They made brands like Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Gianfranco Ferre, Ungaro and Gucci affordable to the Indian shopper. A year ago, you could just aspire to wear those Gucci glasses sitting pretty at the display window of an upmarket mall or gawk at those models flaunting that Dolce & Gabbana coat in a fashion magazine, but with Theprivatesales.com, co-founders and brothers Sajan and Sunder Gianchandani have made high-end fashion accessible and affordable. They established The Private Sales in July 2010 and in more than a year they have already served lakhs of customers across India.Half-Indian and raised in France, the brothers have been part of the retail and fashion industries for over 17 years and now they are using their experience and knowledge to sell French brands in India. During their regular trips to India, they realised there was a huge untapped market when it came to buying high-end fashion garments and accessories online. Says Sajan Gianchandani, “We knew that people want to buy expensive, branded clothes, shoes, bags or belts but they did not have a choice. There were very few avenues where they could go and buy such products and therefore, in 2007-08 we initiated this project. Though it took us a little time to talk to different brands and bring them on board.”
And it wasn’t a cakewalk. “It is not just India. When you start out as an entrepreneur, the journey is difficult and challenging irrespective of the country you are in. But what made it worthwhile was that we were passionate and had a vision for The Private Sales. We wanted to be an e-commerce platform that will offer exclusive high couture sales events offering coveted luxury brands at discounted prices and we have done just that, successfully,” adds Sajan. Moreover, shifting base to another country was quite challenging. “Paris is home,” says Sajan and adds, “But what is great about being in India, especially Bangalore is that we have more affinity with Indian people than French people!”While setting up business here, there were, at times, skeptical whether this venture or business idea rather would work considering it required a huge shift in the buying behaviour of the Indian consumer. But the phenomenal response The Private Sales has received over the course of one year has proved otherwise. “All that skepticism was before we launched our venture. But later on, we were convinced that this would work. In fact, we have surpassed our own expectations,” remarks Sajan. What has got them here is the impressive discounts the site offers and of course, customer service. “We have focused on these two factors since inception and it has helped us retain customers. Though there are a lot of e-ventures selling fashion brands, the products we sell are exclusive. Also, at the end of the day, the market is huge and there is space for everyone to survive and thrive,” explains Sajan. The Private Sales records sales from cities across India. “Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore make up for 70 per cent of the sales while 30 per cent of sales is from tier II and III cities.” Belts, shoes and garments are the highest-selling products on the site and in the recent past, cities like Chandigarh and Ludhiana have registering maximum sales for the site, according to Gianchandani.
If you are wondering how these brothers manage to pull this off and offer such huge discounts on the site, note this. As Sajan puts it, “We have very small margins when it comes to our suppliers. Internationally, every brand offers three to four collections and once the season ends, these collections are stocked and remain unsold. This is where we step in. We have an agreement with these brands and buy the stock and sell it in India at discounted prices.”
Sajan and Sunder’s challenge now is to expand their operations but remain focused on fashion. “We want to extend our product portfolio and offer brands in the leisure and travel accessories category. E-commerce is booming in India and will continue to do so. Therefore, we aim to establish another office in Delhi next year. We are hiring now and hope to have a team of 250 people skilled in sectors like IT, events, fashion styling with a strong buyers and luxury brands experience by the end of next year,” says an optimistic Sajan.
For more details, please visit their website - http://www.theprivatesales.com/
If you are excited about the Indian e-commerce space, then do register now to attend e-sparks 2011 – India’s premier e-commerce startup showcase on 17th December 2011 at Bangalore.
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