IN­VIG­O­RAT­ING CRAFT HER­ITAGE OF IN­DIA

Jay­pore, a cu­rated e-com­merce plat­form, fea­tures ex­cep­tional col­lec­tions of hand­crafted ap­parel, jew­ellery, home tex­tiles and ac­cents tra­di­tional and con­tem­po­rary art and more from all over In­dia. Jay­pore also has its own range un­der its own name­sake labe

Business of Fashion - - Contents - By Namita Bha­gat

When and how did the idea of Jay­pore come into ex­is­tence?

Puneet Chawla (PC): What prompted us to cre­ate a brand like Jay­pore was our shared vi­sion of how we could present In­dian craft based de­signs in a con­tem­po­rary ap­pli­ca­tion; one that would ap­peal both to the do­mes­tic and global au­di­ence. We wanted to con­trib­ute to the re­vival of the dy­ing craft her­itage of In­dia and give it a vi­able busi­ness plat­form. We started Jay­pore ini­tially as an ‘iPad only’ shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence in Au­gust 2012 and sub­se­quently launched our e-com­merce web­site, www.jay­pore.com, in 2013.

What all prod­uct cat­e­gories do you of­fer and how have you de­signed your brand port­fo­lio?

PC: We fea­ture cu­rated col­lec­tions of hand­made, hand­wo­ven and hand­crafted ap­parel, jew­ellery, home tex­tiles and ac­cents, tra­di­tional and con­tem­po­rary art and more from all over In­dia. We also have our own range of ap­parel, ac­ces­sories and home dé­cor col­lec­tions un­der our pri­vate la­bel, Jay­pore. Our fo­cus is to of­fer a cu­ra­tion of col­lec­tions that are con­tem­po­rary trans­la­tions of tra­di­tional tech­niques and crafts. Our part­ners in­clude ar­ti­sanal com­mu­ni­ties, tex­tile de­sign­ers, in­de­pen­dent artists, ur­ban de­sign­ers, craft com­mu­ni­ties across In­dia. We also fea­ture es­tab­lished

la­bels like Shades of In­dia, Am­ra­pali, Abra­ham and Thakore, Raw Mango and Rang Band­hej, along­side so­cial and craft ini­tia­tives like AIACA, KGU, DAMA, Women Weave, Re­hwa and Qi­lasaaz.

Ex­plain your busi­ness model and the dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion of the con­cept.

PC: We are a cu­rated e-com­merce plat­form, and we are look­ing to build a brand not a mar­ket­place on­line. We have our own line of prod­ucts plus we show other ar­ti­sans, crafts­peo­ple, de­sign­ers. The most im­por­tant as­pect is that we de­cide which brands to fea­ture. So in a sense, we cu­rate not only the ven­dors but also cu­rate what the ven­dor is go­ing to put up. This makes us dif­fer­ent from all other mar­ket­places, which very of­ten de­cide who will fea­ture on their site, but not nec­es­sar­ily what they fea­ture. In a usual mall or mar­ket­place setup, the cus­tomer has to do the sift­ing. The cus­tomer has to take de­ci­sions on whether the qual­ity and price stan­dards are be­ing met. In our case, we make those de­ci­sions. And since we do all the screen­ing, the chances of hav­ing a bet­ter shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence are higher.

Share your mar­ket pres­ence in In­dia as well as over­seas.

PC: Our cus­tomer base is spread across In­dia and over 60 coun­tries around the world. We cater to ge­o­graphic de­mogra­phies across In­dia, the UK, North and South Amer­ica, Europe, Aus­tralia, UAE and many other coun­tries across the world.

What is your mar­ket po­si­tion­ing? Who is your tar­get au­di­ence and what is the pric­ing strat­egy?

PC: Like I said ear­lier, we want to cre­ate a pre­dom­i­nant pres­ence for our­selves as a key on­line player for In­dian craft based de­signs, a cu­rated plat­form of its kind that gives cus­tomers the sense of dis­cov­er­abil­ity as well as a re­con­nec­tion with the grass­roots of In­dian hand­craft her­itage.

Our pric­ing strat­egy re­flects our com­mit­ment both to our cus­tomers and our ven­dors. We fol­low a fair-price busi­ness pol­icy with a higher mar­gin for our ven­dors. We en­sure that we do not un­der­cut our part­ners and they re­ceive a fair re­mu­ner­a­tion for their mer­chan­dise. Our prices thus re­flect a stan­dard­ized rate based on the qual­ity of the de­sign, ma­te­rial and mar­ket stan­dards.

Give us a sense of Jay­pore’s e-com­merce sup­ply chain and lo­gis­tics op­er­a­tions. What steps are taken to op­ti­mize the en­tire process?

