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Tanvi Malik & Shivani Poddar: Fashionably Forward

Once again, we studied the offline competition and processes thoroughly and ensured we developed a best-inclass offline retail model.

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In 2012, Tanvi Malik & Shivani Poddar founded High Street Essentials, a house of fashion for contemporary Indian women. FabAlley, the fashion house’s first online-only brand caters to the fashion demands of millennial Indian women at affordable prices. In 2015, they launched their app, which sees monthly active users of over 1.5 million. A year later they launched two other brands, Indya and Curve. The same year also saw the brands shift from purely online to offline with large format stores. They closed FY18 being EBITDA positive and in FY 19, the brand attained revenue of Rs 90.2 crore. 

It wasn’t a smooth ride though, initially they had to struggle with finding the right product-pricemarket fit. Later, they went in for detailed consumer study to find a remedy and realised that products that are affordable yet fashionable were the answer. Then came the challenge of hiring the right talent. “Of course, the move from online to offline had to be well thought-out ‘expanding from online-only to omni-channel retail in 2016 was tricky at first, since our products and supply chain were honed for online consumers. Once again, we studied the offline competition and processes thoroughly and ensured we developed a best-inclass offline retail model,” says Malik. They have a fluid omni channel model where they provide tech-enabled solutions in their offline stores, along with personalized recommendations on their website, thereby capitalizing on the strengths of both models while mitigating their shortcomings. 

They attribute their success to the fact that they have made it a practice to listen to their consumers, which led to a sharper brand positioning, disruptive category additions such as plus-sized apparel and better pricing. They believe that the customers’ voice in a fashion business deserves the highest weightage and work hard Street Essentials is the fastest growing fashion house in the country with a bouquet of brands servicing all women’s wear categories. We have built a large distribution network and currently have more than 400 points of sale which is doubling every year. FabAlley and Indya are leading online brands with a large international customer base and we deliver to more than 30 countries worldwide. Given the dominance in both channels in a short period, both brands have the potential to become Rs 1,000 crore brands in the next five years,” says Poddar. 

They encourage a healthy amount of discourse and discussion in their team. They also believe new voices on processes, products and technology help avoid insular thinking and planning.

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