It is expected that by 2020, online fashion market alone would be worth around $35Bn:Sanjay Shroff

In an exclusive conversation with Sanjay Shroff, MD & Founder of highlights the key trends in online fashion space.
It is expected that by 2020, online fashion market alone would be worth around $35Bn:Sanjay Shroff

 How do you see online retail market of fashion retailing is growing in India? What are your predictions for this evolving market considering next five years? Please state few numbers to quantify the same?

 Fashion market, after the food and groceries market, occupies the second largest chunk of retail market in India. It is at an exciting stage actually. The market preferences are changing. Peoples lifestyles are changing. They are more inclined to experiment with new looks and new cultures. Increased incomes and overseas travels are resulting in a new emerging culture. All this is having a bearing on the fashion industry. There is an increased preference for luxury and upmarket brands and styles. The increase in penetration of mobile phones will also positively affect the growth of the market. Proliferation of e commerce has meant that youngsters have more choice at the tip of their fingers and they are flocking to e commerce in a big way. The online apparel sales are expected to grow four to five times its current size, within the next five years. It is expected that by 2020, online fashion market alone would be worth around $35Bn.

 Amazon and Flipkart (Myntra and Jabong) are ruling the pie of online fashion in India? Do you see them as your competition? What is your USP?

 Flipkart & Myntra themselves occupy about 65% of online fashion share and with Jabong and amazon combined, the pie goes up to 80%. They are industry leaders at the moment and also have the first mover advantage operating at scale. But, as overall e-commerce industry share grows, the market itself will grow and there is enough space for   other entrants and players to create disruption with innovative strategies. While we are inspired by the sheer numbers that the industry leaders have reported, we do not see them as competition. Amazon and flip kart are multicategory platforms and fashion is just one small chunk of their business.

 We are more of a niche and focused player focusing only on Women’s fashion and lifestyle. So, while we co-exist in this category, we do not see ourselves as being in competition with the other players. Also, this focus will help us bring in some innovations that other players may not be able to do.

 Fashion is in our genes as we are part of the fashion industry from nearly three decades. ffolio, our pioneer brick n mortar luxury store has been associated with eminent designers from fashion industry. Styletag was earlier launched through a Manish Malhotra’s show. So, we come with a strong pedigree and background and we hope to bring in some great innovations into this domain in the future. We are currently upgrading our tech and marketing capabilities towards that goal.

Private label vs. big brands where you are seeing the maximum traction? How many categories you are retailing right now?

We believe both co-exist. There are subsets of consumers who only prefer brands and those who are not so particular. There is also a subset of consumers that prefer value for money, good quality apparels at reasonable prices. Private label can be a good strategy to address this subset of consumers.

 We have decided to be highly focused and hence we have limited ourselves to fashion & lifestyle for women only. In this domain, we have western wear, ethnic wear, designer wear, fashion accessories, home and lifestyle accessories. We would look at expanding the product portfolio we have and also add some more sub categories within the domain in the near future.

 How many pin codes you are covering right now? Also, comment on your supply chain, is it been managed by third party or in-house resource?

We service almost all pin codes in the country. Currently we deliver through third party logistics partners including India Post who are strong and well established in the industry. We have some strict quality contractual commitments in place with them which ensure that our end customers have a good experience with Styletag.

How many retail brands are retailed on your site? Which brand seems to be surpassing the others?

We have over 100 brands that are sold on our site. Brands like Vero Couture, Amiti and Amperstyle are doing very well overall.

 Who do you see as your competition in the same space?

 As mentioned earlier, we are in a growing space that has multicategory platforms like flipkart and amazon and specialised fashion only platforms such as Myntra, Jabong, Voonik. Yet, we occupy a unique niche space addressing only women as a target audience. So, while we share marketspace with all these players, we see ourselves slightly different from them all.

  What are the latest clothing purchasing trends that you are observing across the category?

Ethnic wear is holding out on its own and doesn’t seem to be shrinking. But western wear sales for the fashion industry has been registering growth rates at 40 to 45% year on year for the last decade and that trend is naturally reflected on our platform also. People are looking to experiment with their looks and prefer to wear something that’s not only hip and trendy but also high on comfort.

At last, kindly mention your growth plans?

We are looking to scale up our business through traditional ecommerce channel as well as through our omni-channel presence which is currently at Orion Mall, Rajajinagar, Bangalore.



Sanjay Shroff