Interview with Sumant Kasliwal

Face2Face
Sumant Kasliwal
Sumant Kasliwal
Founder & CEO
20Dresses
20Dresses

We plan to become the largest and smartest Indian fashion brand by 2020

20Dresses is an exclusive members-only site where you get your personal stylist setting up your personal showroom filled with the trendiest products. Sumant Kasliwal, Founder & CEO, 20Dresses.com, discusses his journey and the challenges in the booming Indian fashion e-commerce industry.

What have been the achievements at 20Dresses since inception?

After ten years of deliberation, I left a high profile investment job to pursue dreams of starting up. The biggest achievements have been:
  • Building an excellent team of co-workers at 20Dresses.com. 
  • Converting top industry professionals into believing in 20Dresses' concept and having them as investors in the company. These include BS Nagesh, non-executive chairman, Shoppers Stop. 
  • Breaking a myth that fashion e-commerce cannot be profit-making. We are! 
  • After four years of starting up, still managing to retain my sanity.

What was the growth percentage for the last fiscal?

We have grown 300 per cent in last fiscal.

What targets have you achieved in the last five years? What targets have you set for the next five years?

The target to enter women's formalwear is yet to be achieved. We also expect to enter other genres like women's ethnicwear, men's, kids' and international markets in 2016-17. 
For the next five years we plan to:
  • Bring about complete behavioural change: To change the way fashion is consumed, leveraging technology. 
  • Become the largest and smartest Indian fashion brand by 2020. 
  • Organisation: Build a happy and innovative place to work for. 

Which core areas are you focusing on to boost growth in your industry?

We are focusing on deep personalisation using technology, product innovation and the speed of bringing trending fashion to consumers at lightning speed.

What would be your top suggestions to the Union Textiles Minister?

My suggestions would be to boost research and innovation in textile manufacturing, tax breaks, and simplified labour laws.

What steps have you taken to ensure growth in your niche?

At 20Dresses.com Technology, we have worked on speed and investment in building better working environment for employees because we believe these will ensure growth.

What should be the one critical step to ensure that India emerges as the textile giant it has the potential to be?

High focus and emphasis in using technology to boost innovation can ensure India's potential to emerge as the next textile giant.

What challenges did you face in past five years at 20Dresses.com?

Over the last five years, major challenges we faced include:
  • Entering fashion business as complete outsider and building from scratch. 
  • High integration of technology in understanding consumer behaviour and entire supply chain processes. 
  • Building scale along with ensuring profitability and customer delight. 
  • Recruiting top talent. 
  • Managing supply chain and supernormal growth at the same time.

Published on: 20/10/2016

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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