This start-up is blending Bollywood with licensing like no one ever did

The products at Bollywoo are not 'similar' but exactly 'the same' to what is there in the movie, revealed this young entrepreneur while talking to us over a cup of coffee during his visit to Delhi.
Vinayak Kalani, Founder, Bollywoo

Intro: While the idea of setting up own venture wasn’t new to 24-years-old Vinayak Kalani, who hails from a business family of Indore, the way to conjoin his passion with business idea certainly was. However, making his venture a seamless fusion of his love for Bollywood with forward integration of family business, this finance graduate founded Bolywoo.ooo.

Betting on the mass appeal of movies like Tamasha, Cocktail, Roy etc. he inked pact with top production houses to manufacture and retail the apparel worn in these movies through his portal. The products at Bollywoo are not ‘similar’ but exactly ‘the same’ to what is there in the movie, revealed this young entrepreneur while talking to us over a cup of coffee during his visit to Delhi. 

What drove this transition from a hardcore family business to a Bollywood oriented website?
Yes, the business family was there, but I as a person was always a Bollywood fan. Again, growing up in Indore, there wasn’t much to do on weekends other than spending those most happening days in a movie theatre. I was already inspired, and while studying abroad i understood that appeal of Bollywood is not just restricted to India, but is very global product. I was aspirational when it was about Bollywood, and wanted to dress like celebs, but when I searched for a portal, I couldn’t find anything like that. So, we created one. It was very surprising for me that in a country where Bollywood and cricket are a religion, there isn’t anything like this.

So, bollywoo is a decade old concept where you’d take the designs to your local tailor and ask him to stitch something similar. We explored the opportunity to get into this and as a Bollywood fan, I was passionate about such a thing. So I thought that this was a goo9d match. The family retail business helps in setting up your own brand because it is forward integration.

How are you taking this concept to market when several other portals including Limeroad are doing a similar thing?
We are very different from such portals. Everybody understands the power of Bollywood and is using it to market themselves. Now what others do is they take the look and use existing inventory to match similar looks. They are just matching the attributes like colour or style thereby promising a ‘similar’ look.

On other hand, we are a licensed portal and we have official tie-ups with all the production houses to manufacture the exact look as seen in the films. It is exclusive to our portal only and we get the designs manufactured under our label Bollywoo and hence we are able to match the quality, keep the price-points comparatively low and offer exact merchandise duly signed by the stars and authenticated by the production house.

Another difference is that we are a dedicated portal for Bollywood merchandise unlike others. Also, most websites are in ethnic wear rather than western realm, where the millennial youth is going today. Today everyday clothes are more western and in-demand. We aim to address this need of consumer category. 

What all production houses do you have on your portfolio?
Every leading production house! We have tie-ups with Yash Raj Films, Eros, 20th Century Fox, T-Series. We have been able to do this as this is not a traditional merchandise of slapping logos on T-shirts. This kind of revenue stream acted as additional source of revenue for production houses and they were pro this concept and happy to tie-up with us. They get a lot of advantages with this concept like the product life is not restricted to two weeks before and after release date. Here I am selling merchandise of Cocktail released in 2013 which is as in-demand as merchandise of Tamasha because it is the appeal of Deepika Padukone. As similar to Disney’s Mickey, the character Veronica lives on even years after the release of movie.

How do you create the looks?
This was the first batch we did. On average we did about 7 to 8 looks per movie. Going forward we are getting a lot of analytics involved to get data from the community to know the looks they’d like to wear. There would be not set number, but only demand would drive the process. The production houses do not interfere in our choices.

Do you plan to practise licensing in a full-fledged manner?
Obviously we do! The plan is to create a dedicate eco-system. There are lot of celebs especially in west that might not be bankable to make a full-fledged motion picture with, but have huge fan following. May be in future we can come up with celebrity inspired fragrance range, but for that, first we need to establish ourselves as a brand with Bollywood fashion.  

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