THE CLOTHING RENTAL

FOUNDER: SHILPA BHATIA



Why rental clothing?

It makes economical, environmental and practical sense. When your need is temporary, why buy something permanent.

Where and how did it start?

We started out in late 2005. Our founder, Shilpa Bhatia was a reputable stylist for many TV commercials and films. Often, the shoots would require a certain outfit for a period of 2-3 days but soon after, they didn’t need it. While the director wanted high-priced aesthetic, the producer was always pulling the budgets down. That led us to invest in a small inventory of popularly needed merchandise, primarily for the media industry. However, over time, even regular consumers started finding value in our concept.

How does the platform work?

It’s fairly simple, you need to come in with your event concept and date. For example, you have a corporate interview with an MNC on March 25, so you ideally approach us in time for us to help. Tell our team about your size and preference (colour, style or fit). You can either come in person and try the outfit or work with our team over email or phone, or order online.

What is the major consumption difference between men and women?

Women like to try multiple styles and visit multiple stores and enjoy the shopping experience. Comparatively, men are willing to pay a higher price for convenience. They hate going to multiple stores or even trying multiple outfits, they want it simple and easy, and they would gladly pay delivery and pickup fee if it reduces their travel time. They are more trusting as online shoppers.

FLYROBE



CEO Aanchal Saini

How did it start?

The business idea was born when we observed that younger generations wanted a new outfit every time they went out. They were bored of repeating the same outfits, it was all about posing for pictures in one outfit and never wearing it again.

How does it work?

Earlier, we were only digitally present, but we realised people needed to try out clothing for big events, like their wedding or their best friends’ weddings, especially when it’s expensive clothing. So we built stores where you can try outfits. You can also place an order on the app or the website by giving your body measurements. Later, it’s altered and delivered to your house. You have an option of renting it for the period of four to eight days.

Is the consumption driven by social media?

Yes, it is driven by social media because that is where people learn about it and start using the platform. For example, you use Uber not because you cannot afford a car, it’s just the way the world is moving. Women want similar outfits as celebrities. So, they are much more driven by social media, whereas, the percentage of men is comparatively less driven by social media.

What is the consumption difference between men and women?

55 per cent revenue comes from renting menswear as they are adaptive. Also, men are not emotionally attached to their clothing. For menswear, we have three categories: sherwanis, tuxedo suits and Indo-western. Only in the Indo-western category, we feel there’s a constant variety of colours like pinks, yellow and orange.

What was your investment when you started?

When we started, there was no one to look up to. We put in about 2 crores and in terms of turnover, we are fine. But when it comes to return on investment, we are still burning money. However, we’re also the biggest in profitability

STAGE 3

Founded by Sabena Puri, Sanchit Baweja and Rina Dhaka

Why rental clothing?

India is embracing the sharing economy across sectors with the emergence of platforms like Uber, Netflix and AirBnB. Our idea is to create a sharing economy for fashion consumption that enables people to experiment with fashion without having to worry about the commitments of a piece.

Where and how did you start?

Stage3 was launched in 2015 with a mission to change the way fashion is consumed in India. We want to create a different kind of energy around fashion by making it fun, accessible and available to everyone. Having a board that consists of industry leaders like Gautam Kalra, Arjun Sawhney, Amaira Shroff and having Rina as a co-founder helped in getting designers on board. With time, we’ve established a name for ourselves and are now working with most designers on a revenue share basis.

What is the return on investment?

We have been growing exponentially since inception. In the last Financial Year-OverYear growth, we saw a four times increase in revenue and a similar increase in our customer base. We have over 70K signed up users and about 50 per cent of them are transacting customers who have contributed close to 40K transactions till date.

How does the platform work?

From the customer’s perspective, a customer can choose an outfit from our website for the occasion date they want it for. If they prefer, we have a team of professional stylists who can also help them put a look together that’s perfect for the occasion they’re looking for.

What is the major consumption difference between men and women?

The modern Indian millennial man is very fashion conscious, and is willing to spend on experiences. We have observed that men, compared to women, are even more open to the idea of renting, given that occasion wear for them has higher social obsolescence. According to our data, men are more style and fit conscious, relative to designer labels.

CANDID KNOTS

Founded by Shweta Poddar

How did it start?

During my cousin’s wedding, I spent a minimum sum of ` 10-20,000 on my outfits and I would not want to wear it again. I thought how many people would not be repeating the same dresses again, and we did not get anyone who would wear it more than three times. That’s when I thought this is an idea to pursue.

How does your platform work?

We’re based in Bengaluru and we only do menswear at present. We have both online and offline options. The entire collection is listed online. You can either place an order online and we deliver a day in advance to the event. Even if it is a oneday booking, the tentative date is one date before the event. We usually send our customers two to three sizes. The customer tries them on, picks the best fit and returns the other pieces.

What is the consumer behaviour pattern you’ve observed?

We had started off with both men and women, but we saw more traction with men. We get about 50 orders a day. If a city like Bengaluru has such a huge response, cities like Delhi and Mumbai would be even better.

What is the future of rental?

It is going to be huge as people have started adapting to the system. The traditional way of owning things was the last generation, now they are mainly interested in saving the same money for vacations.