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Fashion Start-Ups In India: Expert Advice For Flourishing Success


In today’s age of technology and social media, fashion start-ups have the opportunity to showcase their products and create brand awareness on a global scale. However, launching a fashion business in India is not an easy task. It requires careful consideration at every stage, from idea generation to execution. TLD Apparel will show you how to navigate these challenges and achieve success in the dynamic and competitive Indian fashion market.

Fashion store in India

India’s fashion industry is experiencing a remarkable boom, with fashion start-ups emerging as significant players alongside the major industry leaders. According to the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), India recognized over 80,000 start-ups in 2022, with 14,000 new start-ups recognized in the fiscal year alone out of which 15 percent belong to the fashion industry.


As a result, India has now become the world’s third-largest start-up ecosystem, following the US and China. This growth is fuelled by India’s expanding middle class, projected to reach 583 million people by 2025, accounting for 41 percent of the population. Factors such as increasing disposable incomes, urbanization, the popularity of e-commerce, and a focus on sustainability are driving the Indian fashion market, which is estimated to reach US $ 135 billion by 2025. With these favorable conditions, the present and future outlook for fashion start-ups in India looks promising.

Kirti Poonia, Co-founder of Relove, a technology provider enabling brands to launch resale (thrift) shops on their websites, expresses hope in India’s potential as a strong leader. Poonia states that India has always been a manufacturing hub, but the rise of the direct-to-consumer (D2C) trend has allowed individuals to create products in India and sell them directly to consumers.

“The entry barrier is low, enabling anyone with design skills and a few tailors to launch a brand with minimal investments. I see a new trend where Indian brands specifically target the US market, adopting an international approach in design, models, and branding while producing in India and shipping worldwide. Although the market is crowded, only a select few are expected to succeed,” commented Poonia.

“Knowing one’s target audience is crucial. Start-ups that stay informed about current fashion trends and consumer preferences, while being adaptable to changing trends, have a competitive advantage. Focused customer engagement is also essential to maximize profitability.” Anuj Batra

What Does It Take To Build A Successful Fashion Start-Up?

Launching a fashion store

In today’s age of technology and social media, start-ups have the opportunity to showcase their products and create brand awareness on a global scale. However, launching a fashion business in India is no easy task. It requires careful consideration at every stage, from idea generation to execution.

According to industry experts, there are specific steps entrepreneurs must take to establish the foundation for a successful fashion start-up in India. The first crucial step is to thoroughly analyze the market conditions, including current trends, competition and potential challenges. With a clear understanding of the market, entrepreneurs can make informed decisions and identify opportunities to differentiate themselves.

Once armed with market insights, it is essential to craft a unique selling proposition (USP) and position the brand in a way that resonates with customer demands. By bridging the gap between consumer desires and available products, start-ups can carve out a distinctive space for themselves and attract a loyal customer base.

Ramesh Bafna, a known investor with extensive experience in supporting start-ups, emphasizes on the significance of the product itself. “What sets it apart from existing products? Is it niche, innovative, or distinct in terms of materials used? These are crucial questions to consider,” told Bafna to Team AR, who is a seasoned professional and has held prominent positions at Zilingo, Myntra, Flipkart, and Wipro. With his extensive experience, Ramesh has not only supported start-ups across different industries but is currently involved in assisting two apparel-based start-ups specializing in organic and premium performance wear, respectively.

Strategies For Long-Term Success And Ensuring Adherence

Fashion start-ups employ various strategies to secure their position in the market. These include expanding the product range, establishing physical stores for a tangible shopping experience, entering new markets for geographic diversification, collaborating with other brands for expertise and reach and going public for increased capital and exposure.

To achieve long-term success, start-ups must meticulously plan their operations and management roles. This involves examining the entire supply chain, building a strong brand for credibility and customer loyalty, prioritizing constant innovation and embracing market feedback for adaptability and growth.

Anuj Batra, a reputed retail consultant currently advising 180 start-ups, emphasizes the significance of building a robust brand identity that effectively connects with the target audience.

“Start-ups should prioritize creating a distinctive and appealing brand that effectively connects with their target audience. Whether it’s a business model or product positioning, everything should be considered around customer expectations. Following the latest trends is crucial as it helps attract customers, and presenting the brand through engaging customer interactions can significantly boost its success. It is supremely important to follow the pattern where the market is heading.” Anuj

However, all that glitters is not and the same fits true for start-ups! There are numerous challenges the entire start-up ecosystem faces. Shehlina Soomro, Founder of Saritoria – a leading South Asian-funded luxury fashion resale platform – highlights the challenges of sustaining a start-up in the fashion industry, requiring immense hard work, competitiveness and perseverance. “Overcoming these challenges and establishing leadership in the industry involves implementing the right strategies and tactics while understanding that there is no one-size-fits-all approach,” suggested Shehlina who has first-hand experience with Saritoria’s remarkable success in overcoming market challenges in the past two years.

