Interview with Virendra Bardia

Face2Face
Virendra Bardia
Virendra Bardia
CEO
Ethnic Dukaan
Ethnic Dukaan

New-age generation enjoys shopping at the click of a button

Aashirvaad Sarees, a well-known name in the Indian saree industry, started the online venture-Ethnic Dukaan for ethnic womenswear. As the e-shopping experience continues to provide a one-stop solution to the consumer, Virendra Bardia, CEO of Ethnic Dukaan tells us his views on how the traditionalwear market is shaping up in the domestic market and among NRI customers along with its e-commerce prospects.

Which category in salwar kameez/churdidar/saree is seeing an upward or downward trend?

Designer sarees-in which we have an expertise for the last three decades-and handloom are the two ranges that are doing very well. Our products are exactly as they are shown on the site. In fact, they are even better, which results in over 60 per cent of repeat customers for us. However, fusion dresses are also in demand now, because traditional sarees are seeing a downturn as people do not wear sarees so much nowadays.

How do you expect this market to shape up in the next couple of years?

There has been a great upswing in handloom sarees. Also, from what we have seen through Ethnic Dukaan, if you sell genuine, good quality products, people will come back. We can see that due to this and the new confidence in handloom sarees, this sector is going to flourish especially through online channels.

Where do you source your products from?

We manufacture most of the products at our end, as we have almost 600 craftsmen working directly or indirectly with us. In addition, we also source a lot of handloom products from weavers in Benaras, Bengal, South India, etc.

What are the challenges facing this industry, and what could be the five-point strategy to overcome these challenges?

It is a challenge to find the right audience, and sell the right products at the right price. Besides, it is a challenge to sell genuine products at an affordable range. Quick shipping, quick reach-out to the target audience, having good variety for better selection and creating and innovating with the aid of technology is all very challenging.

What percentage of your business caters to the diaspora?

Eighty per cent of the business caters to the diaspora.

Any plans to open physical stores?

We already have one store currently.

What is your marketing strategy for the domestic market, the diaspora and an international audience? Which are your best selling products in the NRI market

Emailing, contacting the local diaspora, online ads, social media, etc, are the ways through which we approach the international audience.

What has been the share of the Indian market in your overall sales?

Not much, as we are more focused on the vast NRI market.

Who are your competitors and what is your strategy in dealing with competition?

I think we are among the fastest growing portals in our segment. Utsavfashion, Cbazaar, etc, are some of the prominent names in this field. As cliched as it may sound, at the end of the day you strive to give the best. Thus, you are competing with yourself to provide the best to the customers.

What has been your marketing strategy with respect to m-commerce?

In future, we plan to create a shopping app and we have recently launched an upgraded m-site. We understand that the new-age generation enjoys shopping at the click of a button on their mobile phones. App designing is an important process, and we wish to do it right. As soon as the software and dynamics are in place, we should be able to introduce our mobile app services soon.

Please share details of your last fiscal year. What is the target for the next?

We achieved a turnover of more than Rs 3 crore in our first year of operation, and we are aiming at crossing Rs 20 crore in the next three years.
Published on: 02/03/2016

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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