Voylla, an online fashion and lifestyle retail store, pools together the talents of a multitude of designers across the country to create jewellery, handbags and accessories for both men and women.
Started by Jagrati Shringi in mid-2012, Voylla is for people who want quality products from the comfort of their homes. They have expanded magnanimously in a span of one-and-a-half years from 200 designs to 8,500 unique designs.
Jagrati told HerStory that Voylla cemented her dreams of creating a “unique confluence of traditional and modern” products (jewellery and accessories), for women who want to stay on top of their game in style. It allowed her to merge her passion for technology and fashion in a unique way.
Excerpts from the conversation.
[YS] What fuelled the fire in you to create an ambitious lifestyle e-retail platform?
[JS] Inspirations are usually driven by passion and my two passions are technology and fashion! Voylla beautifully integrates the two. Voylla pushes me out of my comfort zone and provides new challenges every day. How I triumph over them has helped me grow and evolve.
[YS] How would you trace your journey before Voylla?
[JS] I attribute a lot to my first job at Laurel (US) when it comes to work ethics, ingenuity, and honesty towards work.
It imbibed a deep sense of how a startup should run, along with how much commitment, hard work, and passion is required. Getting this first-hand experience of the emotional roller coaster a startup is, came handy when we were shaping up Voylla.
[YS] How would you define what Voylla does? Tell us about its inception as a brand.
[JS] The name Voylla has its roots in the French word voilà, meaning “that’s it, exactly!” So, at Voylla we strive to provide exactly the best selection of designer jewellery and accessories, adding 200 quality styles every day.
[YS] What kind of challenges did you face when setting up Voylla?
[JS] A startup needs a lot of attention. It is a consuming, exhausting and thrilling experience, all at the same time. We slogged hard and multi-tasked in the first few months. We were pitted against a lot of big names with deep pockets; it was an uphill climb to carve a niche for ourselves.
[YS] Do you feel, as a woman, your challenges are more (or different) when compared to male entrepreneurs?
[JS] The professional journey so far has definitely been interesting. Being a woman in a high tech startup conditioned me to push myself as much as I can to create a mark for myself. Most of the time a conference call would start with people looking for Mr. Shringi to discuss tech issues! But women are wired to multitask, so this skill comes in very handy as an entrepreneur.
[YS] How did you decide to move into fashion and lifestyle retail?
[JS] Fashion and lifestyle products are considered to have the biggest potential in India today. Even across the world there is a huge demand for traditional Indian jewellery, especially when Hollywood A-listers, including Kendall, Madonna, Eva Longoria, Kim Kardashian, and Selena Gomez are spotted wearing Indian jewellery.
All these products are our forte, and we bridge this gap beautifully.
[YS] What kind of audience do you engage with?
[JS] Voylla’s target audience is the quintessential Indian woman-of-today. She slips into multiple avatars easily. She loves to accessorise and take pride in her reflection. She is confident, smart, witty, intelligent, and beautiful!
[YS] How do you think the fashion and lifestyle industry will evolve?
[JS] It’s amazing the speed at which India is evolving. Voylla gets a lot of order from tier-2 or -3 cities of India. Given the target audience, this is definitely a harbinger of a revolution to come. Retail big guys from all over the world are watching India very closely. This is definitely a very exciting time for the country!
[YS] What motivates you to keep going ahead?
[JS] Inspiration comes from spotting people in Voylla jewellery! It’s also the pride that shows up on my sons’ face when I talk about my work with them.
We hire from NGOs like Salaam Baalak Trust too. Being a source of happiness to the underprivileged is both inspirational and humbling.
But the biggest source of inspiration is when customers leave their message of appreciation for us!
[YS] How is the market responding to your venture?
[JS] A large portion of our customer base is first-time buyers! It shows we’ve gained the trust of people who’ve never shopped online before!
[YS] How do you plan to scale further? What is your revenue model?
[JS] We add 300-500 new designs to our sites every week. We’ve also forayed into jewellery for men and kids, which have huge untapped potential. We pay a very close attention to what our clients need through direct customer interaction and data analysis. We are also expanding our reach internationally.
[YS] What can we expect from Voylla Retail Pvt Ltd in the coming months?
[JS] Voylla will continue to grow and surpass all expectations in the coming months. ‘In vogue, at Voylla’ will be the mantra for every fashionista!