It is no secret that Millennials and Gen-Zers have a penchant for quirky clothing and accessories. Brands that recognised and adapted to this trend, have done well for themselves. E-retail company Bewakoof is a great example of this. Launched in 2012 by Prabhkiran Singh, Bewakoof.com designs and manufactures its own line of clothing and accessories. The platform recently transitioned to a curated e-commerce site housing brands other than its own, with the objective of offering consumers access to curated fun expressive brand options across fashion, home, accessories, and beauty. It also launched its first streetwear line. “Our aim is to become India’s biggest platform for creative merchandise. We are including brands that speak to consumers’ hearts and meet important gaps in the market,” says the founder as he joins The Daily Guardian for a chat.
Q. Tell us about your journey into this business?
A. I have a Bachelor of Technology degree in Civil Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay. While growing up, I couldn’t afford supreme quality or branded products, so I started planning my entrepreneurial journey from an early age. My first business venture in college was a lassi cafe, known as Khadke gLASSI, and later I launched Bewakoof in 2012.
I was always motivated to make a fashion brand that is affordable for the masses. Bewakoof was one of the pioneers in the Direct-to-Consumer industry in India and was the first one to cross the Rs 100 crore mark. Our products are manufactured at different factory sites across India primarily in Mumbai, Tirupur, Ludhiana, and Delhi, as well as a few other parts of NCR and Maharashtra. Our products are available on our website Bewakoof.com and our app. Recently, we also went live on top marketplaces like Amazon, Tata Cliq, and Myntra.
Q. What is the USP of Bewakoof?
A. Bewakoof has grown as a brand on social media, with content marketing being a key growth strategy. The brand’s philosophy is to add light-heartedness to life through its self-expressive products and fun shopping experiences. The expressions we use on our products are relatable as they are uniquely Indian in nature including prints in regional languages like Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Telugu, Gujarati, etc. As the smaller towns of India have shifted online in the last three years, this has helped the brand grow.
We are popular for our casual clothing, and we recently launched Indo-fusion ethnic wear and sleepwear. We also have a range of collaborations with Coca Cola, Marvel, DC Comics, Looney Tunes, Star Wars, F.R.I.E.N.D.S, and Disney. The brand has 4.5 million fans on Facebook and 1.5 million followers on Instagram.
We cater to customers pan-India, with the majority belonging to Tier II and III cities. We plan to go global next year, and our initial focus will be on the Middle East and Southeast Asian markets.
Q. Do you feel your fashion offerings and merchandise are equally popular? Or is one more favoured than the other?
A. I believe they are equally popular. Our goal goes beyond building a clothing brand, as we want to narrate a story through our products. Our social handles will show you how we strive to be relevant by being the trendiest brand in the ecosystem.
Q. Tell us about your latest collection?
A. We recently launched an exclusive collection in collaboration with Coca-Cola, as well as our festive collection. Every month, we have a ‘Colour of the Month’ series, where we dedicate the entire collection to a particular colour. In June, to celebrate Pride Month, we launched a limited-edition Pride collection which was hugely successful and appreciated by our customers across the board.
Q. What are you working on next?
A. We are in the process of building our newly launched beauty brand called Cosmos. Our aspiration is to be a house of brands that caters to all key segments of lifestyle, fashion, beauty, and much more.
We recently also collaborated with Rajkummar Rao, Sanya Malhotra, Sidharth Malhotra, and Fatima Sana Shaikh since they are perceived as youth icons who are fearless and speak their mind. Bewakoof as a brand identifies with this philosophy. Along with that we also partnered with the film ‘Toofan’ starring Farhan Akhtar.
Q. What have been your biggest challenges in recent times? How have you overcome them?
A. E-commerce had the opportunity to grow. Bewakoof was relatively untouched with the lockdowns since we didn’t have a physical retail store and saved that expense. As things are slowly beginning to come back to normal, we are seeing strong recovery across various segments. We are planning to clock Rs 120 crore on brand sales this year.
Q. What have been the most rewarding moments for you so far?
A. From being an early innovator in the D2C space to being the largest D2C fashion player in India, we might look like we have come a long way, but internally, we feel we have just started. From being the underdog, we have grown and evolved to challenge the larger brands in the multi-billion-dollar fashion market.
The interviewer pens lifestyle articles for various publications and her blog www.nooranandchawla.com. She can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org.