“If you had to summarise the last 365 days in one word, what would it be?”, questioned my mentor while we discussed the future of Singh Styled. “Surreal.” “365 days, 365 experiences, 365 learnings. It is definitely surreal?”. Yes. Singh Styled turned one, on 1st October, and the baby has started walking swiftly.
Singh Styled was launched with a mission to style and groom 30 million Sikhs across the world, who had been overlooked by brands, stylists, fashion gurus and bloggers. The only two reasons why the diaspora was neglected were
1. The diaspora needs more focused products and services and style solutions, thanks to the unique identity, and
2. The presumption that the market wasn’t sizeable enough.
This was a gain for Singh Styled.
In the last 365 days, Singh Styled has styled and groomed over a thousand Singhs and beardsmen across 24 domestic and international destinations. Singh Styled has doubled the average transaction size on domestic orders from INR 499 to INR 1285. Singh Styled’s international average transaction size has significantly improved from INR 3000 to INR 4335.
Over 23% of the customers are repeat buyers and over 56% of the transactions are done by non-Sikhs (and the brand/investor gurus think it is an insignificant market?).
In March, 2016, Singh Styled launched the experience programme. Nearly 3% Singh Styled customers are a part of this programme. The experience programme offers Singh Styled insights into customer demand and feedback on our products and services. Thanks to the experience programme, we have been able to make a significant change in our operational flow and reduced our turnaround time (TAT).
So what next?
From being called a mere “Turban Shop” to being recognized as an upcoming Sikh fashion brand within a year is a proud achievement for Singh Styled. It is time to add ‘global’ to the recognition and extend our reach.
Thanks to the insights provided by the experience programme, Singh Styled will be rolling out new products and services in the next 30–45 days. I call this change Style 1.0, which adds depth to Singh Styled’s current products and services portfolio. The horizontal product expansion will significantly improve the transaction size and allow us to tailor a bigger share of our user’s wardrobe.
Furthermore, Style 1.0 will also focus on distribution and new offline transaction channels that will offer the same experience offered by the Singh Styled online platform. To achieve this goal, Singh Styled has started creating local execution and control teams across locations, which drive the most revenue for Singh Styled. This initiative will help us reach out to offline customers who first want to experience the products and prefer one-on-one interactions. In time, our process will be to convert them into online consumers to reduce our operational expenses.
I have been blamed for being late. But I waited for this post to say “Thank you for being there, each time I needed you the most.”
Singh Styled has five specific groups of people to thank.
Sikh Gurus: If not for my identity, Singh Styled would have never happened. And my identity is thanks to my Gurus. For me, a Sikh is a brand ambassador of the Sikh Identity. Providing all the convenience to a Sikh to maintain and style this identity has been a humbling experience.
Family: According to me, a family is the bedrock of who we are and what we represent. The ones who know me can relate to the values they see in Singh Styled. And the two individuals who have had a positive impact in my life are my grandfather and my mother. From knowing the value of my identity to running an ethical business to valuing every penny spent and earned are governed by the principles that these two individuals have taught me.
Singh Styled Customers: I have always believed that a business is of a value when a customer values it, and not a few investors who may not relate to your vision. A customer teaches you something new on every transaction. Be a customer to build a business, and not an entrepreneur to raise money for creating publicity.
The team: Singh Styled is blessed with some great individuals who create magic. Bharat, has been a great partner and a brother. Without his inputs and direction, I doubt we could have walked this far. Many of the products and services in Style 1.0 have developed under his supervision.
Reema, the firestarter, has been a major influence in Singh Styled’s marketing and communication. She is one of the leaders driving Style 1.0.
As the kid Singh Styled matures, the identity too is maturing. The one person who I love to hear and agree with is Labanaya. Maybe this is the reason both Singh Styled and i love calling her Momma Labs.
How can I forget my two arms who helped me set up Singh Styled. Rohit Sareen and Amit Singh. The initial days of setting up a business are tough. And one needs a lot of handholding. So I thank these two brothers for their contribution in building Singh Styled.
Friends: There is a term called “Walking like the dead.” That was me in 2014. I had lost my favourite child, Sporizen, and the future was dark. If it wasn’t for those endless coffee discussions with Anupam Gupta and Sahil Jatana and long calls with Gaurav Jain, I am not sure if I could have bounced back so quickly.
Anaggh Desai, who I love to call “Big Boss”, is a critic and a dear friend. Actually, I hate him for being a critic because it pokes. But love and respect for him and his achievements are so much that the hate is negligible.
Kris & Shubh Nair, who understand an entrepreneurial journey, have been an integral part of Singh Styled’s growth. The advice, tips, and connections have accelerated its growth. Thanks to them, I got to meet Professor Cheema who has been doing extensive research on the GuruGranth Sahib.
If people have raved about the Singh Styled packaging, it is thanks to Bhavin Shah.
Hardik Shah, also known as the resource man, has been vital for creating the network of people that have offered and will offer value to our growth.
There are many more people that I need to thank, especially our supply partners, who I will never mention in any post (Why should a ship leak from the top? ;)). But they are truly the greatest investors at Singh Styled.
In the coming days, I will be sharing many more experiences with the world. For me these experiences have been the greatest teachers and healers. Hope they are a value to the audience as well.
Bye for now. See you at the next milestone with Singh Styled.