From Rs 5 lakh seed money to Rs 1.6 Cr turnover, how two friends built a clothing company to serve brands like Pepsi and Godrej
In the times of fast fashion and changing trends, online shopping has become the go-to option for millennials. Gone are the days when we used to hop from one store to another to freshen our wardrobe.
From western outfits to ethnic ensembles, casualwear to party essentials, everything is available online with the great ecommerce growth India is witnessing at present. And riding on this trend is PostFold, an online clothing brand started by friends Ashish Gurnani and Aashray Thatai. PostFold was set up in 2015 from Gurugram to cater to the style-conscious generation.
In an interaction with SMBStory, Ashish reveals how he found his co-founder in friend Aashray back in the US and how after coming back to India they became business partners sharing the same goals.
SMBStory: What is PostFold? How did you conceive the idea to launch this brand?
Ashish Gurnani: Aashray and I met in the US in our hostel building. We soon became friends and then roommates. Since we were there in the US for a longer period of time, our clothing requirements too changed. We used to get a variety of options ranging from casuals, office wear to party outfits.
After seven years, when we came back to India, we experienced a dent in the Indian apparel market and analysed that affordable apparel is low quality and quality apparel is excruciatingly high priced. The most appalling fact being that India is one of the biggest manufacturers to the best brands in the world, yet finding high quality and great looking apparel was a task.
Thus, we decided to dig deeper into why luxury brands charge such a high premium even though the designs were not vastly different. We found out even if the fabric used is of higher quality the price still does not justify the 10X mark-ups. Hence, we came up with a business model where we manufacture and style apparel using high-quality fabrics and keep the fixed costs low, and curate clothes with experienced stylists so that we can suggest attire from ‘Desk to Dinner’. PostFold was founded with a bootstrapped capital of Rs 5 lakh.
Last year, PostFold recorded a turnover of Rs 1.6 crore.
SMBS: Tell us about your products. Where do you source your fabrics from?
AG: Our goal is to provide great superior quality products at great prices. We design and source everything in-house and work with manufacturing partners located in Gurugram, Noida, and Ludhiana to give life to our creation. We have eliminated all middlemen from the process so our customers get access to the best quality and honest and real prices.
Most of our apparels are made of Supima cotton, which is a superior type of cotton that has extra-long staple fibre that gives the cotton its strength, softness, and colour retention. We are one of the only few licensed Supima cotton retailers in India and have around 600 SKUs live on our site for both men and women between the age group of 20 and 35.
SMBS: With other clothing brands dominating the Indian market, how do you overcome the challenges?
AG: The most challenging part has been to stand out in a very crowded market. We have done this by being true to our mission and its values. Our mission has always been to provide great quality and we have been successful at it.
Though the competition level is high, I feel that even if there are a lot of players, there is still space for everyone. This market is diverse and capable to give varieties in quality and good fabric at large. So, every brand has something new to offer to customers.
The other big challenge is competing with the discounting on ecommerce portals. We are listed on Myntra, Jabong, and Koovs and the flagship sales by these portals create a demanding as well as challenging situation to fight on the price of the products.
SMBS: What are the key milestones in your journey?
AG: With the quality of clothes we offer to our customers, it got us the opportunity to enter the B2B segment and that has been the biggest milestone in our journey. Most of the professionals who tried our products recommended us to their companies. And, two months back, we launched a B2B campaign and hit brands like Pepsi, Godrej, and LinkedIn to design and create high-quality promotional apparel for their employees and patrons.
We have also expanded to international markets in the US, the UK, and Australia through our logistics partner DTDC.
SMBS: What are your future prospects?
AG: In the near future, we are planning to expand our platform digitally and come up with more collections. We are also planning to open a retail outlet but that’s something at a distant sight.