India yet to make mark in fashion services: Amit of 6Degree

We have faced challenges in partnering with international fashion weeks as India is known majorly for providing software as a service and not fashion services globally, says Amit Bhardwaj, Co-Founder & COO, 6Degree.
Amit Bhardwaj, Co-Founder & COO, 6Degree

It was his stint with TATA Group, where Amit Bhardwaj, the proud co-founder of 6Degree leant about revenue targets. The urge to build something of own made him take small projects in TATAs as part of the company’s Innovation contests. And this was the time when he met Nikhil Hegde and decided to work together on this startup. Working on a professional networking concept, the duo met some fashion professionals and got to know the fragmented and unorganized nature of fashion industry.

How was the idea of 6Degree conceptualized? What is the need you are addressing In the market?

Nikhil and I were working on a professional networking concept for a startup pitch at Leeds University. During our research, we met a few fashion professionals and found that the industry is highly fragmented and unorganized and our concept can be used to address the issues faced by this industry. After doing some further research on the industry, we launched 6Degree.  

Is there a story behind the name you have given to your business?

6Degree is a theory that signifies that - “everyone and everything is six or fewer steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person in the world, so that a chain of "a friend of a friend" statements can be made to connect any two people in a maximum of six steps.” This concept falls-in-line with what we intend to build for the fashion industry through our startup.

What is your Business Model? Please share numbers Product/services offered and current Business size?

6Degree is a ‘Fashion Talent & Tech Platform’ and we offer services to the entire Fashion Ecosystem. We help fashion professionals connect with right individuals / organizations and partners to further build their brand and business growth.

We offer the following services - Fashion Week Showcase, Business of Fashion Services and Fashion Brand Consulting. By the end of last financial year we have a top-line of INR 1.1 Cr and expect to grow current business size to 4 times in this financial year.

How you have detailed your consumer?

Out of our research we have identified more than 45 different segments in this market. As a startup we are currently focusing on key segments, like - Fashion Designers, Fashion Weeks, Stylist and Fashion Influencers.

How much fund have you raised so far? What are your plans to use this funding for?

We have raised $2 billion till now and it has been utilized to build the team and the platform. We are working on raising our Angel round for expanding the current business and building tech services for fashion ecosystem.

What was it that attracted the Investors to your business? Have you had to pivot your business in any way that has worked for you?

Our current investors lend us their support due to the uniqueness of our business and the future growth potential.  Our startup has seen good inflow of revenue and a great potential to be biggest fashion talent & tech player in Asia-pacific market. We have pivoted our business model from a pure online play to a mix of offline + online. This pivoting process helped our startup in achieving our growth and revenue targets.

What is your business model and what has been your ROI so far?

We work on a revenue share model with our partners & customers. Last financial year we were operating at an average of 20% profit margin and expect it to increase by another 5% during the current financial year. Signing up as a partner to Lakme Fashion Week has been our AHA moment.

What has been your biggest challenge so far in scaling -up? How are you addressing it?

We have faced challenges in partnering with international fashion weeks as India is known majorly for providing software as a service and not fashion services globally. To address this, we are sharing our proof-of-concept and proven services with international organizations operating in India markets.

How do you see growth scenario in this business? What is your future scale-up plan?

The fashion talent & tech space is on a surge these days and we are operating in a market with is more than 1.5 trillion dollars in size. Fashion & textile industry is one of the biggest employers in the world and we have more than 700 fashion weeks globally, thus there is a huge scope of scaling up.

Amit Bhardwaj