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The fashion e-commerce marketplace is buzzing with activity, with no end to the startups that are being launched. We speak to Harsh Shah of Fynd, a mobile shopping app that helps one discover and buy lifestyle products from brand stores.
What's your story? What made you go in for a fashion startup, given that the fashion ecosystem is one that sees the most ruthless competition possible?
Yes, fashion ecosystem has seen a lot of players coming in online as well as offline, but none of the frameworks target towards bridging the gap between online and ecosystems. Without taking any names, there are a couple of online brands which tried to get their hands on establishing an omni-channel network but gave up on it and soon started concentrating on the sales of only their private labels as this helps them fetch more profits. We started off with a single motive and that is to help brands optimise their current resources and still stand by it. We help the brands get their in-store inventory online on our portal and gain extra sales via it. We are currently the only player in the e-commerce industry which is fetching live inventory via 8,000+ stores across the country and this makes us the largest omni-channel e-commerce company in India.
Biggies like Amazon and Flipkart have a stranglehold over the fashion e-commerce space. Them apart, there are innumerable online fashion stores. How can you possibly cut through the clutter, and maintain your own bottom line as it were?
Our key advantage over any other e-commerce player is that we hold no inventory of our own. It means we have no fixed costs and scaling up becomes a lot easier for us. Apart from that, since we source all our inventory straight via the brand stores, one can see only the latest products which are available in the brand stores; no old season stocks at all. This is something which none of our competitors can offer. Both these key advantages help us in easy scaling and till maintaining unit economics of the game.
The fashion ecosystem is quite unlike any other. The farm-to-fashion supply chains are one of the most intricate in the world, and as they say: the more knowledge you have of this ecosystem, the more likely is your chance of success. So, how much of a fashion background do you and your core team have?
Fynd isn't our first product. We started off as Shopsense in 2012 building a solution for fashion retail stores to make their stores more interactive and a person can easily try different products of the brand virtually on a screen. This is where we started from and we have gained a lot of experience over the last four years in the fashion industry. We understand the trend is moving towards fast fashion and that is exactly what we are able to offer to our customers.
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