The Success Story of Myntra – The Online Store

Posted by on Aug 3, 2013 in Business, Leadership | 1 comment

The year was 2007. Three young IITans by the name Mukesh Bansal, Ashutosh Lawania, and Vineet Saxena, who were unheard of until then, had their eyes set out on a dream project which they called Myntra. For a few months after its creation, business was still slow and limited as it sold personalised products to their customers. As of now, Myntra.com is the unprecedented king of the ecommerce sites in the field of fashion and lifestyle products. 500 international and national brands are now available on the online marketplace. With a goal of receiving 20000 orders per day, Myntra eyes are set on dominating the online “pot of gold” market. But how did this company which barely managed to survive its initial 6 months go on to become perhaps the largest player in the Indian online market?

For all you aspiring entrepreneurs here is a timeline of Myntra’s sensational steps to success.

1. The Founding and Funding era: In February 2007, Myntra was setup by the three young IITans. Within 6 months the site received its initial seed-funding from Sasha Mirchandani founder of Mumbai Angels, an unknown angel investor and Accel Partners. With this initial funding Myntra started off business with a B2B (business to business) e-commerce pivot, working on personalisation of items such as gifts, T-shirts and more. Soon Myntra raised its second bout of funding of Rs. 10 crores from Tiger Global, IDG Ventures and Accel Partners in November 2008. With two years of experience in the market, Myntra soon found itself on the online directory. Myntra’s start was not spectacular but it was strong on its values and built the foundation for its future.

2. The Pivot and Tie-up Era: 2010 saw Myntra pivot into the B2C (business to customer) model and expanded its catalogue of products from personalised items into fashion, lifestyle, tech gadgets and almost every other branch ecommerce. In a planned tactic, Myntra entered into contracts with internationally popular brands like Adidas, Nike, Puma, Catwalk, Inc 5, United Colors of Benetton, FCUK, Timberland, Avirate, FabIndia and Biba, Roadster, Sher Singh, Dressberry, Kook N Keech, which are all some of the 500 odd brands that showcase their products on Myntra. It is during this time between 2010- 2011 that Myntra developed their famous hybrid model to tackle logistics problems. This new model ensured that customers would always remain satisfied by working on the logistics themselves along with many other well known third party service providers. Their supply chain was thus in safe hands.

3. The Campaign and Motto Era: Nearing the end of 2011, Myntra once again received around Rs. 100 crores of funding money from Tiger Global. The year was also responsible for opening Myntra’s advertising campaign with its first TV commercial in July.  The commercial which said that Myntra ‘juxtaposes new-age fashion with old-world grit’ was a strong message and a reminder of the rising influence of the online market. And then Myntra rolled out its “Ramp It Up” ad in October 2011 which showcased Myntra’s business acumen and grasp by launching its Autumn Winter 2011. Soon it released an Out of Home campaign in chief metropolitan cities in February 2012. The most decisive step on Myntra’s part is perhaps their free shipping, cash on delivery and 30 day return offer with 24 hours dispatch which promoted buying items online in its third and most successful campaign named “Real Life mein aisa hota hai kya” in July 2012.  By extending its catalogue of items and hassle-free Returns Policy were hailed as exceptionally fresh ideas. Myntra Coupons were also released at this point which were aimed at attracting first-timers and also retain all their loyal customers.

The Upcoming Era: The ecommerce supremacy of Myntra until 2013 has gone all according to plan. The annual revenue which at the time of inception was around Rs.7 crore has now shot up to Rs. 500 crores in 2012. Their growth rate of 46% is also being reviewed in business schools and management institutions as the new age of ecommerce strategy. Objectives have been set and plans have been made to increase revenue from high-margin private labels which are not chief contributors with a current 8% to reach 25%. The thoughts of an IPO also prevail in the market.

It was recognised for many awards such as  ‘Fashion eRetailer of the Year 2013′ by Franchise India – Indian eRetail Awards, ‘Best E-commerce Website for 2012′ by IAMAI – India Digital Awards, one of the ‘Hottest Internet Companies of the Year’ by CNBC – TV18 Young Turks Awards for 2011-12,  ‘Images Most Admired Retailer of the Year: Non–Store Retail’ for 2012 by Images Group and  ‘Best E-commerce Partner of the year 2011-12′ by Puma India.

