On demand services are on the rise in India. Anything from grocery deliveries to plumbers and post sales servicing of appliances to salon professionals - all are only a tap away. In line with this boom the latest to arrive is the on demand tailoring service, Urban Tailor.
Vasudevan Thrikkazhipuram, Lavanya Venkatraman and Ashish Singhal have teamed up to bring a professional tailoring service for women, right at their doorstep.
The platform offers end to end tailoring services including free pick-up of the material that is to be stitched (they also pick up a perfectly fitting garment for measurement purposes). However, they do have a simple-to-use online design and customization tool which ensures proper measurement, styling, and fitting.
Urban Tailor stitches a garment as per the measurements and delivers it back to the customer in 10 days. The service is currently available in Bengaluru only. The cost of a basic stitching service starts at Rs. 500.
The tailoring space in India is dominated by local tailors who are not so well trained, and a few boutiques. It is the women who are primarily affected as they tend to get a lot of their ethnic wear stitched to get the best fits. (This is unlike men’s clothing which comes in standard sizes, and is mostly readymade). To add to the woes is the fact that pre-stitched ethnic-wear does not always fit well. Vasudevan says,
This leads women to buy semi-stitched or dress materials. But to get them stitched properly, most women have to go through the pain of making multiple trips to a tailor. Even then, unreliable fits and untimely deliveries are a cause of angst.
Team behind Urban Tailor
Vasudevan is a serial entrepreneur and had earlier founded Coatom which eventually ceased operations. He has over 15 years of experience and was the marketing and product development head at Simplilearn - during his tenure the company grew from Rs.10 to Rs.100 crore.
Lavanya is a NIFT graduate and did her Master’s degree from the London College of Fashion. She had a stint at EU SERVIVE, and prior to co-founding Urban Tailor, she was a manager in the marketing team for business alliances at Myntra.
Ashish is an alumnus of NSIT (Netaji Subhash Institute of Technology) and has won over eight hackathons organized by Amazon, Google, and LinkedIn in the last 18 months. Before Urban Tailor, he was a core member of Amazon’s tech team.
How it works?
Customers can place an order by suggesting the design of their new garment online; just like they do when they brief a tailor. One can select the design required for the neck, sleeve, hemline, bottom, etc. while placing the order, and choose a convenient date and time slot for pick up.
Post this, someone from Urban Tailor clarifies the order with the customer over phone and starts the production. Vasudevan adds,
We have already set up a streamlined supply chain process to ensure that we can handle thousands of orders every day. We, of course, focus on the individual requirements and make the order ready for delivery in 10 days. Our stringent QC process ensures that we provide a great fit for the customers. To go the extra mile, Urban Tailor offers free alteration even after final delivery.
Funding and size of opportunity
Urban Tailor also secured an angel round of funding from a group of angels who are ex-Myntra top executives. At the present, Urban Tailor is focusing on increasing its production capacity for the Bangalore market. According to an Urban Tailor estimate - over 20,000 orders are being executed daily by tailors in Bangalore - and it is looking to grab a major chunk of this pie in the next 12 months. The revenue comes from charging a commission fee to the tailors.
The platform competes with local tailors and boutiques. Vasudevan points out,
Our competition is finding it hard to meet our service standards as most of them are run by non-professionals. They are small and their sole focus is to execute as many orders as possible everyday to meet their living expenses. This introduces errors in getting the right fit.
Of late the on demand service segment is going through an exciting time, and a slew of startups have emerged to cater to various niches. Besides players like Urbanclap and Urbanpro, startups like Vanitycube, Bulbul and MyWash.in are evangelizing some of these niche segments.
Urban Tailor seems to be a potent player as it solves the major pain-points around women’s tailoring needs. However, ensuring great quality and the perfect fit will be major challenges for the startup. It will be interesting to see how this niche evolves and shapes up in the future.