B:Kind, A Trendy Fashion Brand for Women Who Want to Stand Apart in Generic Fashion
B:Kind currently is a team of over 50 employees, present in 1200+ stores pan-India, and aims to reach out to every woman seeking to be a pathbreaker in her own stride.
B:Kind is a lifestyle brand that deals in western fusion clothing for women of all ages and sizes. Founded by Vidhi Dalal in 2010, her vision for the brand was to marry the modern Indian woman's consumer needs with international trends and world-class quality. Today, the brand aspires to create more than just a functional bond with its customers. It forges a rather deeper connect that spurts from the compassion and kindness the brand stands for. B:Kind currently is a team of over 50 employees, present in 1200+ stores pan-India, and aims to reach out to every woman seeking to be a pathbreaker in her own stride.
Speaking on the current growth, Vidhi Dalal, the Founder and Creative Director of B:Kind, says, “We are currently supplying to over 1200 Multi Brand Outlets (MBO) via a distribution channel with agents and distributors. We are also available through 30 Globus and 2 Lulu Cochin stores via the Large Format Outlet Channel (LFS). Lastly, we are supplying to over 14 marketplaces in India and retailing through our very own e-commerce portal.”
Having studied fashion at a very young age, Vidhi had always been creatively inclined with a sincere passion for fashion. Having interacted with women who were lifestyle transitioners for their respective families, she knew very early that these were the women she wanted her brand to cater to.
Vidhi further reiterates, “My muse was a woman who was kind-hearted, fashionable, sincere, independent, well-read and individualistic, irrespective of her age or body type. Someone who is a path breaker. I knew this woman precisely and her fashion needs because I had interacted with so many such women in the guise of batchmates, neighbours, peers, colleagues etc. I wanted to create a lifestyle brand that resonated with this woman and her fashion needs. Hence out of this idea, B:Kind was born.”
A few years down, Vidhi realized the need for expanding her team and in 2015 she was joined by her sister, Shimul Shah, whose role closely revolves in managing Operations and Marketing.
Speaking on the USP of B:Kind, Shimul Shah says, “There are brands that reach out to the urban women and then there are brands that reach out to the woman rooted in the Indian culture. However, we want to be the subtle, kind support system for the aspiring women who want to gradually transition from their ethnic choices to a modern sensibility.”
She further says,“Our product range starts from an affordable bracket while still ensuring it's on par in terms of quality and trends. We've also thus been sensitive to the regional requirements of our customers and have always strategically planned to make our product portfolio all inclusive. As we gear towards defining a lifestyle change for our muse, we've moved towards creating unique capsules to ease the decision-making for our buyers and augment the aesthetic quotient through improved story-telling and store displays.”
B:Kind has been cash-flow positive, and is currently self-funded. However they want to expand, they are looking to raise funds to take their business to the next level.
Vidhi feels that running a business in India is a challenge in itself. Being a family-run business, attrition rate is very high in India. Also, the capital required for long working capital cycles are very high in this field which she finds the most challenging to deal with. Due to lack of entry barriers, they have to deal with a lot of unorganised players in the market who do not always sustain long term but the effort to deal with them is high. This being more on the professional front; on the personal front however, striking a balance between work and family for women in India is hard at every stage.
Vidhi says, “We have already seen good traction, increasing from a few MBOs to now 1200. We believe this will continue to expand. The next stage for us is to expand in more large format stores and do more shop in shop concepts which would allow the brand to get traction, which is a more B2C approach.”
Along with this, they are now available on most online marketplaces which turns out to be a great marketing exercise for the brand too. This further enhances the value of the brand. They believe that all these factors will give them greater traction which will eventually lead to an even better market share.
“An entrepreneurial journey is not always about the highs,” Vidhi says. “Every gradual milestone so far has been a victory in itself – be it penetrating into the wholesale market & supply offline to 1200 stores, 30 large format stores, venturing into the online space by supplying to over 14 marketplaces and our own ecommerce portal – all of these are achievements in itself. Hence having to work with a bunch of unrelated, unknown people on the same page and move forward in the same direction has to do with managing and motivating people, which is something I have gotten better at and that to me is a very big victory.”
From this year onwards, B:Kind will have a very strategic way forward, hence to scale their business to the next level they have the following things in mind:
- Introducing 2 separate lines with different price points
- Wholesale products will be more cost-effective with quick turnaround in design
- LFS (Luxury Fashion and Style) to be more organized & trendy, retailed as a capsule collection
- Focus on the high demand & margin, e-commerce segment on the B:Kind platform & all other platforms
Shimul Shah concludes: “Today we see a predominant shift towards ethnic fusion by traditional brands in the last 5 years due to demand for modern styles & fabrics by Indian women of all age groups, hence the opportunity in the fusion space is tremendous. There are very few players in the ‘western ethnic fusion’ category, especially at the premium and economy price points. Hence it gives us an edge over ‘design’ which plays a very important role.”
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