CLOTHING START UP COMPANY IS EYEING SUCCESS BY MARRYING INDIAN ETHNIC FASHION WITH INTERNATIONAL TRENDS
A startup company achieved great success by marrying Indian ethnic fashion with international trends
Mumbai based startup B-kind started in 2010 aims to reach out to informed urban women looking for fusion sartorial choices. With a team of over 50 employees and a presence in 1,200+ stores pan-India, B-Kind aims to reach out to every modern Indian woman who is informed, and is not a blind follower of pure western wear trends.
Vidhi Dalal, the founder and Creative Director of B-kind says that when she returned from Milan after completing her Fashion communication and marketing course she realized that there were not that many brands in the fusion fashion segment catering to women in India. So she started B-kind for women who would be comfortable transitioning from ethnic to western wear. She started a company to cater to specific Indian body types.
India, with its elaborate ethnic couture and culture, presents a unique challenge by marrying its rich fabrics, textures, and silhouettes with the clean western cuts and lines that a modern Indian woman prefers. Vidhi’s portfolio includes working behind the scenes at the Lakme Fashion Week, and as a part-time designer for a clothing company, actively participating in marketing and promotions activities, and interacting with retails giants such as Pantaloons and Shoppers Stop, to name a few.
In 2010, she decided to strike out on her own company with all the experience she had gained in the fashion industry. B-kind’s core offering is “affordable fashion” for the women of India. With products competitively priced between Rs 799 and Rs 2,000, it has certainly succeeded in its ambition.
B-kind wants to be a subtle, kind support system for the aspiring woman who wants to gradually transition from ethnic choices to the modern sensibility. The product range starts from an affordable bracket while still ensuring it's on par in terms of quality and trends. She adds that they have created unique capsules to ease decision fatigue that often comes with choosing one’s outfit daily. Starting on a B2B model, B-Kind has recently shifted some focus to B2C by launching its own eCommerce platform at the beginning of 2019. With minimal market spends, the brand sees 20-30 orders per day on its platform.
In 2015, Vidhi was joined by her sister, Shimul Shah, who is currently managing Operations and Marketing. Before joining her sister she had worked as a consultant with Ernst & Young for over six years. B-Kind claims to be cash-flow positive and is currently self-funded. However, they are now on the cusp of a big expansion drive and B2C focus and are looking to raise some money externally for expansion and growth.
Finances and capital are the strong requirements for every startup or company operating and looking for desired results to earn good profits or for survival. The capital required for long working capital cycles is very high in fashion, which Vidhi finds the most challenging. But she notes that business has nevertheless been good. The sisters attribute their success to their team, which has been with them since inception, barring designers who are the only constant change.
B-kind also plans to manufacture around two lakh SKUs this fiscal and double production by 2025. The startup has established its footprint in 14 states in India, going forward, along with expanding online by adding more products as per customers choice, B-kind also plans to set up exclusive business outlets in Tier II and III cities.
This is the success story of how two sisters catered to the fashion market and merged two fashions together.