Investors’ Darling

Insistence on growth and profitability under the leadership of Ayushi Gudwani turned a tough year into a good year for Fable Street

This has been touted as a tough year for startups. What were some of the challenges your company faced and how did you tackle these?

We fortunately had a good year. What worked for us was we have been building a near-profitable company from day one. We saw a lot of growth even during the last two years of Covid, because we were very lean on inventory which turned tables in our favour. If we think about 2022, it has not been a tough year and we have been able to raise funding easily. We have been one of the better performing companies in the country from a startup perspective, growing significantly strong, while being most profitable. The very limited (cash) burn was why investors easily invested or reinvested in us.  

What are your expectations from 2023? Will some of the growth drivers kick in again or will it continue to be a cautious year as well? 

The growth drivers will kick in again 100 per cent. What happens naturally is we presume growth drivers are online. That is not the core, growth drivers are both online and offline. There is going to be strong growth across apparel, retail, and retail as an overall segment. From a funding perspective, 2023 will again be a tight year, and companies will have to demonstrate a product market growth as well as directional profitability for them to be able to raise significantly or more easily given the external market pressures.  

Please share more on how 2022 panned out for your company in terms of revenue targets. 

We have grown three times our growth targets in 2022, we are quite excited from that point of view. We have also curated two new brands along the journey, which will also exit strongly in terms of growth and baseline in 2022 financial year ending. 

What are some of your plans for 2023 and the areas of interest/ investment in the year ahead? 

2023 for us is all about massive scale up of all the three brands we have and significant brand building. Fable Street is expected to triple if not become four times in 2023. The other two brands which are Marigold and Rikoto are should grow six to eight times given that they are a new brand. Our investment goes in technology, brand building, and supply chain. Our areas of interest can he gauged from our brands, Fable Street which is a western wear brand, Marigold which is an Indian/fusion wear brand, and we have also entered sterling silver which is a jewellry brand.  

As a leader, what were some of the things you had to do differently in 2022 especially given some of the external challenges in the year that ranged from founder troubles to restrained investment and large-scale layoffs?

From an external stand point, there was nothing specific I needed to do differently. We were running a very prudent, diligent company and I as a founder have been running this company with strong ethics. There was no risk of governance or founder troubles. The only thing is we made the governance and outcomes a lot more transparent. We also did not see any layoffs or any restrained investment from our side entering into the business. There were no direct changes from an external stand point perspective. As a leader what I have done differently is focus a lot and genuinely build the right team and right culture in the organisation. Second is driving the long-term aspiration and vision of the company and enabling the leadership and next-layer team. The third is I have become stronger and sharper on programme management goals and deliverables orientation around it.  

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