Akta Adani of India Boulevard tells us what sets her e-commerce platform apart!
Akta Adani, founder of US based e-commerce platform India Boulevard, a venture that focuses on making customised indian designer-wear accessible globally speaks to SHEROES.in about starting up and her professional plans for the future,
Tell us about yourself
I was born with entrepreneurial genes - right from my father who ran a chemical manufacturing factory, my mother - a fashion designer herself to my brother who runs an ecommerce platform! So I guess it was only a matter of time before I walked down the entrepreneurial path. Prior to starting out on my own, I spent the last 10 years working in client services, business development and technology related roles for Morgan Stanley, Bloomberg and a Silicon valley start-up – Zlemma (now successfully acquired by Hired, Inc).
How did the idea of IB come about?
It all started in early 2015, when I was in the midst of own wedding preparation. Through the endless hunt for my bridal outfit I constantly found myself making a trade-off between quality and price. The problems I ran into were the high mark-ups, off-the-shelf designs and very limited choice. While eventually I found my dream outfit, the experience made me think ‘This is a problem I want to solve’.
My quest for an affordable custom designed outfit led to the birth of IndiaBoulevard! IndiaBoulevard is a curated e-commerce platform that connects customers across the world with a variety of boutique fashion designers. We take your inspirations, understand your style preferences and budget, and customize a unique design just for you. Our mission is to make designer wear accessible to everyone everywhere.
How long has it been since you started off and what has the journey been like?
It has been 9 nine months since I started. The last few months have been a huge learning experience - from setting up a website, to working with talented designers and customers; each day I am constantly learning new things and how to be one step closer to my mission "to democratise fashion for everyone around the world’.
What are the successes you have had over the past months?
Since inception, we’ve seen significant success. We’ve been growing more than 50% month on month not only in revenue but in our designer base as well. Till date we have delivered custom-made outfits to over 31 cities worldwide with one reaching French Guiana as well!
Can you tell us about the core service areas of the platform and future plans that you have for it?
What sets IndiaBoulevard apart from other fashion labels and stores is that we are not a label and don’t intend to be one. In fact, IndiaBoulevard is an e-commerce marketplace platform that connects individuals with a suite of boutique designers to tailor custom outfits like anarkalis, lehengas and sarees etc. based on your personal style. We are a technology driven company and thus do not suffer from some of the more common issues that generally plague fashion stores – high costs associated with retail outlets, inventory management and limited design offerings. IndiaBoulevard provides a complete end to end solution for customers and designers. Customers can order custom designed outfits from the comfort of their homes and receive it in a matter of a few weeks. As for designers, we let them focus on fabrics and design techniques while we manage payments, packaging and shipping. By eliminating a lot of issues for both sides, we make sure that our customers and designers are happy and have a rich experience through our platform.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In 5 years, I see IndiaBoulevard as a brand that is synonymous with custom Indian products. As of now, we are focused on ethnic Indian outfits because we see huge demand for it globally. We plan to expand into other verticals such as accessories, bags and handicrafts. We want to be the brand that makes designer wear accessible to everyone everywhere.
Where do you turn for inspiration?
I turn to my customers. I like to stay engaged with our customers to understand their sense of style, what works and what doesn’t and I believe that is my biggest inspiration. At India Boulevard, customization is couture that everyone gets to experience. We also have a great team who are interested in building stories out of every look/ design. They work on research of fashion trends and ideas. We are always adept with what goes on globally too and of course through social media!
I recently visited the Smithsonian museum and read a quote that truly embraces my philosophy at IndiaBoulevard:
“You don’t make it with your hands.
You form it with your hands.
You make it with your mind”
IndiaBoulevard – inspired by you, designed by us!