Hailing from textile hub Tirupur (TamilNadu), three techies were motivated to pursue their passion to "MAKE A DIFFERENCE"(M-A-D) in the apparel business. Officially launched in 2010 as Madcolours, they have successfully delivered t-shirts for bunch of schools in Tamilnadu, Kerala, corporate t-shirts for Indian Air Force etc. But this did not suffice them, as they felt they had not created any big difference yet. Madcolours wanted to be recognised as an apparel company which provides unique t-shirt designs- thus giving birth to its brand MadVariants.In conversation with co-founder Vijay, Abhilasha Dafria for YourStory finds out how Madvariants believes it can Make A Difference…by being variant!
How would you define Madvariants in less than 50 words?
Madvariants is a part of Madcolours. Madvariants is a fresh design driven INDIAN t-shirt brand with minimalism being heart of all designs. With the T-shirt market crowded with cluttered designs, Madvariants aims to make designs which are conceptual, minimal and yet makes a difference. Even our online webstore logo has been meticulously designed to mirror the image of our brand.
What is the narrative behind the name?
MAD stands for M(make) A(a) D(difference) .We believe we can make a difference by being variant. We intend to refer our brand Madvariants to a community/person, eager to make a difference or already making a difference in their respective fields.
What is your background and what inspired your business idea of a clothing venture?
Since my childhood, I have seen and felt the life on the streets of Tirupur. Almost all my neighbourhood houses were doing some activity related to textiles for a long time. So I should say, this idea of owning an apparel company was inbuilt, a seed that was sowed when I was born in Tirupur. I completed my Electronics and Instrumentation Engineering from Bharathiar University with good ranking. I then worked in a top MNC semiconductor company “Mask Layout Design Engineer”. What started as a nonsense discussion with two of my best colleagues, from the same city, turned into a fruitful plan for creating a brand which reflects our common likes. We envisaged our brand to be simple and provide a minimalistic touch. Meanwhile, when our online webstore was getting ready, we officially registered in 2010 as Madcolours and started as a venture selling customised t-shirts. Since then, we have successfully delivered House t-shirts for bunch of schools in Tamilnadu, Kerala, corporate t-shirts for Indian Air Force and are constantly following this as a separate wing.
Where are your manufactures based? Where, if you do, source the products from?
We do all our stuff in Tirupur, southern part of India. Our friends and family own some textile units and are actively supplying t-shirts to some of the leading clothing brands all over the world. With their support and experience, it becomes possible for us to choose the best of the raw materials which in turn ensures a quality end product. We have an in-house production team to control and monitor the different process of product development.
Could you tell us a little about your tie-ups?Madvariants is funded and managed by three founders with me, Vijay, owning the major stake. Each decision is made after a clear discussion amongst us. Being a startup, we don't have any demarcation of who manages what and we swap our roles often. Currently, I drive the production team and my partners handle product design,marketing and business development. We don't have tie-ups with any other brands. We are an independent brand and sell only our products through our store.
Tell us a bit about the market size that you are trying to capture. Any interesting trends that you have observed?
T-shirts market is very huge. Right now in the industry, there are no minimal design based t-shirt brand in India, but minimalism is one of the design trends emerging across the world. In India, online t-shirt market is crowded with cluttered designs and this gives
enough window for brands to target customers who prefer designs to be simple and yet different.
Do you plan to make any international sales as well?
We feel domestic market is huge and are not doing any international sales currently. Right now, our focus is on adding more value to our product. Moving forward, we will do international sales after making considerable presence in domestic market.
How has the response been so far?
We started our online webstore on 1st Nov 2011. Being less than 2 month we have observed 56% new visits and our fans have started sharing their t-shirt snapshots and the experience of our brand in our facebook fan page.
How many unique users visit your e-commerce portal per day?
We have seen around 43.65% returning visitors and around 60-70 unique visitors per day.
Could you tell us a little about your clientele? Who is your typical customer? What age group comprise majority of your clientele?
We are seeing more response from people between the age group 18 -28, as ourcurrent products are intended for youngsters. We are in the process of adding few more designs and are planning to diversify our product, like adding plain, stripped polo t-shirts to capture the working class in the age group of 24-35.
How big is your team? Are you looking at hiring?We are a small team with a production manager and 2 professional graphic designers who are born artists and have over 5+ year experience. Each of our product development is monitored and curated by us. As of now, we are not looking for any hiring.
Are you planning to start your own stores?
There is a recent uptrend in E-commerce segment in India and people nowadays are more willing to buy products online. With the advent of social networking sites it becomes easy and less expensive to promote a brand online. But this doesn’t mean we are not looking for own store. We would like go offline after 6 to 8 months from now.
How is MadVariants funded? Do you plan to raise more funds?
We have completely boot-strapped our business till now. We will look for funding when we are looking for expansion. Right now our focus is on brand establishment and increasing the sales.
How do you plan to deal with competition from other players in the market doing similar things? What is your USP?
Hailing from textile hub Tirupur, helps us achieve premium quality equivalent to international standards at affordable prices. Backed with vertical management and strong design team we ensure we pursue quality in everything we create. Our USP’s are free shipping all over India; our products are carefully packaged in beautifully designed recyclable cardboard box to avoid product damage during transit; as an open-source enthusiast we provide our designs as wallpapers for free; to make it interesting and informative any of the founder will share the behind the scenes of t-shirt making through our blog.
To summarize, Madvariants is a brand which is elegant in design, quality, packaging and online shopping experience.
What is your next big step? Anything else that you’d like us to mention?
Our next big step is increasing the number of products and we are seriously looking to diversify our products. We are planning to release our products as a series with appropriate concepts. Keep coming to experience the fun.
For more information please check out Madvariants and do share your thoughts by leaving a comment right here!
- Abhilasha Dafria
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