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Democratising Fashion

Entrepreneurship is a roller coaster ride that requires a person to possess grit and passion in equal measures to survive and thrive in a dynamic marketplace.

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Sabena Puri in a bid to democratise fashion founded Stage3 in 2016, a platform that provides rented designer dresses. Stage3 is an example of leveraging technology to disrupt the fashion industry. Using the knowledge of top designers, data insights and technology this platform moved a step further to create ‘Stage3-on-Wheels’. A hop-on-hop-off bus that works like a mobile closet, where the consumer can see, touch and rent their desired outfits. Launched earlier this year, the bus was first used in the Delhi-NCR region to cater to the money-conscious millennial who desires quality at affordable prices. 

The platform has made optimum use of influencer phenomenon and has over 200 influencers and also onboarded Indian Film Producer Rhea Kapoor who is known for her eclectic fashion sense as their style director. The brand’s flagship store in Delhi is an experiential space that offers consumers many experiences. With their innovative offerings, the brand has grown significantly in the last three years and is pegged to break even in the next two and a half years. 

“We are driven by our mission to change the way Indians consume fashion by providing them with an array of clothing options that are affordable and sustainable at the same time elegant and glamorous. The idea of providing fashion on rent, however, also meant introducing a paradigm shift in consumer sensibilities similar to what Uber did with car ownership” says Puri. 

They worked hard to make consumers comfortable with the idea of renting fashion and worked on building trust. Strategies included encouraging user-generated content, taking customers behind the scenes, transparently exhibiting their processes from dry cleaning to alteration of outfits. They also took an omni-channel approach to drive growth while seamlessly creating multiple touchpoints to enhance engagement with customers. Going forward the brand is looking at achieving an annual recurring revenue (ARR) of Rs 300 crore for the next three years. 

In addition to expanding their teams, they are bringing in more designers to cater to a wider consumer base. They plan to expand their inventory base seven times over and are planning to transition from an a la carte model to a subscription model, one category at a time. For this, they are exploring women and men workwear, maternity wear and even a plus-sized collection.  

According to Jain, “Entrepreneurship is a roller coaster ride that requires a person to possess grit and passion in equal measures to survive and thrive in a dynamic marketplace. It is equally important to power through the difficult times and to remain grounded when you finally have a tryst with success. 

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