Brief introduction about yourself and tell us something about StitchMyFit.com?
I have been a techie all my life with MTech in Information Technology from IIT Roorkee. Having a decade worth of experience in technology, most of it has been well spent in scaling tech for early and mid-stage startups with the likes of Komli Media, Snapstick and Localbanya.
I started StitchMyFit.com in pilot mode in August last year. With StitchMyFit, we intend to disrupt the existing offline boutique market by organizing them on our platform and increasing their reach manifold, beyond their vicinity and very soon beyond their city. On public demand, we very soon offered Tailoring Services too on our portal.
The lady customer need not settle for a Small, Medium, Large any more. She just needs to select a boutique design, customize neck, color, sleeves etc. and call home our stylist to get her measurements taken. For Tailoring Services too, our stylist visits the customer’s home for measurements and design recommendations based on her preference and body type.
What sets apart StitchMyFit.com from other online shopping portals?
Perfect Fit: Online shopping portals either provide unstitched dress material or dresses stitched in standard sizes like Small, Medium, Large. Even these “standard” sizes are not standardized across ethnic brands. We believe that every Indian woman has a unique size and she should not try and fit in to her clothes. The clothes should fit her, perfectly.
Fresh designer wear: StitchMyFit.com is a curated marketplace of boutiques offering designer wear. So you are not stuck with mass produced designs, but instead can choose from a wide range of fresh designs at the comfort of your home.
Face time and personalization: Existing shopping portals do not offer any human contact except at Customer Support where a customer contacts mostly for registering a grievance. At StitchMyFit, the customer can discuss designs and fits with our qualified lady stylists before processing the order.
Heading the tech and much to look ahead for a flourishing corporate career. What suddenly made you take a turn and start something innovative on your own?
I noticed that many tech-savvy women like me are comfortable buying gadgets, accessories, etc from online portals, but shy away from buying ready-to-wear dresses. Even if they buy unstitched material, it is always difficult to find a good tailor or boutique in your vicinity.
I saw this as a huge opportunity to resolve the biggest pain point in women’s clothing – misfit. I was convinced that the requirement of customizable women’s wear at the convenience of one’s home and that conviction made it easy for me to finally take the plunge!
Did you face any challenges and what growth plans do you have for StitchMyFit.com?
Initially I faced the challenge of convincing a few boutiques to get onboarded on our site as they had not seen something like this before. I helped them click pictures, upload their designs and finally when they saw that their reach was increasing without additional investment, they were convinced and happy to partner with us.
We are continuously onboarding more boutiques every week. That helps us cover the entire range of designs in terms of pricing and trends. The lean model of StitchMyFit makes it very easy to launch in a new city and we are looking at expansions soon.
What are your views on the thought, that as compared to male counterparts, it’s harder and more struggling for females to make a mark professionally?
I think women learn to juggle many things at a time very early on, while balancing their personal and professional lives. This makes them naturally very good at effective time management and project management, whether formal or informal.
While certain workplaces may have an initial apprehension against women in leadership roles, I have realized that with dedication and perseverance that can be changed in your favour.
What piece of advice would you like to give to the aspiring youth who wish to pursue their dream of becoming an entrepreneur?
If the idea really excites you and does not let you sleep at nights, then start away immediately. Don’t bother about existing competition, scalability, operational hurdles, etc. You will learn to sort those out.
According to you, what are the top three essential skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Humility, common sense and perseverance
How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
I think I have become a better mother as I try and spend better quality time with my 4-year old son. My family has always supported me in this journey wholeheartedly.
What are your views and opinions towards the ambiguous need to promote women entrepreneurship and women empowerment in India?
Women who are entrepreneurs or aspiring to be one should be encouraged as better representation of women in the startup arena will definitely result in a well-rounded and conducive environment. I think the issue is that while there is a lot of talk to support women entrepreneurs, many are not clear regarding how to actually go about it and take advantage of the same.