The booming ethnic-wear market is reshaping the apparel industry in the country. According to the India Retailing website, India’s ethnic wear market stood at $13,100 million in 2013. This is expected to have grown, and continue to grow, at a CAGR of eight percent to reach $19,600 million in 2018.
In the past few years, this growth has attracted many new players to the segment. With brands and designers exploring opportunities in the sector, and targeting a new set of consumers based in India and abroad, the market is redefining itself.
With many known brands and designers on-board, IndianRoots, an NDTV venture, is a new entrant to the space. Launched in July 2013 by Rahul Narvekar, this e-commerce platform aims to connect people both locally and globally withIndia’s inherent cluster and reservoir of crafts, its weaving traditions, and fashion heritage.
“We are dedicated to the task of bringing together, on a giant platform, the country's finest designers and its dedicated sect of artisans with their impeccable skill sets to meet the expectations of various consumers. We primarily cater to the Indian fashion, ethnic wear, lifestyle product, and home textile segments,” says Rahul, CEO, IndianRoots.in.
With renowned names like Rohit Bal, Ankur and Priyanka Modi, Anju Modi, Nida Mahmood, Rajesh Pratap Singh and many others on-board, IndianRoots aims to create a niche for itself in the market.
“We are driven by the vision to reconnect Indians who are living abroad with their roots, and provide them with something they miss a lot -- Indian fashion. We have also broadened to focus on the Indian market as well. Not only do we connect customers with luxury brands and designers, but also with artisans from remote corners of our country. Our basic motive is to connect everyone to a global market, where they can sell their products and get recognition,” says Rahul.
He further adds that their main differentiator is the product range they offer. They have been providing customers with designers, brands and handicrafts across a wide price range for mass appeal.
Investment, funding & turnover
The company started with very limited capital. Until now, in total, they have raised around 10.7 million dollars. Initially they started with $3 million, which was followed by an additional $2.7 million. Recently, they raised a Series B funding of five million dollars, at a valuation of $85 million. The money has been spent on improving and scaling up the supply chain, logistics &delivery, marketing and technology.
During FY 2014-15, it reached a turnover of Rs 61 crore, seven times of what it achieved in 2013. Currently, its run-rate is $2 million per month.
In 2014, the market size of the apparel segment was valued at $46 billion. This is expected to touch $90 billion by 2020. Indianroots also caters to sub-units like home-ware, jewellery and footwear. If you include all these segments, the value of it all put together is around $100 billion. This would reach $120 billion by 2020, including both the offline and online divisions.
Currently, it claims to compete at a horizontal level with players like Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon, along with at a vertical level with players like Jabong and Myntra.
“It's an interesting blend of competition. On one hand, there are ventures only dealing in high-end product ranges, and on the other, we are surrounded by ventures who boast of a supremely affordable range of products,the low-end of the market. Indianroots has struck a balance by onboarding a celebrated portfolio of brands, ranging from designer wear to local artisan-crafted clothes, with price points that are appealing to every strata of society,” says Rahul.
The venture currently has around 100,000 products on the web shop, with an inventory of 500,000 products. With its growth rate and expansion plans,it aims to add at least 500,000 more varieties of products to the web shop, an inventory size of a million products.
The existing model is retailer-based. However, it plans to reposition to pure marketplace player, where it will be able to provide a complete ecosystem to the buyers and sellers together.
Taking on challenges
The key challenge in this segment is delivering the ultimate shopping experience,which keeps the customer coming back for more.
“Although technology is constantly evolving, and offering constant ways for us to improve UX, customer expectations keep rising. This is great - as a company, it keeps us focused on the right things, and helps us raise the bar each time,” says Rahul.