Prabhkiran Singh, Co-founder & Director, Bewakoof.com
A new-age technocrat with an entrepreneurial streak, Prabhkiran Singh is the Co-founder & Director of Mumbai-based Bewakoof.com, a high street online-fashion & lifestyle portal. He spearheads Business and Product verticals of a relatively new but a successful ecommerce startup. An alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology - Bombay, Prabhkiran has always had an entrepreneurial thought process.
In conversation with Dominic Rebello, he dwells on his single-minded dedication to establish Bewakoof.com as India’s premier online fashion destination. The site is touted as one of the most promising brands in the fast fashion realm and currently has over 3000+ style trends, 1.2 million+ products sold, 2.3 million+ followers on Facebook and associaitions with major Hollywood & Bollywood brands/production houses
What drives you?
A sportsman plays, an actor acts, a chef cooks and an entrepreneur creates. The desire to create is an endless motivation fuel. By creation, we at Bewakoof don’t refer to the value created for consumers alone, but the value created for everybody – our employees, society, country and environment. For example, we are an organization with a team size of 300 people. Every morning I get up, the fact that my actions impact the life of 300 families is a big drive. Not only we are creating jobs in manufacturing, because of our amazing company culture, it’s a dream job for most of the people in our team.
How big is the potential for a business like yours? Any major customers that you now cater to?
We are in the big multi-billion dollar branded apparel industry. In India, We see at least 10 brands doing more than 1bn$ in the next 10 years. Ours is mass consumer business. We have catered to around 1 million customers so far.
We have positioned ourselves as a new-age fashion brand that provides trendy fashion products, that caters to the need of the Millennial Generation. With this approach, we have already scaled to an annualized sales run-rate of Rs.50crs with minimal capital. We see our business growing to Rs. 1000crs revenue in the next 5 years. Internationally, retailers providing trendy fashion have emerged and have overthrown the existing apparel giants.
How do you plan to scale up; raise funds through seed or venture capital or simply grow the old fashioned way through rising turnovers?
We have spent 4.5 years growing the brand. So far, we have raised a couple of angel rounds. Given that the fashion industry is highly capital intensive, and a dozen players were splurging millions in winning customers through discounts and brand building. We are very proud that we never gave discounts and we have built a stronger brand with a loyal following by raising a small fraction of what the highly funded fashion players raised, many of them have shut shop also.
For scaling up, we plan to raise venture capital, but we intend to never lose hold of the fundamentals. We have grown and survived only because of our focus on the fundamentals. The unit-economics should always make sense. In most businesses If its not sustainable at a million customers also, its not going to be at 10 million also.
Who would primarily be your consumer audience?
We are building fashion brand for the new-age generation - The Millennials.
Millennials is the generation born b/w 1980 and 2000, a generation shaped by technology. This generation used computers, internet, social media, mobile during their formative years. This generation has different shopping, fashion and brand preferences than the previous generations. We have spent years now understanding the needs of this current generation and strive to satisfy and delight them with our product offering.
Where do you see yourself five years down the road?
Our dream is of making Bewakoof a massive consumer brand taking on the international fashion retailers entering the country. And to do that, our whole focus is on making our company a great institute/organization where people can learn and get opportunities to achieve their full potential. If we are able to create this culture, achieving our dream would become really easy.