Investor’s Outlook On Fashion Start-Ups

Investors in India’s fashion industry seek start-ups with a clear vision, a strong management team and a unique value proposition. They prioritize companies with a solid business plan, a deep understanding of the market and a scalable model for long-term growth and profitability.

Yash Kela, Founder at Arrivae and Singularity Holdings VC, emphasizes that key factors for a start-up’s success include its overall valuation, the entrepreneurs’ control over merchandise and inventory and the return percentage in e-commerce.

“In my opinion, these aspects collectively contribute to the strength of a start-up. With three apparel companies in my portfolio, I do understand the trajectory and I am very confident about the potential the start-ups in the apparel sector have,” mentioned Yash.

According to Neeraj Goenka, Director, Texport Industries and Member, Indian Angel Network, “For me, profitability is the key point, as without profitability, there would be fewer chances of further funding. Whatever might be the product or business model or the overall current business scenario, if I find any start-up to be profitable or that it has all the reasons to be profitable soon, I will happily invest in that start-up and guide too.”

Interestingly, when it comes to apparel manufacturing start-ups, there is no significant investment happening. India’s apparel manufacturing industry amounts to approximately US $ 48 billion (including both domestic and exports) but prominent manufacturing start-ups in the country often don’t get the required funding to scale up their project.

Investors give preference to companies that have a robust business plan, a thorough knowledge of the market, and a model that can be scaled for sustained growth and profitability over the long term.

However, things are seen from a different perspective by K M Subramanian, KM Knitwear and President, Tirupur Exporters’ Association (TEA) who has invested in a Tirupur-based activewear company. As India is rigorously making efforts to increase its market share in MMF-based apparel to fetch greater revenues, Subramanian shared his two cents on the matter.

“In my opinion, diversification and innovation are crucial considerations when investing in apparel manufacturing-specific start-ups or growing companies. While India currently excels in cotton-based products, the future lies in MMF (Man-Made Fibres). Though the market conditions are not favorable for investing in apparel manufacturing-based start-ups, I stand by my decision and will suggest to the industry that, going forward, there is great potential in this sector for investors and I personally believe activewear is one domain that can quadruple its growth,” averred Subramanian.

To put things into perspective, building a successful fashion start-up in India requires careful market analysis, a unique selling proposition, strategic planning, a strong brand identity, constant innovation, adaptability, and community involvement. With the right approach and favorable conditions in India’s fashion market, start-ups have the potential to thrive and become leaders in the industry – with the help of investors.

TLD Apparel: Your Trusted Partner In Fashion Manufacturing

                                                                           TLD Apparel’s Factory

For fashion start-ups looking to turn their unique vision into reality, TLD Apparel is the ideal partner. As an established apparel manufacturer and supplier in Vietnam, we offer a diverse range of manufacturing services to cater to your specific needs. Whether you’re venturing into activewear, sportswear, or private label clothing, we have the expertise and resources to bring your ideas to life.

Extensive manufacturing services

At TLD Apparel, we take pride in providing various manufacturing services, including CMPT, OEM, ODM, and One-stop-shop solutions. Whatever your requirements, we can deliver high-quality products that align with your brand identity.

Sustainable fabrics

We understand the growing demand for sustainable fashion, and that’s why we offer a wide selection of eco-friendly fabrics. From organic cotton and bamboo viscose to recycled polyester and Tencel, we are committed to promoting sustainable practices in the fashion industry.

Competitive pricing

Our competitive pricing options ensure that you get the best value for your investment. With TLD Apparel, you can enjoy reasonable prices without compromising on the quality of your products.

Timely delivery

We understand the importance of timely delivery in the fast-paced fashion industry. Our efficient production processes and strong supplier network enable us to ensure on-time delivery of your orders.

Superior quality control

Quality is at the heart of everything we do. Our stringent quality control measures, from inspecting raw materials to final product inspection, guarantee that you receive top-notch products that meet your standards.

Customization options

We believe in the power of customization to help you stand out in the competitive fashion market. From basic quality fabrics to special ones like High Compression Nylon and Outlast, we offer a wide array of customization options to suit your unique brand identity.

Exceptional customer service

Our dedicated team of professionals is committed to providing exceptional customer service and support. We work closely with our clients to understand their needs and deliver personalized solutions that exceed expectations.

In Conclusion

With TLD Apparel as your trusted partner, you can confidently embark on your fashion start-up journey. Whether you’re looking to launch activewear, sportswear, or private-label clothing, our comprehensive manufacturing services, sustainable fabrics, competitive pricing, and commitment to quality will ensure your success in the dynamic world of fashion. Contact us today to turn your fashion dreams into reality.


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