When Vasudevan Thrikkazhipuram saw his wife not being happy with the tailors around their locality, he decided to address this problem by offering on-demand tailoring services exclusively for women. “At that time I was winding up my previous startup which was a coaching marketplace company and this problem of her made me curious about the various problems that women face in terms of getting a perfectly stitched garment,” says Vasudevan. After doing intensive research, he realised that there is a huge problem in this space and nobody is really trying to solve it.
According to Vasudevan, the two pain areas in this space are delayed deliveries and inconvenience. After understanding these problems he first launched Urban Tailor on Facebook as an experiment. “It worked like magic, we were shocked to see that the very next day we got around 13 orders,” he adds. “The process is very simple, you just have to place an order, we will come to your place, pick up the cloth which has to be stitched along with the measurement garment. We will execute the order and give you the perfectly stitched garment in 10 days,” says Vasudevan. He then went ahead with the service, personally met around a 100 women and executed more than 300 orders in the next three months.
The interaction which he had with his customers gave him a greater insight about the space and the problems they faced. This helped him come up with a team to address these problems in a proper manner. “I reached out to one of my ex-colleague in Myntra, Lavanya Venkatraman; her background is fashion and she knows about this industry really well. Then we met our third co-founder, Ashish Singhal through common friends; he has worked earlier with Microsoft and Amazon. Both of them loved the idea and we three joined together to build this product,” adds Vasudevan.
Recently the company raised an undisclosed amount of seed investment from angel investors who are mostly ex-Myntra executives. Their product serves as a virtual tailor where the customers can express what exactly they want and how they want it, completely at their convenience. Their team consists of 10 tailors and as of now their services are limited to Bengaluru and their basic stitching cost starts at Rs 500.
“We have a contractual set up, in the sense that we don’t have our own unit but this unit is working exclusively for us, though our plan is to have our own unit for increasing the scale. At present we have 10 tailors, we do about pretty decent transactions with the help of these tailors,” says Vasudevan.
Though they are growing 200% month-on-month, they still find it difficult to compete with local tailors and high-end boutiques. “The biggest challenge for us is to convince people out there to try us. There is still a fear among customers to try something new other than the usual local tailors and that’s what drives us to work more on our products and make them realise that they need not even step out of their house to get a perfectly stitched garment through our website,” adds Vasudevan.
Vasudevan also mentions that apart from the offline world they don’t consider anyone as their competition as they are the first ones to venture into this space and their focus remains to grow massively in Bengaluru and then replicate the same model in other cities.