The success story was not without its troubles. Ashutosh Lawania, and Vineet Saxena parted ways and exited the company. There have been one too many cases when Myntra was unable to process its orders and had to lose out by sending vouchers to customers.

These can however be considered as minor speed bumps which every successful company faces and will soon be resolved. Myntra has a sturdy marketing policy, brilliant customer experience and distinctive business ideology which cannot be equalled. Myntra coupons have also become as famous as the company and everyone knows the 3 famous offers of Myntra.

This ends the sensational success story of Myntra, without doubt the largest online fashion store, which stands a lesson for everyone to learn when it comes to ecommerce dominance.

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Entrepreneurship and Business

Posted by on Aug 15, 2012 in Business, Self-employment, Start-up business | 2 comments

As a strategic consultant for Businesses, mostly for start up ventures, I would attend to around 50 enquiries a month. My experience with several such business enquiries since the last few years has been quite surprising and disappointing too. It is disappointing because most of the callers turn out to be specific to embark on to a business of their choice. The fundamentals of business set up like market evaluation, idea research, and the need for process documentation have never been felt to be important in their business pursuit.

As a matter of best practice, marketing capability should come as the first metric in analyzing the Business investment. The market capability means the readiness of the market to accept the product and the willingness on the part of the investor to wait for the results while continuing with the brand positioning efforts. This aspect is again the most ignored one.

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Many of the callers query for a unique Business that is not present elsewhere. The pointer here is that it is very risky to start any such Business unless it pivots on the most unique, innovative and huge customer focused requirement. The other type of callers have been impulsive entrepreneurs who owing to situations like forced unemployment or recession led unemployment or with competitive spirit to prove oneself get on to business thought. Such an impulsive investment would only make them restless for return on investment besides placing them in piquant management situations leading to operational dysfunction and business loss at the end.  They don’t like to care for such possibility in the spur of the business thought.

Here again are other classes of callers who want to get into Business without moving from their home. Mostly they are housewives who want to utilize their leisure time to earn some business income. Such a possibility is remote unless the person becomes part of an ancillary network for a large marketing company or possesses unique skill set like arts, crafts, tutoring or culinary skills to earn home based income. However the thought of this category of callers is very genuine, but the mindset that they do not want to step out for neighborhood marketing or research or community service like activities – which truly will engage them in a productive activity – doesn’t realize their dream to become entrepreneurs.

This is a disappointing category of callers who have already invested huge sums on a given business idea and are on the edge of collapse. Like an emergency patient who should undergo an operation but doesn’t have money, these entrepreneurs ultimately would not be able to continue their venture for financial constraints [even with a small working capital to put their operations in course]. Neither would they have reached to a finished product level to raise project finance for marketing.

At the end I would find some 10% of the callers relevant for entrepreneurship. The above situations are the result of lack of entrepreneurship education or mentoring for aspirant ventures. Again this clearly shows the spirit of entrepreneurship among many people around us irrespective of the size of the business they would like to start off.

May be it is time to take up entrepreneurship education to community level through periodic workshops and micro loan melas and social enterprise support.

The knowledge dissemination in this context can happen through various Business Schools making their faculty and students as the supporting mentors. Entrepreneurship is the tool for employment generation. Thus it is essential to spread the awareness to increase the quality rate among the callers as above.

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Top 5 businesses for 2012

Posted by on Jan 1, 2012 in Business, EPM World | 3 comments

We are in 2012 now.  The new year this time has brought several exciting business opportunities at almost nil investment to any investment size.  These opportunities are going to rule the market at least for a decade from now.  I would like to talk here about my choice of top 5 businesses for 2012.  Let us look at them:

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1.0 Web 2.0 Technologies

This is one of my favorite areas of business investment.  We can explore business opportunities like (a) Online marketing (b) Social Media Consulting (c) Content development for web and digital documents (d) Enterprise Analytics (e) Services to develop personal branding.

