Interview with Shilpa Sharma

Face2Face
Shilpa Sharma
Shilpa Sharma
Co-founder
Jaypore.com
Jaypore.com

Where is your head office? What is your staff strength?

Our head office is in New Delhi, in the Saket area. Jaypore is a rapidly growing company. Our people resources, the best in the industry, are at the core of this growth and from a handful of young enthusiastic minds we have grown to around 100 employees and I see new faces every week!

What are the top three steps to ease and keep a steady supply-chain?

The three top steps are (i) systems and process orientation across functions; (ii) disciplined approach to vendor relationship management between us and our partners. The commitment has to be both ways; (iii) a commitment to online portals as a workable distribution channel for generating sales as it will make the vendors manage their production and collections better.

Who are your competitors, and how do you keep ahead of them?

Everyone who is vying for a share of the customer’s wallet is competition, so, that’s pretty much the whole universe. Specific to product that we feature, we are competing with the likes of Tadpole store and Itokri (though they are both much smaller in terms of category representation), in the online space, and Fabindia and Good Earth in the offline space.

What are your modes of promotions besides social media? What is your advertising plan? How much is the advertising and promotion budget?

Social media is our strongest advertising channel because it builds on word-of-mouth publicity. This way we ensure that our products are endorsed by real life, qualified users who were completely satisfied with our offerings. Other than this, we have a focused online advertising programme and public relations support. Most of our business comes from word-of-mouth publicity. Happy customers get us more business. We also do targeted advertising online on Facebook, and have some PR support for marketing. We do not advertise on a mass scale, but we do target our prospective customers through social media and focused online advertising as well as public relations activities. It is much lower than any other portal online. We cannot disclose figures at this time.

What are the top five hurdles that restrict growth?

They are (i) scarce resources leading to an inability to invest in product, technology and marketing; (ii) very high customer acquisition cost for garnering sales within India and abroad; (iii) discount-driven marketplaces rule the roost, and that makes it difficult for niche players who are focused on quality and experience to get visibility; (iv) at this point, we are hamstrung by our inability to give our customers a ‘touch and feel’ experience of what Jaypore as a brand has to offer. We would need a conscious investment in offline stores that will carry a representation of what we are about, and which will introduce Jaypore to the online shopping averse audiences out there, and build faith in the brand, gently nudging them to shop on the portal for a large representation of all that we stand for; (v) not having enough stocks in the categories that work well for us is also a challenge.

What are the terms of payment? How prompt are your delivery and return methods?

We offer the use of online payment systems like Internet bank transfers, pre-paid options and the cash-on-delivery option. Delivery and return depend on the kind of product; for customised apparel, it takes up to 15 days, regular products need between three and five days or less. We have a liberal returns policy, which permits returns within 15 days depending on the product category.

What is the USP of the brand?

As an online brand dedicated to creating a unique interpretation of age-old handloom crafts, we travel across India curating unique and exclusive collections that represent the country’s finest craft-based designs. We present collections online by partnering with artisan communities, textile designers, and independent artists to showcase a new contemporary design language that comes from India and is understood globally. Jaypore’s strength lies in our collective commitment to our customers and artisan communities that we work with. Our strength lies in our curation, quality products and the ability to make changes that are profitable for everyone concerned.

What are the future plans for the site?

To build our own private label brand Jaypore, online for the moment. To increase depth of availability (numbers of pieces per item that sells) across categories that work for us, and to continue to find a way to showcase the finest design and textile products on our portal, thereby making Jaypore the most representative of the finest Indian aesthetics that are available.
Published on: 23/03/2016

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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