Sticking It Out In Style
‘Technology plays a key role in any industry today. Our vision is to sit at the intersection of technology and retail’
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Harsh Shah is a co-founder of Fynd, a trend-setting online fashion retail outlet that boasts of having been able to break out of the clutter. The Fynd founders feel that the Web portal was distinct because of its “affinity for fashion and high quality merchandise”. A 120-member strong team enables Shah to explore, experiment and add new dimensions to the shopping site.
“I completely lead the brand, partners, alliances and investor relations functions at Fynd,” says Shah. “Moreover, I also manage the profit and loss of the Fynd store products for the company,” he says of his role on the online fashion retail outlet. “All decisions under any of these come directly under me,” he explains. Shah’s decisions on product lines and partnerships have so far added to Fynd’s fortunes.
Fynd competes with a host of fashion retails, so keeping the store ahead of the contest for market share requires an everyday involvement. Shah believes that his company incites physical retail outlets (small and big) and people working in the sector to perform better. Competition from other channels of shopping compels physical retail merchants to upgrade their skills, he points out.
The online trade environment is transforming at a rapid pace, rendering the marketplace volatile. Technology, Shah elucidates, moves at a very fast pace and eventually impacts the end consumer. “It is very important for us to be completely in tune with the needs of the store owners and understand the ever-changing problems/issues faced by our stores,” says Shah.
He talks of the rigorous drill that goes into keeping the environment at the stores upbeat. “We regularly do store visits and partner sessions to ensure we are in sync with the needs of our customers,” says Shah.
Asked of his plans for the near future, Shah says his focus was on relationship management. “Fynd continues to build products that are in sync with our retailers and partners,” he says. “This method,” he adds, “allows us to work on things that are relevant to problems today and tomorrow too.” The Fynd Co-founder points out that technology plays a key role in any industry today. “Our vision,” he says, “is to sit at the intersection of technology and retail.”
Asked what recognition by BW Businessworld meant to him, Shah says being in the BW 40 under 40 list had given a boost to his dreams to achieve new heights. “I do not think I have made it big,” he says when we ask him when he realised that he had arrived. “There is a lot that needs to be done,” he says by way of an explanation. “The BW recognition encourages us to continue building and growing the company to impact many more people,” says Harsh Shah.
Shah opines that packaging Fynd’s journey into a few words was not practicable, for the company still had a long way to go. We ask him if he had a message for other young entrepreneurs. He suggests that the “single biggest quality an entrepreneur needs to have is resilience”.
“You don’t hear this often, but having the resilience to stick by what you’re doing, even when things are looking bleak,” he says, is what makes an entrepreneur successful. “The resilience to continue to believe that it is just one break away from setting the ball rolling,” Shah elucidates, “the resilience to not being bogged down by peer entrepreneurs and continue to focus on achieving product-market fit …” He also advices young entrepreneurs to focus on unit economics sustainable profitability.