Being an Entrepreneur When all Eyeballs are on Voonik
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When every single industry follower went gaga over the Flipkart-Myntra-Jabong union, there was another fashion player who grabbed a lot of eyeballs – Voonik ! Speculations have been ripe on how Voonik would probably go about strengthening its position against the newly created industry threesome.
We caught up with Voonik Co-founder and CEO Sujayath Ali at Eximus 2016 conducted by IIM Bangalore and asked him how he handles the pressure of being an entrepreneur amid all the chatter surrounding his company.
Being an entrepreneur is always challenging
Sujayath, believes that being an entrepreneur is always challenging and this scenario is no different to what he faces in his day-to-day routine. “Having the destiny under your control, you kind of decide where your company is going to be and where your next set of customers is going to come from, what should be your next innovation and other things. I think that empowerment is something that cannot be described in words. Hence being an entrepreneur is good despite the market situations,” he said.
When asked about dealing with the continuous chatter about consolidation and the race to the No.1 position in the ecommerce pyramid, Sujayath said that the whole situation gives a lot of validation. “Everybody is now saying that fashion is the best segment to be in, in terms of demand, margin and both offline and online category. It gives us a lot of validation as an entrepreneur that we have picked the right segment and right value proposition,” he added.
Mahesh Murthy of Seedfund had tweeted saying that the Jabong-Myntra deal makes Voonik number 2 automatically. Sujayath said that in the “unbranded fashion category” Voonik stands number to be in the number 1 spot.
What does one do to get funded during tough times
Amid funding winter , which had let to fewer late rounds of later-stage funding, Voonik managed to secure $20 million in Series B funding, led by Sequoia Capital. Times Internet, Seedfund, Beenos, Beenext, Parkwood Bespin, Tancom Investments and Kunal Shah also participated in the round.
Talking about raising funds amid testing times, Sujayath said,“There are two things that come to my mind. Assume that it is going to take a lot of time for investors to make a decision and there is going to be a lot of due diligence. Secondly, be grounded and have realistic expectations without comparing yourself to other companies,” he said.
With a good number of healthy investors backing them, only time can tell what Sujayath and his team have in mind to compete against the growing competition in the online fashion arena.