There is a huge gap in crafts inspired ethnic wear market: Manoj Gupta
There is a huge gap in crafts inspired ethnic wear market: Manoj Gupta

In the spree of launching ethnic wear brands in the country Craftsvilla, one of India’s largest online ethnic retailer, has launched its third in-house brand ‘Anuswara’. With this brand, the company is claiming to fill the gap in the affordable ethnic fashion space. The brand is aiming to reach 20,000 pincodes with its eCommerce presence, while being available across all the leading online and offline retail stores. It is also planning to launch its exclusive brand outlets in a year or two. Thus, revealing the future strategies of the brand, Manoj Gupta, Co-Founder, Craftsvilla spoke to on the occasion of launching ‘Anuswara’ in Mumbai recently.

After Jharonka and Avanya what inspired you to conceptualise another ethnic wear brand in women fashion space?
We see a huge gap in crafts inspired ethnic wear space. There are very few women ethnic wear brands in India which represents certain type of taste and trend and that is what we want to do. We feel that there are very less options available in the market, so we are looking at penetrating this crafts inspired fashion apparel brand, Anuswara in the market. It is an important milestone in the journey of Craftsvilla.

Earlier, we launched two fashion brands for women and this is the third brand which is all about ethnic wear. Handloom is an example where there are not many brand, so, in order to fill the gap we had launched our brand ‘Jharonka’.  Then again in the low price segment we saw quality is a big issue, so we launched ‘Avanya’ which is affordable ethnic wear brand. Also, we see there are many opportunities in men’s wear or kid’s ethnic wear.

Which are the different collections available under the brand?
We have fusion and daily wear apparels in four different collections namely Ikat Illustrations, Kalamkari Tales, Summer Hues and Indigo Impression. The fourth collection, Indigo Impressions, will be available from May.

Tell us about the craft side of the brand Anuswara?
Anuswara is a craft inspired fashion brand and is contemporary ethnic in nature for modern fashion women, different designs and affordability and not necessarily western. The difference is how we use the craft on the product. It can be worn in office and in events also.

With this brand we are going deeper into each region of India, digging out crafts and putting that on fashion apparels. Whether it is Ikat from Pochampally near Hyderabad, weaving and embroidery stuff from Kutch, Kalamkari art and Ajrakh or Alankari kind of crafts is what we are putting on to our fashion brand. We have knowledge about multiple types of crafts, we can do fusion of Ajrakh, Dabu, Bagru or Chanderi or we can mix Ikat with cotton sari. Primarily we are targeting 21 to 35 years old women.

How could you make the brand affordable to the consumers?           
We have made it affordable as we have deep knowledge about supply chain, cost of souring of yarn, types of yarn, weaver wages and moves at lower capacities. Thus, we use that knowledge and lower the product price.

How do you see growing traction for ethnic wear among youth?
The traction is very good. Ethnic wear is the biggest segment in fashion apparels overall. Everyone is saying ethnic sells a lot online and offline. It has good margin and wider appeal. Many smaller towns are also raising the traction for ethnic wear in India.

What will be the retail presence of the brand?
We will have an omni-channel presence. Along with being present on our own eCommerce portal, the brand will be availed across leading online marketplaces, major retail stores and modern trade like Pantaloon and Lifestyle. With online we are aiming to reach around 20,000 pin codes in the country. 

When are you planning to launch EBOs?
In a year or two we plan to launch our own stores. But, we don’t know how many of those will be. Because offline retail is something we don’t understand very well, so initially if our offline retail scales up well then we will continue with it otherwise we will not.

What is the investment that you have made for this brand?
The investment is not huge for this brand. Therefore we expect 30-40 percent sales growth from the brand in the first year. As well as within year or two we are planning to attain break-even.

What are your future expansion plans?
We are planning to scale up our marketplace and brand business. We are also looking to launch two to three more brands in a year or two. Some may be in ethnic wear or some may not be.

What will be the overseas presence of Anuswara?
This brand will also be available in US and UK market. Presently not much of our business comes from overseas markets as we are completely focused on domestic market.

Are you planning to go for next round of funding?
We are sufficiently funded. In 2015 we had raised $50mn.

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