Srividya IyerMay 30, 2012 18:28:20 IST
In yet another addition to the myriad fashion portals out there, Former Reliance Trends CEO Anil Sirdeshmukh launched Fashionara.com, a multi-brand apparel retailer along with Darpan Munjal, who headed e-commerce for US retail major Sears for seven years.
Fashionara raised a 'substantial amount' from Helion Partners and Lightspeed ventures to enter the overcrowded online-fashion space featuring top brands such as Forever New, Wrangler, Lee and Benetton. While all these brands their own websites, they aren't preferred destinations for online shoppers looking for variety and discounts.
The site however is not playing the value game by deep discounting products. The site is one of the first to enable shopping through Facebook while other fashion sites such as Fashionandyou.com, Myntra and Jabong presently only advertise on Facebook.
The funds will be used for better design and user experience, inventory management, warehousing and technology, Arun Sirdshmukh told Firstpost.
The founders claim that Fashionara will try to attack the problems Indian e-commerce faces today. "Returns today are a pain point when it comes to e-commerce, we are fixing that by making the process easy. We are making promises on the delivery and returns front which takes a lot of innovation and guts," Sirdeshmukh said.
While the core team of the company will be based out of Bangalore, co-founder Darpan Munjal will head the technology and marketing out of Chicago. The company has also partnered with firms in New York and Argentina for marketing.
Financial services firm Avendus Capital, in their report 'India Goes Digital' predicts that there is a lot of opportunity for apparel retailers to grow as this category offers margins as attractive as 75% compared to books and electronics where sometimes, the retailer works on a negative margin game. That said, India has seen many sites belly up in the recent past due to lack of funds and traffic. But Sirdeshmukh believes that his experience in retail will keep Fashionara ahead of peers. "As an ecosystem, offline retail is different from online retail but I hope that my experience will help this business with the right kind of partnerships," Sirdeshmukh told Firstpost.
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