India is a country that excels in every field, but in the 21st century, the talk of each day is the fashion industry. Fashion is defined as styles of clothing as well as other accessories being worn by a different group of people at different times. It includes everything such as apparel, sportswear, footwear, traditional, formal, accessories, lounge robes, etc.
With every passing year, the scenario is changing not only in fashion but also in fashion designers. The list of fashion designers is endless, with 100 more entries every day, be it at the local level. Ritu Kumar, Neeta Lulla, Surily Goel, Gauri and Nainika, Puja Nayyar, and many more are the queens of the world, which are an aesthetic expression in the context of clothing, lifestyle.
The entire journey of the fashion industry can be categorized into three phases, i.e., Initiation (Beginning), Growth (3 years), and Sustainability (5 years +). Undoubtedly, each phase is backed up by various problems with a common problem of funds scarcity. All fashion entrepreneurs need to formulate their strategies for each phase. What is the level of each phase? What is the difference in ways of raising funds? Can the same funding house be used in all phases? What is the strategy to be made? To be a brand in the market, have a look at these.
Initiation welcomes new beginners fashion entrepreneurs as Sophia Amoruso, who in 2006 (22 years old) started her journey with Nasty Gal. She believes in building a supportive network, which makes her a massive brand with the worth of $20 million (2019). Similar is the story of Ananya Birla (22), who founded CuroCarte a year back approx. They sourced handmade products in India from nine countries (Thailand, Portugal, Spain, and Vietnam) chosen with the aim of product differentiation.
Bringing sustainability in opportunities for businesses and professionals through digital solutions – Meet Abhishek Anand
The initial investment was of Rs.6 crores from Svatantra Microfin, known for the encouragement of entrepreneurial spirit. Also, she faced the problem of timely delivery of products, tackled with reliable logistics partners, and quality products. Other fund houses include:
- Angel Prime: Funding and Mentoring to Technology-Driven Startups
- Startup Village: Equip University Students with Entrepreneurship Skills
- Amity Innovation Incubator: Incubates Graduates with Commercial Success (Innovation + Technology)
With a three years journey, Gartika, by Radhika Rao, has become an American Brand, 100% self-financed, based on organic fashion. The key to success is the use of ancient art forms with nature. The product range is restricted to few but with the follow-up of the leading organic theme. This includes scarves, lounge robes, boho bags, kaftans, and sarongs. Similarly, Meenu K Tiwari, ‘The Plavate’ Queen, follows the eco-friendly route to style intending to keep every step organic. The web acts as an invaluable resource for her, just like Stefania Borris for funds scarcity. Timing is also tricky coped up with the same strategy as Ananya Birla. One can also go for angel investments used by Shreya Mishra:
- Sequoia India: Funding to beginners and growing entrepreneurs
- Snapdeal: Financial platform to create Innovative Ecosystem
- Paytm: For building Brand image
Anna Bance, Girl Meets Dress Co-founder, enjoys a million worth due to great timing and well-established transportation (Airbnb, Zipcar) business. The company is 100% bootstrapped till five years after which crowdfunding (RocketHub, Kickstarter) and peer lending (Prosper) works. This phase is backed up by Shreya Mishra, ‘Flyrobe’ Queen, with the concept of rental fashion. She does face technical challenges, dealing with the belief that the team stands together. Now, she mainly focuses on designer outfits for special occasions such as marriages, festive sessions, etc. They claimed to have earned revenue of $2 million last year with three-fold Growth this year. Also, they raised $5.3 million from:
- IDG Ventures (Series A): Early and Late Stage Venture
- Tokyo – based Fund GREE Ventures: Focus on Business Planning, Launch & Expansion.
- Sequoia Capital
To become a global brand like Zara, H&M, URBN, Gap & others, there should be some key to success. Just as of 1974, Zara turned up in Spain market-facing various challenges in the expansion as cultural differences, season variation, and many more. But the only mantra is ‘oil stain’ strategy. Another winning strategy includes fast fashion, artificial scarcity, and packaging and variety. Now under the leadership of Óscar Pérez Marcotte from 2011, revenues are at Rs.1, 438 crores (17.7%). The brand is expanding, including stores in France, Germany, Taiwan, Australia, Singapore, and South Africa.
The standard strategy followed by all is focusing on quality, instead of offering discounts to capture the market. As per the report of the Indian Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), India ranks in the second position as an exporter of textiles and clothing in the world. Also, it has been forecasted that the worth of the domestic textile and apparel industry is going to be more than $141 billion by 2021. And the Growth of the fashion market at a CAGR of 11 % in 2025.
The entire article will help the entrepreneur right from scratch to the top of the roof. Being a successful entrepreneur not only helps to earn profits but also builds up an image in the market, which is the ultimate goal. The first and foremost challenge faced by every entrepreneur is start-up funds which are now easy to tackle in 2020 with the upcoming of:
- Crowdfunding sites (Indiegogo, Wishberry 70% success rate),
- Angel Investors such as Google, Yahoo (with 30% stake),
- Halogen Ventures,
- BBG Ventures,
- Golden Seeds,
- The Jump Fund,
- Hypatia Capital,
- Cowboy Ventures,
- Forerunner Ventures.
Every funding house has its terms and conditions which one needs to research before going in. Entrepreneurs not only excel in India, but this scenario can be seen all over the world, but the success rate is far better. It’s not that they don’t face challenges, but the matter of fact is the strategies followed by them.