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Women Entrepreneurs: Redefining casual wear and lingerie retail

Before donning the entrepreneurial hat, Neha Kant was pivotal in setting up and growing the e-commerce engines for the India Today Group and had a short stint as Head of Digital Marketing for Business Verticals of Smile Group.

She started her career with ad agency FCB ULKA where she got to learn the tenets of building brands. After a decade of experience in corporate India, she decided to start on her own to address the absence of peppy, spicy, sexy yet comfortable wear in the Indian innerwear market.

With Clovia, she wants to redefine the Indian lingerie market and help customers choose beyond standard cuts, shapes, and colors. Her mantra – lingerie is a critical part of your wardrobe and it doesn’t need to be drab and boring.

She was behind setting up of production units of Clovia. Today, the brand offers more than 100 fresh styles every month and no inventory is more than 45 days old.

Presence of The Brand: The brand serves almost 20,000 pin codes across India and has a physical presence in metros, Tier II-III cities which include Delhi NCR, Punjab, Haryana, West Bengal, Jammu, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh.

Today, the brand is operationally profitable in all sales channel post-marketing. The idea is to continue the growth, accelerate on offline channels of sales, which have been responding tremendously well to the brand. In the next 5 years, Clovia intends to be the largest lingerie brand in India. While it is steadily on that path, it is also encountering a host of organic/inorganic opportunities to grow internationally, which it is exploring and in the next 4-5 years, Clovia is expecting its presence in at least 4 more geographies.

USP: Clovia is a full stack lingerie brand, which controls every part of its supply chain from mind-to-wardrobe. The brand procures raw material, design in-house, manufacture in thirdparty facilities working exclusively for them, ensure their own 4 level quality controls and sell through a host of direct sale channels. Every product that Clovia creates is first made in small quantities, monitored via a state-of-the-art backend technology, which predicts future sales (based on sales patterns and customer feedback) and recommends what further quantities should be produced. This leads to a true fast fashion brand that is low on cost (as the middlemen are cut out), high on consumer appeal and super-efficient on inventory, leading to better margins and cash flows even in a high number of SKUs/ sizes business.

Online/ In-store Innovations: Clovia has introduced ‘Clovia’ a Fit test – their proprietary algorithm – that asks a woman 5 questions about her body type and then recommends the right bra. They have a very high customer satisfaction score here.

Product Innovations: Period panties is one of their recent innovation. This range has been designed with soft and breathable cotton fabric that incorporates an in-between layer of stain-resistant and leak-proof lining. The unique hipster fit also gives high coverage and snug fit making sure that the sanitary pad stays at its place. These panties are also reusable and machine washable.

Revenue Target: The brand is eyeing 200 percent growth on annual run rate.

(with inputs from Gurbir Singh Gulati)

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