Bollywood fanatics are now wooed by an e-commerce startup that allows them to shop from Hindi Cinema clips. Aptly named BollyWoo, the portal has a collection of outfits worn by actors in famous new-age films like Tamasha, Cocktail, Pyar Ka Panchnama 2, and Roy among others. This means you can simply pause at the outfit you want to buy while the movie clip is playing and hit the ‘Buy’ button. But these outfits are not cheaper imitations or fake look-alikes of the movie wardrobes. BollyWoo has tied up with film production houses and gone on to the extent of finding the closest material to the outfit before sending it for manufacturing.
In a true larger-than-life cinematic experience, Indore-based BollyWoo wishes to enhance the shopping experience by a unique selling and delivering method. In the last five months, it has 4,500 active subscribers and about 1,000 Android and iOS application downloads.
“We have an ambition of transforming e-commerce shopping by paying attention to tiny details in the entire shopping experience. For instance, we have paid a lot of attention to the packaging. Our customers get a white V-Shaped box that says – You’re a star,” informs 24-year-old Vinayak Kalani, Founder of BollyWoo.
Weren’t portals like India Rush or Limeroad already selling movie clothes? “Not really, Limeroad works on a very different concept, where they get users to take inspiration from a celebrity look and re-create that look by mixing and matching the existing inventory that they have on the portal. Same is the case with India Rush. We saw a huge gap in the market with customers often getting disappointed by numerous websites that claimed to sell celebrity looks, as often they were of poor quality or remotely looked like the original one. Our clothes are manufactured after referring to the actual inventory of the cast’s clothes plus we have created a dedicated portal to sell the onscreen movie looks,” he adds.
BollyWoo follows a rigorous quality procedure, wherein the closest resembling material is hand-picked before it’s sent for manufacturing. But how do they have access to the actual movie inventory for comparison? “I contacted the film production houses directly and requested them to hand over their inventory of clothes used in movies. After initial reluctance, they agreed since I was practically giving them a platform to brand their movies and their characters who would continue to be household names if customers keep wanting to mimic their styles,” he adds.
“BollyWoo works on a mutual revenue model shared by production houses and us. This would in a way keep branding the characters in the movie. This pitch worked and now I have tie-ups with all the major productions houses (including Yash Raj) which are ready to give me the inventory even before the release of the movie,” he informs.
“In the last five months of operations, we have been able to successfully deliver 600 orders, which account for 650 products, and generated a total revenue of Rs 7,82,000,” he adds.
Apart from their usual collaborations, BollyWoo has successfully launched their new auction model “where we collaborate with a film and auction the signature looks worn by the characters in the film. As a launch model, BollyWoo tied up with the film “7 Hours to Go”, which had Shiv Pandit, NatasaStankovic and Shiv Pandit in the lead roles, and managed to auction the wardrobes in the film,” adds Vinayak. BollyWoo has also tied up with Carnival Cinemas (Big cinemas, Broadway and Glitz) nationally to market this venture, every ticket buyer gets an exclusive BollyWoo gift vouchers for shopping.
A Bollywood fan turns entrepreneur
Vinayak, who hails from a noted business family in town, has lived most of his life studying abroad. While studying at Drexel University, USA, he met many foreign nationals who were huge fans of Bollywood. “We would all hang out and dance to the tunes of Hindi movies or watch them together. I was a Bollywood fanatic myself so I found it pretty cool. Of course back then I had no plans of starting up a business like this. But later when I ventured into entrepreneurship, I realised BollyWoo would be the most natural extension of my interests,” he informs. Vinayak did his schooling from Marlborough college, UK, and has a degree in Finance from LeBow college. He also worked for a hedge fund in Philadelphia for a year before starting BollyWoo.
Scaling up in a wide market
The Indian retail industry is one of the fastest growing in the world and is expected to grow to $ 1.3 trillion by 2020. Morgan Stanley had recently increased their estimates of India’s e-commerce market from $102 billion to $119 billion by 2020. In addition, apparel sales are set to grow four times in the coming years, various estimates have reiterated.
“Honestly, the concept that BollyWoo has been in business for over a decade. Remember how we would bring movie posters or photographs to our local tailors asking them to copy the outfits? I have only attempted to organise this market and created a portal that allows users to get official quality garments at extremely affordable prices. Nationally, there isn’t another dedicated Bollywood portal that sells the exact looks. Internationally, however, I believe Blingby works on a similar concept with the international music video industry,” informs Vinayak.
So what’s next? “There are two major fronts. One would be the BollyWoo market place which we would launch at the end of August in order to cater to all celebrity off screen looks, like award functions, film promotional, parties, etc. We intend to use this section to promote young and upcoming brands that have similar designs to the ones that the actors have worn in the movie and give users a chance to follow these trends and wear similar design apparels,” says Vinayak.
However, one of the most exciting plans that BollyWoo has for the users is the launch of Bollywood locations. “This part of the portal would allow users to travel and experience the same destinations that they had once aspired to go to while watching their favourite movies,” he adds.
Thanks to BollyWoo, fans can now not only flaunt the style of their favourite movie characters, but can also visit the place where those movies were shot. Oh and did I mention what they are calling this kind of shopping? ‘Stop the screen, shop the screen.’