No downsizing or integration of manpower post Jabong's acquisition, says Myntra CEO

25 Aug, 2016

Flipkart-backed fashion portal Myntra recently crossed $1 billion in annualised Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) run rate, becoming the first Indian fashion e-tailer to hit the milestone. In a chat with TechCircle, Ananth Narayanan, CEO of Myntra, says both Jabong and Myntra will continue to function as separate brands as both have distinct characteristics in terms of offerings. He talks about how the fashion e-tailer plans to retain price-conscious customers after it decided to forgo the discount-led marketing approach it has been following. He also shares his views on value added services, private labels and much more.

You have mentioned that both Jabong and Myntra will continue to function as separate entities. How will you ensure differentiation between the two?

Jabong focuses more on women and its portfolio of international brands is probably larger. Also, it is stronger in certain geographical pockets like Delhi-NCR which is a large market. These are the major differences. We will continue to evolve in line with what the brands stand for. The goal is not to unhealthily compete with each other in terms of discounts. We aim to reduce discounts overall and continue to grow on scale.

Will there be a merger between the two a couple of years down the line?

That is like making a motherhood and apple pie statement. At least, I don't see that happening as we still think Jabong as a brand has a lot of value to offer.

Will there be an integration of manpower? Was the Jabong team made lean as part of the acquisition?No. There is no integration of manpower at any level as far as I know and neither was there any instance of downsizing.

You have reduced discounts and are moving closer to full price sales. How will you retain price-conscious Indian customers?

We hope to do that by offering a different kind of value to customers through better products, broader range of selection and curation, increased breadth of our offering that is not available on other platforms which translates to a better consumer experience. Yes, it will be challenging to retain the cost-conscious Indian consumer, but that is why we are here—to take up those challenges and do something about it.

You mentioned that value-added services will play an important role in the Myntra ecosystem going forward. Can you share some examples of what is being planned?

Yes, value-added services are going to be an integral part of our brand. Besides, the try and buy option—where customers can order a number of shortlisted SKUs and retain back the final choice—alteration is another service we are looking at. We want to offer alteration services whether it's tops or bottoms.

We are looking to offer this through a technology-led solution where we will enable a network of local tailors present on our platform to offer these services. We will use the logistics infrastructure of Ekart and Myntra to pick up, get the job done and return back to the customer for a small fee.

Will the experience store comprise only your private labels? Has your private label-led growth strategy been aligned to your expectations?

The shape and contours of the offline experience store is still being decided and we are yet to finalise it. As far as our private labels are concerned, they have turned out better than we thought. Private labels account for 30% of our total revenue today. Roadster, which is one of the largest private brands, is going to turn $100 million this year.

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