Praween from Bihar and Sindhuja from Hyderabad met as college mates and were only students when the entrepreneurial bug jiffed them. In their seventh semester of the bachelor in knitwear design course at NIFT, Chennai, the dynamic-duo determined that they wanted to advent on something of their own.
Comes 2015 when the duo decided to go with the flow of the e-commerce hulla and started their own online clothing brand, Young Trendz, in September with an investment of Rs 10 lakh.
In next two months, they had started selling on online marketplaces like Flipkart, Amazon, Voonik and Paytm, and launched their own e-commerce website.
Their growth was flirtatious. Before the semester ended, they were participating in college events with freebies and providing customised T-shirts under the Young Trendz brand.
We started with 10 orders a day on our website. By the eighth semester, we were doing customised T-shirts by collaborating with more than 100 colleges across the country, including IITs and IIMs.
The startup has now emanated to around 1,000 orders a day and has formed an impressive GMV of Rs 20 crore with zero VC funding.
As Young Trendz grew, their precedence was to have a seamless product development channel, which was only possible in Tirupur, the knitwear and manufacturing hub of India.
The founding duo was poised about the shift as they knew they could source and manufacture quality products, having visited Tirupur for college projects.
But both Praween and Sindhuja were not Tamil speakers, which caused them a few problems in the primary days. However, the Tirupur shift proved beneficial in terms of product development and sourcing raw materials. Young Trendz targets mostly college goers.
In Tirupur, we got the right people with the best skills in garment industry for product development; we got talented IT professionals from Coimbatore for online web operations.-
Logistics were not a problem as truckloads tend to be picked up by the respective marketplaces’ courier partners.
The brand has hence always focused on the youth (the age group of 18-28 years); their products feature quirky graphics that resonate with the youth. With a team of 30 people, Young Trendz now has repositories in Telangana, Karnataka, Haryana, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu, and will soon open one in West Bengal.
These warehouses help cater to their customers pan-India. We get highest demand from Delhi, followed by north-eastern states and West Bengal, and 90 percent shipments are delivered to the customer before the promised date.
Young Trendz was the first to introduce the concept of couple clothing, a popular trend in the Chinese and Korean markets, but not until them in India.
Young Trendz now employs three designers and opts outsourcing options for photoshoot and ad campaign shoots.
In Flipkart, we were recently awarded as one of the top brands in terms of performance during this year’s Big Billion Days. The response during this festive season sale was so good that we sold around 25,000 units in just 5 days.
Young Trendz is now heading to inaugurate offline stores in 2018 and will set up offline stores and add new categories to their collection. But they have no plans to raise funds and want to recapitulate bootstrapped. The co-founders are assertive that they will convert into a profit-run by the end of 2018.
There’s actually more responsibility involved in starting a business versus having a regular job. You must relentlessly chase perfection. You have to be able to adapt to crazy, unexpected things.
With both partners hailing from a non-business background, they also had to absorb a lot of new skills for the trade, like, reading Class 12 accounts books, learning high Tamil, and comprehend the understanding of taxes and corporate laws. However, their growth and sustenance in the e-commerce space as entrepreneurs only demonstrate the greater impact of one’s creative approach about something that can go appealing to an existing lot of customers.