PC: Our sup­ply chain is stag­gered, tak­ing into ac­count the mul­ti­ple ven­dors we work with on ei­ther SOR (sale or re­turn) or MTO (made to or­der) ba­sis with its ven­dors to keep a tight con­trol over prod­uct in stock. We have a co-lo­cated ware­house with our head of­fice to en­sure prox­im­ity to in­ven­tory and an ag­gres­sive qual­ity check process car­ried out by our sourc­ing team to en­sure the high­est level of qual­ity.

We work in a number of ways to op­ti­mize the en­tire process of our sup­ply chain and lo­gis­tic op­er­a­tions which in­cludes help­ing our ven­dors in us­ing the or­ga­nized and ef­fi­cient sup­ply chain mech­a­nism and train­ing them on how to use the dig­i­tal plat­forms for bring­ing in ef­fi­ciency into their sys­tem. We im­ple­ment new

ways to com­mu­ni­cate with our ven­dors ef­fi­ciently so that the lead time in the whole sup­ply chain can be re­duced and have ded­i­cated ven­dor help desk to help on all their queries in­clud­ing GST.

Tech­nol­ogy be­ing the core of an e-com­merce busi­ness, what are the key tech­nolo­gies im­ple­mented in your case?

PC: Def­i­nitely, tech­nol­ogy in­te­gra­tion and in­no­va­tion are core to our op­er­a­tional per­for­mance. Some of the key tech­nolo­gies we im­ple­ment in­clude big data com­pi­la­tion and anal­y­sis for cus­tomer per­son­al­iza­tion; past pur­chase be­hav­iour led ma­chine learn­ing for fu­ture pre­dic­tions, trend fore­cast­ing and prod­uct rec­om­men­da­tions, use of spe­cial­ized tools to ex­tract rich meta data from the cat­a­logue to en­hance prod­uct dis­cov­er­abil­ity and NLP and bots for hu­man-like in­ter­ac­tions on­line.

Brief us on your strat­egy to en­hance cus­tomer base, en­gage­ment and loy­alty.

PC: We are fo­cused on our prod­ucts as the key dif­fer­en­tia­tor for brand eq­uity build­ing. We en­deav­our to build a strong emo­tional con­nec­tion with our prospec­tive cus­tomers through our fo­cus on the re­vival of tra­di­tional In­dian hand­looms and crafts. Our brand com­mu­ni­ca­tions and mar­ket­ing is fo­cused on high­light­ing this core phi­los­o­phy. We are also ex­tremely mind­ful of the prod­uct qual­ity and cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence through all brand touch points — from web­site UI & UX to our ship­ment process.

If you trust the brand and the aes­thetic that goes with it, af­ter a point you can blindly buy prod­ucts from us. We do not be­lieve in of­fer­ing heavy dis­counts as cus­tomer ac­qui­si­tion method as that does not trans­late into cus­tomer re­ten­tion and loy­alty. We are more fo­cused on our prod­uct depth, qual­ity and dif­fer­en­tial USP. So a cus­tomer is likely to come back and shop with us and has a con­sis­tent ex­pe­ri­ence in terms of qual­ity and aes­thetic. Around 80 per­cent of our cus­tomers who have bought from us once, come back and buy from us again.

Tell us about your pro­mo­tions and mar­ket­ing ap­proach.

PC: Our main aim is to build our brand through word of mouth and or­ganic talk­a­bil­ity as we feel our cus­tomers are our best brand evan­ge­lists. All our mar­ket­ing ini­tia­tives are ac­cord­ingly fo­cused in di­rectly in­volv­ing our cus­tomers and are heav­ily ori­ented to­wards so­cial me­dia and on­line en­gage­ment, given the na­ture of our busi­ness.

We do be­lieve that the next step for us is to build a tac­tile re­la­tion­ship with our cus­tomers and are now ven­tur­ing into off­line space through the­matic phys­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ences to give our cus­tomers a touch and feel ex­pe­ri­ence with our prod­uct. We are start­ing with an open house for­mat that will give our cus­tomers an ex­pe­ri­en­tial in­ter­face with our aes­thetic and a first­hand look at the craft that goes into mak­ing our prod­ucts.

How are you look­ing to fur­ther grow your busi­ness and how would you han­dle com­pe­ti­tion? Are you look­ing to go off­line in the fu­ture?

PC: As men­tioned ear­lier, off­line is an av­enue we are def­i­nitely look­ing to ex­plore in com­ing fu­ture, start­ing with open houses and then ex­plor­ing other phys­i­cal for­mats. We are also look­ing to di­ver­sify our prod­uct cat­e­gories to in­clude an ex­ten­sive daily/work ap­parel and ac­ces­sories seg­ment.

We feel com­pe­ti­tion to be a con­struc­tive in­flu­ence – there is a lot of in­ter­est­ing work be­ing done by dif­fer­ent play­ers in the space and there is def­i­nitely room for ev­ery­one to grow. We are con­fi­dent in the core USP of our brand and feel it def­i­nitely stands us in good stead amidst the com­pe­ti­tion.

IM­AGES Busi­ness of Fash­ion

– Puneet Chawla,

CEO & Co-Founder, Jay­pore.com

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