interested in luxury Indian clothing from around the world. It is an ecommerce website with smooth and friendly navigation, stylish, elegant and clean interface. Designers/labels we tie up are among the best in business. Their designs are impeccable with excellent workmanship and finesse. Quality of each product, fabrics and materials used is outstanding. We customize as per the requirements in size, colour, and design. We have customers across all ranges, for whom we tailor make each piece and ship it right to their doorsteps anywhere in the world. Our customers range from Middle east, Asia, Europe, and US is as of now our major market. For anyone in India we ship for free. We are big into wedding wear market. We offer good discounts for bulk buying which is especially needed in a wedding family. This reduces the effort of coming down to India and wandering from designers to designers looking for that one dream outfit. We provide with designs off-the-ramp, fresh, in-vogue. Colours to silhouettes to embellishments of each piece are trendy and unique.
When was this started? Where are you based? How big is your team? Are you looking at hiring?
Angarkh.com was launched in Dec 2010 with one brand and currently we have many more brands and products in our offering. We are currently a team of 5 well-rounded professionals. Yes, we are in process of expanding human resources.Where is your customer base?
US is our major market but we have customer base from Middle East, Srilanka, and Malaysia as well. Shortly we are going to start our marketing in UK where we believe we have a very good potential to expand.
As an online fashion retail, what is your outreach strategy?
We tie up with other online portals for advertisements. Currently, we are targeting wedding market for which we tie with wedding portals based out of US. Google adwords and SEO also helps us a lot. We are also to be soon seen in print media via magazines and newspapers published in US. We continue to leverage social networking tools to come up with innovative ways to reach our target base.
Can you tell us a little bit about how your supply chain works?
We source suppliers, more often designers, from within India, visit their studios and get to know their products. Since our products remain to have some level of customization, our designers ship the products to us once the order is received. The products are quality checked at our offices and then dispatched to customers world-wide. The lead time in dispatching orders from our office varies from 1 week to 6 weeks.
Who are your closest competitors?
When we started conceptualizing this last year we had very few competitors, but within few months this new online market has been bombarded with many online fashion brands.
So, what are your market differentiators in this competitive market?
To begin with, our primary market is NRI's. Secondly, we are only into Indian wear, majorly wedding wear. The products available, are not outdated or last seasons, they are latest designs, and often very exclusive. We tailor make each order, spending ample time on quality owing to which our delivery time is at least 4 weeks for high-end garments. Products displayed are not on for limited time period as seen common among other retailers. We believe buying those high end products $2000 online is not an easy task and customers should be given enough time to choose the right product that they dream to wear during the special occasion. Furthermore, we are one of the very few online retailers who can ship almost anywhere FedEx/UPS goes, not just US or Europe.
As an online fashion retail, what are the challenges that you face?Through next 3 months, we will put considerable resources in marketing our website to Indian customers. So far, our focus was exports and International customers. Challenges, nonetheless, exist in either. From our experience, the marketing and advertisement budget need to be much larger. On top of that, some level of presence is needed on the ground in the countries that we are targeting. There are several different strategies that need to employed to reach to a wide variety of nations where our customers reside.
Have you fund-raised to startup? How much capital was required to startup? If you haven't fund-raised, are looking to?
Angarkh.com is a venture of Augusta International, a proprietary concern. Augusta International deals with exports of Textile Machinery Spares and Accessories. Initial capital of Rs. 10,00,000 was budgeted to launch Angarkh.com. We are looking to raise capital now to expand, as well as to support our advertisement and marketing efforts to take Angarkh.com to a next level.
What are the major sector specific challenges?
Online marketing and promotion is a little tricky for a new comer. Regional marketing, region specially where you are not based out of, is a major challenge currently. To scoop out right mediums for promotions and publicity from that vast market place, is tough.
Anything else, you want to share with us about the sector that you are in.
The Indian wedding wear market is estimated to be $22 billion. 25 Million Indians residing abroad. 80% of world’s online population has shopped online. $18.3 billion worth of clothes are sold online every year. Designer clothing was among the most favourite thing to purchase online for people with net worth of above $1 million. Average income of our demographics ranges between $30k-$100k. Majority of them are young adults belonging to the age group of 18-35. Not only Asians but also Caucasians, Hispanics are major customers for our products. Traditional Indian garments are sought after for Women and Men equally. So, there is a huge market that can be tapped into in this space.
So looking to buy some really elite Indian wear? Try this next time http://www.angarkh.com/