Pioneering eCommerce – Staying Close To The Consumer Is All That Matters
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Getting the masterstroke in e-commerce is not an easy task, especially when you switch from selling jewellery to bespoke menswear. But Vidya Nataraj believes that the end product doesn’t matter unless it is close to retail.
Vidya brings a decade of diverse experience in e-commerce, strategy, operations, sourcing, and finance. She worked for her family business for LandmarkGroup for 4 years before it ultimately got sold to the Tata Group. “I headed the music division before we sold out to the Tata Group,” she says.
She is co-founder of Bluestone.com, an online jewellery store. Before co-founding Bluestone. com, Vidya was a SeniorStrategy Consultant at Pricewaterhouse Coopers, India, covering the pharmaceuticals, automobile and retail sectors.
Working for her family business helped her get great insights in running a profitable and sustainable business. Bluestone eventually managed to secure funds from industrial magnet Ratan Tata.
Post Bluestone, Vidya decided to implement her entrepreneurial and eCommerce strategies in a whole new venture. Tailorman was created in 2013 to make great fitting garments accessible by offering made to measure personalized clothing at incredible value.
The commitment of entrepreneurship
Talking about entrepreneurial experience Vidya said, “Entrepreneurship is the commitment to turning an idea into a profitable business. It is about imagining new ways to solve problems and create value.”
The company currently has offerings across shirts, suits, jackets, trousers and ethnic wear, with thousands of fabric choices including international brands like Zegna. With seven retail stores, a free travelling stylist-cum-tailor service, in Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata, and a unique online 3D shopping experience.
Venturing into the bespoke space
When readymade clothes threw custom-made wardrobe out of vogue in the 90s, one could never see the comeback of bespoke fashion. Today, there are multiple startups catering into this space. “Our state of the art manufacturing capability sets us apart - Our state of the art cutting technology allows us to generate and store your individual patterns in order to re-create the exact fit each time you make a purchase,” adds Vidya.
Indian brands are yet to make their mark across the globe in the retail space. “There is great design talent here but real estate costs make it prohibitive. That’s why a brand like Tailorman succeeds,” says Vidya.
Vidya said that at Tailorman they currently wish to focus on attracting more men to shop online, build the category further and develop technology. The company expects to double its revenues to Rs. 30 crore next year. The company currently prices its range from approximately $133 to $897 per garment, depending on the quality of fabric ordered. Tailorman also plans to expand its physical retail presence across India to 40 stores over the next 4 years.
This article first appeared in the Indian edition of Entrepreneur magazine (July 2016 Issue).