Exclusively.In: World’s Top E-commerce destination for Indian designs
E-commerce venture focussing on customers in the US and UK, Exclusively.in is the world’s top destination for the best of Indian-inspired apparel, jewellery and accessories - from India's top designers, artisanal jewellery and hand-loomed scarves to special occasion and ethnic wear.Abhilasha Dafria for YourStory.in, in conversation with Sonny Caberwal, co-founder & COO of Exclusively.in, finds out more on what it takes to build a global brand.
Sonny, what is the idea behind Exclusively.in?
Exclusively.In was founded by a team of young, NRI entrepreneurs who moved from the United States back to India, led by Sunjay Guleria and me. The idea was simple: create the world’s top online marketplace for the global Indian customer. Sunjay and I had previously worked together at another startup and became close friends. We believed that the time was right to create a global brand and company in India that is defined by excellence.
What makes India’s market so ideal?
India has an incredibly unique culture that inspires our team, and our goal is to share that culture with the world. Offering the best of Indian fashion online is our way of bringing India’s culture to the global marketplace, and our entire team shares a passion to make sure we deliver an incredible experience that everyone - from our team to our customers - can be proud of.
Where do you have offices currently?
We have offices in New York City in the fashion district, and south Delhi (Okhla Industrial Area).
Are you looking at expanding in the domestic market?
Since the time we launched, in June 2010, we have grown to become the world’s #1 online retailer of Indian fashion, and now, Exclusively.In is expanding in India and launching its own brand - Sher Singh. Sher Singh was first launched as a small collection in conjunction with the World Cup, and the first iconic “India” shirts were made for each player in the semi-final vs Pakistan. When the team won the World Cup, they celebrated wearing Sher Singh, and since that time, demand has grown for a broader, more robust Sher Singh clothing line.
What were the primary challenges you faced while starting up Exclusively.in?
The thing about a startup company is that it is defined by challenges. Great opportunities lie where there are greatest challenges, so for us, our day is defined by problem solving. From finding the right people to getting the right resources to executing ideas, our challenges are never ending. One of the biggest issues e-commerce companies have faced is (1) lack of consumer confidence in India, and (2) very young support/B2B infrastructure that exists for other e-commerce startups in other markets.
Tell us about your investors. We have raised capital from angel investors from around the world, and also Accel Partners, Helion Venture Partners, and Tiger Global Management.
How big is your team currently?
Our team is more than 100 people strong. We are hiring in nearly every department, and are always hiring the best, most intelligent people, since they are the backbone of our business.
How many people visit your site everyday for online purchases?
We have more than 10,000 customers from around the world who visit our site each day to see the best in Indian fashion.
Are there other players in the market doing similar things?
There are a number of people in the marketplace doing similar things- however, we believe that there is a lot of room in the marketplace as customers need to have excellent options online to purchase. We are very much dedicated to a service-centric environment, and respect those e-commerce companies who also share that vision.
Any vital tips for budding entrepreneurs who’d like to start an e-commerce venture in this field?
For budding entrepreneurs, the best tip I have for those who are truly motivated to explore whether they can create a startup is - just start doing something. Like any startup, ecommerce or otherwise - the hardest thing to do is to take an idea and execute it. Everyone has great ideas, but great startups are defined by the ability to execute on an idea.
Here’s a quote that I find very relevant, from 1910, Theodore Roosevelt:
it is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
If anyone needs any advice, help, or wants to reach out, they can reach me at sonny [at] exclusively [dot] in. I’ll do my best to get back to them!
Check out Exclusively.In for further details. As Exclusively.In plans to come to India with Sher Singh, we wish them much success.
The E-commerce Space in India is just getting hotter by day! If you are an e-commerce enthusiast, then do block your seat now for India’s largest E-commerce Showcase, E Sparks 2011.