One can start a business in this line with a minimum investment of 1 PC from home.  The one other important requirement would be he / she should be English literate with definite knowledge in written English.  This is most ideal for freshers who are passionate to work on their own full time or part-time.  Considering the rapid growth of Internet users, online media has emerged as one of the foremost options for business promotion by small and big companies.  The business opportunities indicated from (a) to (e) above surround Internet and Internet technologies.

Though this is part of Information Technology, I consider this as a marketing and branding opportunity where one doesn’t need to possess any programming or technical skills except using social media platform.

2.0 Food Processing:

Every business activity related to manufacturing, processing or trading of food items falls under this category.  It could be milk dairy, ready to eat food items, juices, edible oil, or energy food.  There are hundreds of such opportunities around us.  We can in fact aim at organic version of these products.  Government of India is consciously promoting food processing sector with loans, subsidies, technology know-how and many props.  Changing food habits, growing tastes for global food culture, and increasing purchasing power have contributed to the demand of varied food requirements besides the natural increase in the population.  Thus, food sector has become most vital investment opportunity.  The increasing presence of Indian and Global retail chains have brought the need to bring forth food variety.  Besides, it is possible to start a business in this line with low investment like INR 2 lakhs onwards.  A right business for every one including a housewife.

3.0 Retailing

This is another excellent opportunity though demands sizable investment.  What could constitute a business opportunity in this line?

Branding of any consumer product especially a private label product whether it be a food item, textile product, health care item or any other proprietary or sourced product retailing.  For example, one can source a couple of products from local manufacturers like Self Help Groups or other MSME segments and brand it in their own name.  We can see a brand name to every other item today whether it is Wheat flour, masala powder, rice or so.  It only denotes the potential to market a particular item with guaranteed quality.  The one requirement to take up this kind of business opportunity would be right sourcing of the chosen product w.r.t. price, quantity, quality and period of agreement.

Besides the market for luxury product retailing is very profitable and growing.  It can be any thing like an imported exotic food consumables, non-jewellery articles made by silver or gold, furniture, imported building material and more.

4.0 Information Technology

This is one of my favorite business opportunities.  Indian market needs considerable technology implementation in business applications.  It can be customized solutions for a particular segment, web applications, portals, or ERP applications.  I foresee a great demand for mini or micro ERP provided it comes with competitive price and cost effective support and operable from PC to mobile.

Other potential opportunity is mobile or handheld based business management for business persons to end user.  Sales force management applications ported to telecom mobiles with PC like connectivity to cloud applications will be a great choice.  A sales person in the field should be able to effectively perform his field sales, update data in real time to the server, access other business data on cloud, or switch to his personal applications from the same mobile instrument.  Every other task we perform on PC could be ported to a mobile though with limited functionality.  Even that limited functionality is acceptable to users provided it comes with ease and performance.  A provider in this line should extend total solutions consisting hardware, software, deployment and maintenance to capture real market.

Internet portals are another great business opportunity in the present times.  We can convert every offline business to online business model at a very reasonable investment.  We are all used to online transactions whether it is ticketing, product review, product purchase, online education and many more.  We are in a true e-commerce era.  A right time for people to make online a money making platform.

5.0 Solar Energy

Energy sector in India is undergoing a great movement of tense and uncertainty.  India has pitched a great hope on thermal power projects.  However, infrastructure problems like land acquisition, coal supply, institutional finance have derailed the hope.  Today, we have several pending thermal power projects which are suffering for these reasons.

Wind energy, hydel power or bio mass power are not as viable or feasible to be operated any where.

The one great choice we have is Solar Power solutions.  A right investment opportunity as a few MW plant to 1 KW roof top solar unit.  The prices of solar PV modules are very attractive.  The investment per MW plant has come down from INR 20.00 crore to almost INR 9.00 crore.  The prices are further falling internationally.  It is time for some one to invest on this as a long term business opportunity.  This is right time to build expertise and setup a business.  It can be grid connected solar plant or tailor made solution for an apartment, office building, village or industry.

There definitely many more business opportunities.  But these are my choice.  Hope you would take-up a profitable venture.

Wishing you all a Prosperous, Delightful and Peaceful New Year 2012.

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