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Bewakoof, a start-up of the D2C fashion brand, was seriously disrupted by the lockout of COVID-19 but arose healthier by introducing some far-reaching improvements and being tailored to consumer needs.
The COVID-19 pandemic appears to have a deep impact on economic growth but several companies have demonstrated the strength to flow through this challenge. Bewakoof, a clothing brand start-up direct to consumers (D2C), has proven the fortitude to stay on its feet again. Before moving, let’s go into the mind of the founder,
What is Bewakoof and how it works…
What’s chic about Bewakoof
Created in 2012, Bewakoof is a brand of stylish fashion founded by two IITians Prabhkiran Singh and Siddharth Munot, that provides the chic, modern Indian with innovative and highest level clothing. On the concept of generating effect through creativity, integrity, and thoughtfulness, Bewakoof was introduced.
When it comes to producing light-hearted, entertaining, and funky daily outfits and other things, Bewakoof is by far awesome (like mobile covers). All these are accessible on a pocket-friendly budget. Its specific name, however, is sufficient to turn heads.
Bewakoof.com, which offers clothes and cell phone covers, is well known for selling head-turning catalogues such as its ‘Ghanta’ series of college student t-shirts with slogans such as ‘Ghanta Engineering/Ghanta MBA’; the collection was a major success and was marketed by the brand as ‘best-seller.’ Bewakoof criteria to the 16-34 age range.
An obstacle in the way of Singh:
Singh established Khadhke Glass’s first outlet. Monsoon played killjoy, however, He found people in the monsoon don’t drink lassi, so I had to close down the outlets. To start the online clothing store Bewakoof.com, he then partnered with batchmate Siddharth Munot. The first hurdle was the initial financing. Singh and Munot mortgaged their family property and put a great deal at risk to create the brand.
Phase of COVID-19
The start-up reported revenues of Rs 200 crore in FY20. But when the national lockdown was declared last March, it saw its sales come down to zero. Singh noticed that due to the lockdown essential goods were in-demand and fashion comes under the non-essential category. Hence the revenue was nil as no one was aware when it will reopen.
As a result, in these extremely tough times, the business decided to look at how it could prosper and succeed. It was time for Prabhkiran to draw up a strategy that was based on those hypotheses.
Magic of customer loyalty
Bewakoof saw traffic returning to their platform in a nice surprise, but there was a gap as buyers were searching for something more. Therefore, the company agreed to start concentrating on items that were required during the lockdown era.
Prabhakaran made a survey and found that there was a shortage of production of masks for the people to use, bewakoof’s production units were shifted towards these products.
It also launched other items, such as sanitisers, in addition to face masks, which were in high demand during the initial periods of the pandemic. Bewakoof began marketing the merchandise to other firms as well.
Within the two months of starting the production, the company generated revenue up to 10 crore which was sufficient to control cash inflow and outflow and payroll of the jobbers.
Change in tactics:
This contributed to a critical look at Bewakoof’s corporate strategy and to find new ways to recover more strongly from this situation.
Bewakoof had an entirely in-house production unit available before the pandemic. After the pandemic outburst, the company developed tactics to outsource its products from a third party. At present, half of the production is generated by third-party companies. Likewise, for further facilities, the company built the warehouse to store the products which were next to the headquarter in Mumbai. Its branches are spread in New Delhi and Bengaluru and recently they are planning to launch in Northeast India.
The other shift in tactic was to recruit experienced, innovative candidates from other sources. Bengaluru is the IT hub so the founder decided to change its gear of technology to Bengaluru.
Bewakoof was mainly focused on user experience due to the change in taste and preference held by Pandemic. The other thing which was noticed by Singh, the gear was shifted for online shopping due to lockdown. Hence manufacturing work inclined and made a long-term investment.
More demand was generated for the clothing which usually people can wear at home. As the company started a work-from-home strategy. Products like Pyjamas, Shorts, funky t-shirts and other things.
These included manufacturing apparel products that were more in demand during the lockdown like pyjamas, boxers, shorts, t-shirts, etc. A customer loyalty program with a forthright fee of Rs 599 for a year was also incorporated by Bewakoof.
As Bewakoof began to get consumer traffic ahead to around four lakh customers a day on its website, it planned to increase its portfolio and started adding some third-party products to its website.
Bewakoof with its new thought gathered the collection of micro-entrepreneurs who don’t have any online presence. So, the viewer of the site gets various options to choose from. Networking with other companies is building goodwill for the brand.
Back On Track:
At present, as demand on its platform has hit pre-COVID-19 heights, Bewakoof is on very healthy ground and the company has begun to earn returns on the improvements it made.
Estimated that 20 per cent of its revenue is produced from customer loyalty programs and four per cent are given by micro-entrepreneurs.
But it is doubtful to impact FY20 sales, Prabhkiran says, as they missed a few months in the current financial year and will finish at around Rs 150 crore for FY21.
We are targeting earnings of Rs 300 crore for FY22 since we have built the groundwork for fast expansion,” he adds.”
Survival from other competitors:
Bewakoof has been in this business for 8 years and, amid the existence of powerful online apparel giants such as Myntra, Amazon, and Ajio, is already able to survive. The owner relates this to the online environment distinction of the business.
Lessons for Bewakoof:
During the COVID-19, the entrepreneur says Bewakoof learned things many of the improvements he bought in, such as exporting production, switching technology staff, or recruitment third-party vendors, seemed unimaginable during regular times.
“We’ve been doing a lot better than we’ve done in the past five years. We misjudge the time and commitment that creativity takes. These are the lessons that I shall bear these days,” Prabhkiran says.