Startup The Bag Talk to create vertical marketplace with curated bags, celebrity line

The Bag Talk, which claims to be India’s first online marketplace for curated bags, is being launched today. Founded by Tushar Jain, actress Anita Hassanandani, and investment banker Rohit Reddy, it deals in bags, luggage, handbags, clutches, wallets, etc. It also has an exclusive line of bags made for celebrities that will be available online.

Jain is the owner of High Spirit Commercial Ventures Pvt Ltd (HSCV), which has been into manufacturing and retailing of bags for two decades. Jain and Reddy have invested $600,000 in the venture besides leveraging office and manufacturing from HSCV.

The bag venture fascinated Reddy enough to give up his investment banker’s job and get involved with the nitty-gritty. “The e-commerce business is focused on marketplace that is horizontal in nature with mobiles and electronics getting centre stage. Bags get the same treatment in these marketplaces and we wanted to change that,” says Reddy, the CEO. He says that when each marketplace sells the same product at different price points, the product loses the trust of the consumer. The startup's strategy is to go vertical and create space for new segments such as shoes and fashion and expand as it gains traction.

Co-founders Rohit Reddy, CEO and Tushar Jain, MD

Co-founders Rohit Reddy, CEO and Tushar Jain, MD

Besides making their own products, The Bag talk will source bags from other manufacturers as well. “We will tie up with manufacturers and brands and have control over quality and price points. We will curate the product and the entire product portfolio.”

The company is also getting some bag companies online for the first time who will retain exclusive collections only for The Bag Talk.

Currently 20 bag manufacturers have signed up giving the startup access to over 40 brands. By the end of March 2017, the firm is confident of having 100 brands online. Besides this, it will also sell bags made by designers that is not available to a large clientele. Reddy says that some of these NIFT-qualified designers make bags that are now exposed to Europe and other countries. The startup will also scout for other niche brands never seen online, too.

At present, it has various categories -- kids range, youth, women, travel, professional category — laptop, innovation –  LED bags, etc. The startup has three exclusive collections – travel category for television (TV) host, anchor and actor Rannvijay Singh, fashion products for TV actress Anita Hassanandani and a sports range for South African cricketer Jhonty Rhodes. “These celebrities have huge following on social media and this will help further the brand,” believes Reddy.

The firm is also setting up an office in China where backpacks and luggage will be manufactured.

The startup’s strategy is to focus on customer acquisition in the next 18 months with the seed money. Reddy says one of its monetisation models is high end photography for its brands that will be showcased online and will be subscription-based for the luggage and bag companies.

The Bag Talk hopes to break even in 18 months and come out with a showroom concept – where customers can look at its products offline and buy it online.

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Updated Date: Feb 24, 2017 14:34:58 IST

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