Mobile is the Web for the next billion online: Dr. Viswanath Ramachandran

Retailer Media caught up with Dr. Viswanath Ramachandran CEO and Co-founder, Hippily to know more about this astounding application.
Dr. Viswanath Ramachandran CEO and Co-founder, Hippily

Gone are the days when we used to spend our entire weekend hunting for trendy clothes and other fashion accessories at a mall. Moving beyond the barrier of just shopping online, some mobile apps have went ahead to provide shopaholics with a set of new services that eases offline shopping experience as well. These amazing apps help in not just getting what you are looking for, but also at a very comparative price points.

Doing the same is Hippily, a fashion discovery-cum-shopping platform that offers daily curation of trendy fashion products, looks and collections to the style conscious young women, which is also available for purchase. The app has over 30 stores from cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru that are tied up as partners with Hippily.

Retailer Media caught up with Dr. Viswanath Ramachandran CEO and Co-founder, Hippily to know more about this astounding application and how it aims to to de-addict the fashion ecosystem from discounts by providing the user a personalised feed that learns from dozens of data points.

Please share your background. Your education and whether entrepreneurship was something you always wanted to do?
I am an IIT graduate and a PhD in Computer Science. I worked for over a decade,  but have been an entrepreneur for last 10+ years. I always wanted to create new products, organizations.

How was the idea of your Start-up conceptualised? What is the need you are addressing In the market?
I came up with the idea on seeing my wife's shopping patterns. She was literally the discovery engine for her friends, finding stylish fashion from less well known brands and stores.

The need we are addressing is that of  women to discover great fashion from less known brands. People do this offline by browsing in malls and stores,  how do we bring this online and to mobile is what Hippily is solving.

Who is your target consumer? Could you please share how you have detailed your consumer?
The target consumer is a woman 18-30, who wants to be fashion forward.  She could be anywhere in India. She could be creative,  curious or confident in her fashion sense,  with an open mind on discovering new things.

Shed some light on the investment front of Hippily App
We have raised $250,000 from angels across India, USA and Singapore. People such as Sridhar Ramaswamy - SVP, Ads and Commerce of Google and Rakesh Mathur, Founder of Junglee have invested.  

How the value of investment is increasing in the  fashion and lifestyle  space?
As long as a company has a profitable business model,  it's value will increase.  Our discovery led model de-emphasizes discounts,  which should help us and our partners build long term sustainable businesses.

What was it that attracted the Investors to your business ? Have you had to pivot your business in anyway that has worked for you?
The top notch team - founders and employees.  And also the vision and product focus we have.

We started as only an app to discover fashion.  But we recently changed to support in app transactions,  based on customer feedback.  

What has been your A-ha Moment in the business? (The high point)
When we realized that there is such awesome fashion available via entrepreneurs India operating at low scale, and where such entrepreneurs are searching for platforms to be discovered by consumers.   

How the Mobile shopping trend is growing manifolds?
Mobile is the Web for the next billion online. People are growing up with mobile Internet as their primary or only source of Internet, and naturally they will buy on Mobile. 

What has been your biggest challenge so far in scaling -up? How are you addressing it?
With increased orders we need to scale up support and logistics.  We are being smart to keep critical customer support  touch  points in house,  while allowing our partner stores do the logistics piece.

How do you see growth scenario is this business? What is your future scale-up plans?
Our curation and algorithms provide a compelling user experience.  We think this leads automatically to clear path to scalability. We expect to be significantly bigger over the next year in terms of transactions. 

Dr. Viswanath Ramachandran
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