Trends come and go. Thoughts come and go. Interests come and go. Beliefs come, stay or go. It’s the collective actions that proceed after these thoughts, interests and beliefs that matter, since they produce consequences that will reverberate for years to come, and may or may not lend credence to the risks and uncertainties faced by daring entrepreneurs.
It doesn’t matter who we are, and what we do. What matters is that we feel secure and comfortable in making decisions that seek to shape our individual destinies, for the web of interconnections that spawns the digital age we currently occupy, will try their best to guide you, provided that you seek the help you need and not cluster yourself into a narrow cocoon.
For years, Bangalore Insider has tried its best to reach out to the daring individuals who’ve leapt forward and made the transition from thinking about doing to doing the things that need to be done, and we have never been more happier. In times like these, it makes all the more sense to try our best to encourage these doers.
Today, at Bangalore Insider, we spoke to the founder of BookaDesigner, a platform that serves to digitize all your clothing requirements, tailored and personalized just for you. Below are the excerpts from our interaction.
Give a brief info about your startup?
BookaDesigner is an online tailoring platform that helps you to get your wedding, occasion and regular wear designed and stitched at your doorsteps. We send highly skilled fashion designers at doorsteps to discuss, suggest and take the customization and tailoring order. Once the order is taken our designer gets the order executed in our own production units, Bangalore. Post the dress is ready and verified, it is delivered at the customer’s doorsteps by the designer herself. She will check the fittings as well and take care of alterations if need be. We don’t charge anything extra for pick-up and delivery.
What made you start your startup and what problem does it solve?
This idea came into existence when my wife Pranshu, who has done her masters from NIFT Delhi, was running her own label and boutique by the name of Tantu Designs by Pranshu Garg in Bangalore. Lot of her customers used to request and ask if there was a home visit and delivery possible. So essentially the problem existed in the market. We just came with the solution.
Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before this startup?
I am an engineer from IIIT-Allahabad passed in 2009 and have more than 10 years of engineering experience. Before my start-up I was working with Myntra-Jabong in the core development team .
Where is your startup based out of? Why do you think that is the best place for you?
Our start-up is right now based out of Bangalore with future plans to expand into other metros preferably starting with Hyderabad and then Delhi. We would have started in Hyderabad already but because of the pandemic we had to delay.
Bangalore was the best place to start with simply because people here are extremely receptive of something new. Especially if it saves time, money and traffic they are totally up for it.
As a startup founder, what are you paranoid about? What keeps you awake at night?
One thing that keeps me up at night is meeting deadlines and customer’s expectations of quality. Since we work on strict deadlines and cater to urgent to extremely urgent deliveries, it doesn’t leave much room for errors or to fix issues. Over time with learnings we have successfully reduced our alterations in garments by 50% compared to when we started.
Who are your competitors and how are you better than them?
There is no one big player in this field just yet, though there are few small players but then the quality of service they provide isn’t really anywhere close to what we provide.
We are also working on tech so as to minimize the human errors that occur in the overall process.
How hard is it to have a work-life balance as a startup founder and how do you manage it?
As a startup founder for me specially in these early stages there isn’t a particular segregation in respect to time between work and life. So right now I take a call based on priority which in most cases end up work related only. Though I have to say my family has been supportive enough to understand.
Have you raised funding? If yes, then we would like to know the details. If no then please tell us if you are looking to raise.
We haven’t raised any funding just yet, as we wanted to grow BookaDesigner as organically as possible till the time we can, while learning and improving from the mistakes. We might raise funding in future once we plan to cater to multi cities, but that is something we will decide in future only.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about you? Why do they have that? What’s the reality?
People sometimes assume that the services we provide is only tailoring. They also have doubts that the alteration issues in the dresses will not be taken care of. They have this misconception because their past experiences with nearby tailor or other doorstep tailoring services hasn’t been that great.
Moreover sometimes they also feel they would end up paying hefty amounts for dress customization, as is the case with most of the designer boutiques in Bangalore.
Reality is that we provide a complete solution from a full wedding attire customization to regular kurti stitching all at the customer’s doorsteps with extremely reasonable prices. Moreover our designer rests only after making sure that the dress is made according to the customer’s expectations and fits her perfectly.
Also because of the previous experience our founding team had, we were extremely choosy in picking the experienced and skilled masters, tailors, designers, embroiderers and finishing people.
What gets you excited about this company?
The most exciting part about this company is that we are able to bridge the gap that exists between the fashion designers and customers. A large number of people want to wear customized designer and well tailored clothes, but don’t really have the time to visit the boutiques and tailors for order placement, trials and alterations. While at the same time there are so many designers who have the talent and skills in designing and fashion but can’t really start their own labels and boutiques because of the capital it requires, plus they lacks the skills like digital media marketing, SEO, hiring of the right team which is super essential to run a profitable business. So going forward while we would provide employment opportunities to hundreds of designers, masters, tailors and embroiders, we would also be able to shift the clothing trend back to customized clothing which in recent years has shifted to readymades.
Tell us how a day in your life looks like? Your schedule for a day right from the time you get up till you hit the bed at night.
Right now the work day for me starts at 8:00 in the morning and ends at 10:00 in the night.
It starts with discussing the schedule for designers for appointments and deliveries. Look into any delays that can happen for multitude of reasons and try the best to avoid it. Then a good chunk of time goes in with digital marketing team to look into marketing campaigns, content generation and SEO. Rest of the time goes into website development.
Tell us about your team and how did you meet each other?
I started this company with wife Pranshu Garg and one other cofounder Aman. This startup idea was there for quite sometime in my mind and when I pitched it to them, they were immediately up for it.
After that during the course of a year we were able to increase our team to 4 designers, 1 production manager, 2 digital media marketing people, 3 experienced masters, 11 tailors, 4 embroiders, 1 finishing lady.