Ex-Samsung Employee Vinita Joshi Builds 'The Modiste' - A Personalised Styling Platform
Born and brought up in Delhi, Vinita Joshi is a first generation entrepreneur. After completing her graduation in Electrical and Electronics engineering from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Vinita started working in the product management sector with Samsung R&D. While working with Samsung, she saw lot of startups mushrooming in the arena of fashion. Most of them were typical e-commerce and others were fashion discovery platforms. There was no platform that could understand the body type, style, budget and lifestyle of women. Vinita was interested in the opportunity to provide a better, more customer-centric retail experience. She wanted to combine the ease of online shopping with personalised attention and that is how the idea of 'The Modiste' sprang up in her mind.
Started in August 2015 by Vinita Joshi and her ex-colleague at Samsung Amandeep Singh, The Modiste is based out of New Delhi and is steadily growing. In this exclusive interview with CrazyEngineers, we got Vinita to talk about her startup, her motivation, their revenue model, team, expansion plans and more! Read on!
Vinita Joshi, Co-Founder - The Modiste
CE: With a degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering, what made you choose the fashion industry as your first startup domain?
Vinita Joshi: I did not really choose fashion industry for my career. After completing my engineering, I worked for 4 years with Samsung R&D in the product management domain. Moreover, 'The Modiste' is an amalgamation of fashion and technology. So, I can say that I am pursuing fashion and technology both at the same time.
CE: When did you first think about The Modiste? What was the initial motivation to build a startup surrounding women's fashion platform?
Vinita Joshi: While working with Samsung, I saw lot of startups mushrooming in the arena of fashion. Most of them were typical e-commerce and others were fashion discovery platforms. There was no platform that could understand the body type, style, budget and lifestyle of women. I was interested in the opportunity to provide a better, more customer-centric retail experience. I wanted to combine the ease of online shopping with personalised attention and that is how the idea of 'The Modiste' came up.
CE: How does The Modiste work? How and why is it useful for women?
Vinita Joshi: We are providing personal styling, so once a customer registers on our website, a dedicated personal stylist is assigned to her. After that the stylist calls the customer to know more about their style- what type of clothes she wears, neckline, sleeves, colors, size, budget, and lifestyle. Post that 5-7 clothes are put in a box and delivered to their place. The customers get 30-45 minutes to try the stuff on. They can keep what they like and return the rest. With each box, a feedback form and style hack cards is sent.
We know that every woman is different –body, lifestyle, and style and we are using this knowledge to deliver a completely personalised experience. It is useful because it eases the shopping experience.
E-commerce websites provides that ease of shopping from home, but how can you select a dress or top among thousands of options? More options leads to more confusion, which in turn leads to bad choices and impulse buy. On the other hand, brick and mortar stores provide the convenience of trying before buying, but options are extremely limited, and also the process of going out shopping and returning the product if you don’t like is cumbersome. We are providing the best of both, in addition to personalised attention. That is how and why 'The Modiste' is useful for women.
CE: How big is your team at the moment? What are your expansion plans?
Vinita Joshi: Currently we have a very small team of stylists and developers. For the next one year we want to gain a strong foothold in Delhi NCR. Post that we would expand our operations to other metro cities.
CE: What makes The Modiste different from other fashion consulting firms? How do you tackle growing competition in this space?
Vinita Joshi: The Modiste is one of its kind in terms of the personalisation and the sort of feedback and data we are trying to acquire from our customers to make their shopping experience better. We have the first movers advantage and we are leveraging it to create a strong brand name.
CE: What is the revenue model for The Modiste?
Vinita Joshi: We are charging a nominal styling fee of Rs. 200 and of course the revenue that is generated from selling clothes and accessories.
CE: What is your advice to young women who want to become product creators, builders and entrepreneurs?
Vinita Joshi: My advice to anyone who wants to build, create or break things - is to have perseverance, a clear vision and an ability to reinvent.