Rationale behind starting Veirdo, initial investment and challenges
Our rationale behind starting Veirdo was to offer something unique to consumers, in a fast-paced e-commerce centric domain. We knew the immense potential e-commerce held, and wanted to explore its seamless opportunities, which we were sure would dominate fashion in the future. However, an early challenge we faced was the heavy competition & establishing ourselves as the go to fashion brand. Additionally, the initial investment amount was five lakhs and we had no experience in fashion or retail, although we understood how online marketplaces like Amazon or Flipkart worked, which we used to our advantage.
How is Veirdo different from other fashion labels?
When curating our extensive collection and setting up shop, we found a quality and affordability gap in youth fashion. And hence, we made sure that Veirdo was designed to bring forth the best affordable fashion that is trendy, without comprising on quality. Furthermore, since the brand’s inception, we have continually strived to bring fresh innovation to the table, with our Floral/all over print(aop) that are 100% cotton in affordable rates. The modern consumer of today can rely on Veirdo to imbibe the coolest fashion in town in its collection, which has reflected in our customer base, which has grown monumentally.
Differential strategy adopted by Veirdo to break clutter and create niche for the brand
In five years, we have has serviced as many as 2.5 million customers, 60 percent of whom place orders every two to three months. We have a well-rounded and highly efficient solid supply chain, never compromising on timely deliveries, which has made all the difference. Our loyal customers also prefer us for our fresh designs, as we never miss a single market trend in the fashion world, and stock up the most desirable prints, that do not burn a hole in the pocket.
How are Veirdo products retailed? Details on e-commerce platforms.
Veirdo’s fresh collection is available on our official website, as well as on all the leading e-commerce sites in India, including Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, Snapdeal, Ajio and several others. Our entire collection is currently D2C on our site, but we definitely plan to expand further in cities and
locations where our range is the most popular.
Views on the growing fashion e-commerce space
Fashion is one of the most dynamic industries in the world, and is ever evolving, changing by the hour. With the rise of online shopping, the space is a heavy mix of creativity, authenticity, and efficiency. E-commerce has definitely taken over the markets swiftly and is the future for retail outlets all across the world, and presents a gigantic opportunity for agile companies everywhere, eyeing to tap into the massive potential of the segment.
Views on growth opportunities for Made in India brands in line with the vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat
The tech savvy Indian consumer is very self-aware, and this is an advantage for homegrown brands. Aatmanirbhar Bharat is indeed an initiative that has propelled Indian brands to the forefront, with Indian consumers largely opting for them in every sphere of their lives. This is also the opportune moment for Indian retail outlets to make the most of the great Indian textile tradition, and the availability of talented local craftsmen & raw materials. Tapping into these arenas, Veirdo has essentially been operating with the ideal of ‘Make In India’ in mind and curating robust in house facilities and generating local employment since its inception, before the ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ trend revolutionised our country’s markets.
Views on India being the largest producer of cotton in the world, does it act as an advantage for Indian fashion labels
Cotton is indeed the most widely available fabric in our country and is also the most preferred in a hot and humid country like ours. Since the beginning, we were clear about utilizing the best resources to curate optimal quality products, and the boundless perks of using cotton gave us a great edge. It is indeed a great advantage for domestic players, due to its ease of procurement and relatively low price. Keeping the same logistics in mind, Veirdo is a fully homegrown fashion brand, which sources all its raw materials and apparels in house, ranging from dyes, to designs, to the prints.
Manufacturing facility and capacity. No of designers on board & employee strength
We recently set up a 25,000-square-feet central warehousing facility in Ahmedabad. All of our warehouse’s functions, ranging from sourcing fabric and manufacturing to demand forecasting and supply, are augmented with in-house technology. Owing to the highly efficient system we set up, we produce about 1 lakh garments per month. We have three designers on board. Veirdo currently employees about 100 people full time, with about 50 contractual workers. We also ramp up our manufacturing capacity every six months and expand our extensive designer network to meet our growing demands.
How is the company harnessing technology to further its business
Our Ahmedabad Warehouse is completely equipped with the latest technology, which provides us with real time stats and a meticulous layout of our demand and supply, preparing us for the deliveries ahead. Through our state-of-the-art facilities, and I.T Expertise, we are able to gauge into a number of important metrics to ensure productivity, As Co-Founders, all three of us have a background in e-commerce/I.T, which has greatly helped us streamline our workflow and lead the way to establish a highly efficient system in place.
Key marketing initiatives in the pipeline
As a dynamic young brand catering to agile customers in the age groups of 16-45, Veirdo is always adapting to the changing digital trends, and currently updated its website to make it as chic, user friendly and interactive as possible. We are also in the process of co-ordinating extensively with some of the best macro and micro-Instagram influencers in business. As a leading online apparel brand, we really prioritize creating memorable experiences for customers, through out of the box initiatives that capture one’s imagination.
Have you enlisted the help of any celebrity brand ambassadors, or would you prefer to use social media influencers?
Veirdo is currently scouting for the celebrity who would be a great fit for us, and perfectly represent the youthfulness and freshness our brand stands for. While it is under wraps at this point, we will surely share all the details once its official! However, as a young brand that represents the modern customer, we are also big believers in the power of social media. Our marketing currently involves many influencers in the fashion & lifestyle space.
Financial overview – sales and revenue
In 2020, we made about 12 lakh sales, despite the limitations brought on by the lockdown disruptions across of the country, and our revenue for the year was approximately 34 crores. In our first year of operations (2016-17), Veirdo recorded sales of Rs 1.5 crore, which saw a swift 20X increase by March 2021, and we broke even in the year 2018.
Impact of Covid-19 and subsequent lockdown on business/ demand & Views on foray into PPE kits and mask during the pandemic
From a business point of view, we clocked in a record high in terms of orders in the year 2020, so we were able to make timely moves that would ensure that there was no disruption in our workflow. Of course, because of the unprecedented lockdown, we did face certain logistical challenges in the beginning, but we could adapt well and ensure timely delivery to all our customers during this crucial period.
Furthermore, we were able to rise to the occasion and manufacture and deliver six lakh PPE kits and two lakh masks in a span of three months to meet industry demands. This ensured that we paid all the salaries with bonuses, amidst a tough time for businesses across the country.
Business growth and future outlook
Our business grew 20x in five years, owing to the overwhelming response from customers all across the country. Our journey began by selling one floral T-shirt and today we curate 300+ designs, 1,500 SKUs, and multiple apparel categories, that includes t-shirts, jackets, vests, waistcoats, sweatshirts, trackpants and shorts.
Furthermore, by 2019, our bootstrapped start-up expanded to launch a womenswear brand, Juneberry, which today sells T-shirts, vests, shrugs, sweatshirts, trackpants and night suits. In the near future, we are planning to expand to kids wear. By 2023, we aim to double our customer base, reach a turnover of Rs 150 crore, and create 700-800 new jobs.