Please tell us a little bit about yourself and how you came up with the idea for India Boulevard?
I’ve been a Bombay girl all my life with a passion for fitness, numbers, coffee and shopping! Professionally, I’ve spent the last 10 years working in roles such as client services and business development for Morgan Stanley, Bloomberg and most recently ZLemma, a technology startup in Silicon Valley. Even though I treasured my experience at these companies, I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit in me – something that runs in my family.
The idea for IndiaBoulevard came to me in early 2015, when I was in the thick of my own wedding preparation. Through the endless hunt for my bridal outfit I always found myself making a trade-off between quality and price.The problems I ran into were the high mark-ups, off-the-shelf designs and very limited choice. While eventually I found my dream outfit, the experience made me think ‘This is a problem I want to solve’. My quest for an affordablecustom designed outfit led to the birth ofIndiaBoulevard!
So, what exactly is IndiaBoulevard?
IndiaBoulevard is an ecommerceplatform that connectsindividuals with a variety of fashion designers, who specialize in makingcustomoutfits like anarkalis, lehengas and sareesetc.based on your style preferencesand budget. Our mission is to make designer wear accessible to everyone everywhere.
That sounds interesting. Can you expand upon the platform aspect and what it means?
With IndiaBoulevard, we aim to provide an end-to-end solution for our customers and designers alike. What this means is that customers can order outfits from a mobile / web device and receive it in a matter of a few weeks. As for designers, we want them to focus on their design techniques thereby providing high quality outfits to our clientswhile we manage payments, packaging and shipping on their behalf.
What was the thought behind the word ‘Boulevard’?
The word ‘Boulevard’ stands for a multilane highway that runs through a city. I want our customers to think of IndiaBoulevard as the highway for traditional Indian wear, where they can get anything custom from anarkalis, lehengas and sarees for all occasions.
You mentioned your prior experience is in financial services, whereas IndiaBoulevard is a fashion ecommerce platform. How was your transition into this new industry?
I’m transitioning every moment and that is the most exciting part. I believe that if you are passionate and willing to learn, the whole world opens up to you. I’m following my passion where I get to learn every day – be it about fashion, ecommerce, technology, customer tastes or something as simple as choosing a font.
How does a customer go about getting a custom outfit from IndiaBoulevard? How do you manage their expectations through the process?
It’s a simple 3-step process, where you share your inspirations with us, our designers engage with you to customize your outfit and then we deliver right to your doorstep.
Shopping is a very personal experience and we want our customers to have that personalized experience every time they come to IndiaBoulevard. For example, one of the ways we do this is to share with them sneak peeks of ‘the making’ of their designs. Customers love being a part of the whole designing experience. Once the outfit is shipped, they receive it just as they had imagined it to be.
What kind of response have you seen from customers?
Since our launch in April this year, we’ve received a good response from customers in India and internationally. We’ve gotten positive feedback on the quality, finish of our designs and overall customer experience. In fact, one of the comments we received from a US based customer was ‘this saves me from my annual shopping trip to India’.
Do you have any plans to raise funding from investors?
As of now, I am funding IndiaBoulevard on my own. I am looking to raise money from investors in the near future to develop and grow the platform further. I want our early investors to bring in their expertise in areas such as consumer fashion, e-commerce, marketplaces and operations since these are key pillars for IndiaBoulevard.
Lastly, where do you see IndiaBoulevard in the next five to ten years?
My vision for IndiaBoulevard is to be the one stop shop for all things Indian. As of now, we are focused on custom designed outfits, but are looking to expand into jewelry, accessories and many more products.