“Adequate Bandwidth Availability Is the Biggest Deterrent of Online Fashion”: Jawahar Singh
In an exclusive conversation with Jawahar Singh, Co-Founder& CEO, Avishya.com sheds light on the growth strategy of the brand.BY Shipra Srivastava | February 01, 2018 | comments ( 0 ) |
Kindly shed light on the journey of your brand, also how do you see online fashion is evolving in India?
Avishya was born out of a passion for beautiful Indian ethnic wear… Sarees, Salwars, Dupattas, Fitted Garments, Jewellery & more. We wantedto create a platform on the internet which can bring together the finest handcrafted merchandise made by Indian weavers, artisans and craftsmen. Also offer aficionados of Indian Heritage Apparel in India and around the world an online destination where they can browse and buy these products from the comfort of their homes or offices. From a small beginning in 2016 we now showcase a range of over 5000 pieces of apparel & jewellery on Avishya – the largest collection of handcrafted sarees available online on any web portal.
These days online fashion has been become extremely competitive with market leaders such as Myntra and Jabong. In such scenario, what specifications you have made to stand out among the peers?
We don’t compete with Myntra or any other portal selling mass produced fashion apparel. Our products are timeless classics and are not really defined by fashion trends which change from time to time. In fact, Indian Heritage apparel has been increasingly embraced with pride both in India and abroad.
Being a speciality portal selling authentic handcrafted products sourced directly from traditional weaving clusters & artisans, almost every product on Avishya is ‘one-of-a-kind’(cannot be remade exactly the same way). Also usually only one piece of each product is available. This gives the wearer a unique sense of exclusivity and pride. The uniqueness of our products & our personalized service helps us stand out and differentiate ourselves.
According to you, what are the major challenges of online fashion retailing?
While the Indian market is huge, there are lots of issues to be sorted out in order to accelerate ecommerce penetration in India. Adequate bandwidth availability is the biggest. Download speeds are still very inconsistent and 4G connectivity is not universal. For ecommerce websites like Avishya which are very ‘visual’ and ‘image’ dominated,this is a huge challenge. Though mobiles have largely driven the increase of internet penetration in India, mobile payment gateways have a lot of work to do in increasing user confidence. However, despite these challenges strong growth is expected over the coming years as increasing numbers of consumers go online for the first time, largely through smartphones, which are used by most people these days.
As of now how many pin codes are being covered by Avishya.com? Do you also have your exclusive offline store or plan to?? Otherwise, what are your strategies to scale up the distribution?
We currently service over 10,000 pin codes in India and growing every day. In addition, we ship to over 550 international locations in 28 countries. We do not have any physical retail presence anywhere. Going forward we are planning to open exclusive retail stores both in India and abroad.
Who do you see as your competition within the same space?
The combination of directlysourced products, accessible service and website experience which Avishya offers is unique and therefore we do not see anyone as a direct competitor.
Fashion is the category where the ratio of returns is highest. So, what is your strategy to manage returns?
Our strategy to reduce returns is very simple. We have put in place a robust QC process by which every single saree, salwar or kurta in a customer’s order is checked thoroughly by 2 teams before being dispatched to the customer so that errors if any spotted at this stage itself. In case any defect or damage is identified, we actually return the product to the producer and ask the customer if she would like to choose an alternate product or give her a 100% refund.
Apart from apparel, how many categories do you operate? Also what are the plans for category expansion?
Apart from handcrafted apparel & jewellery, Avishya also offers exclusive Customized Tailoring Services for Blouses, Salwar sets & Kurtas
At last, kindly highlight your growth plans??
Our vision is to make Avishya the most loved and trusted destination for Indian Women’s Apparel&Accessories. For every woman living in India & every NRI/PIO woman from the worldwide Indian Diaspora, Avishya.com should be the No.1 choice for browsing & buying top class Indian apparel and accessories.
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