For your average MBA graduate, the most straightforward path to prosperity is to join a reputed firm and advance through the ranks. That is the same path that Mr. Puneet Bajaj had taken, and worked with a textile firm after graduating. However, two years is all it took for him to understand the ins-and-outs of the textile business and he had hit a plateau in his career growth.
After having seen the growth potential in textiles and having learnt how the Indian textile market operates firsthand, he left the company and started his own venture. Initiated in 2010, Shakti Trendz began as a sole proprietorship and had one ace up its sleeve: it would market almost all of its products online.
This key strategy played off hugely and within a decade, Shakti Brands (as it is known today) is over a hundred employee strong and works with the likes of Myntra, Ajio, Cloudtail etc. with order volumes amounting to a few crores on a monthly basis. To get a glimpse into the meteoric rise of Shakti Brands, we spoke to Mr. Subhashish, one of the core team members in the business.
Subhashish minces no words when it comes to answering why they decided to go with textiles. He says, “Compared to electronic devices like watches and phones, clothes tend to have a higher churn rate. This inevitably translates into your average customer buying at least 1 – 2 pieces of clothing every month. We’ve found that if we can sell high-quality, stylish clothes to them at affordable rates, the demand will never cease.”
Shakti also started at a time when the whole e-commerce boom took off in India. Since day one, they built the entire business online and were able to bypass the high setup costs associated with setting up a retail garment outlet. Subhashish also stresses that going online comes with the dual benefit of low set-up costs and broader reach, which has allowed them to establish a pan-Indian presence.
As a business, Shakti is organised into multiple teams that correspond to the clients that they work with. This essentially means that for recurring clients, they have corresponding verticals that cater exclusively to these clients. This has allowed them to be fairly nimble in their operations and have a closer relationship with their clients. Shakti was also able to attain recognition for their high-quality clothing, some of which have been worn by celebrities across the country.
Subhashish admits that the business comes with a fair set of challenges, especially when it comes to building trust amongst suppliers due to working capital challenges. He says:
Prior to our introduction to CredAble, we were never really doing any Bill Discounting. This throttled out growth and we hit a ceiling beyond which we couldn’t scale. After having availed CredAble’s services a few times, we’ve noticed that our payment process is super-smooth and suppliers trust us far more than they did before due to timely payments.”
With CredAble, Shakti Brands has been able to solve one of the toughest challenges that face companies in the garments business: working capital requirements. As of the time of writing this article, Shakti Brands has been able to leverage the liquidity provided by CredAble and have already launched a new service: ‘easy garmenting’, with which they expect to expand their operations and achieve further growth.