Neha Kant, Founder and Director of Moods of Cloe now known as Clovia – reborn in 2013. Born in an engineering family and raised in an engineering atmosphere, Neha always wanted to do something other than engineering, something unique in her own way. She did a BA Hons. in mathematics and an MBA from FORE School of Management, New Delhi. She was yet to discover what she wanted to do in her life when she happened to visit a foreign country. It was there when she realised how open the culture was for their women when they had to buy their lingerie. She found the degree of comfort women felt while buying the product and the wide range of choices that they have unlike in India where buying innerwear for women is mostly done through small shops or enclosed sections of the showrooms. In India, women are too shy to explain their comfort zone regarding their own clothing. This gave a way to Neha Kant and she paved the road for Moods of Cloe which is now popularly known as Clovia Lingerie.
Making Conversations Around Lingerie Comfortable
In a country like India, where women are supposed to be following traditions and call their lingerie with names that cannot be understood by men so easily, it was a big challenge to sell it openly and do the promotions. Well, it was taken as a challenge by Clovia Lingerie and without any doubt, it did far better than expectations.
In a country, where talking about lingerie in public or even in person or in front of men is a way too awkward and is met with strange expressions, Clovia made its way quite strongly. Not only did it also increased its revenue by 11% in just one year (2015-16), but also changed the way of thinking of several women who used to feel shy while talking about their innerwear. To make it comfortable for the women, Clovia Lingerie brought up the online store for the women where they can easily enter their intimate description without judgements and buy as per their choice of affordable lingerie. It is noticeable that they have more than 20 patterns for each kind of innerwear along with several more filters which give ample space to the women to buy something which is comfortable to them and fits them perfectly. As an icing on the cake, they have an easy return policy and the women don’t need to be uncomfortable in front of shopkeepers who themselves at times have no idea about the perfect fit or make them feel uncomfortable while they share the size details.
Cutting the Cost While Maintaining the Quality
Neha Kant started Clovia with her husband and a friend cum lingerie expert. Starting her own brand, required manufacturing unit and this was one of the initial challenges for her. On one hand, she required the quality product, experts in designing, sewing experts and on the other, she wanted to develop the product within the means of common women. She could have easily imported the final product but in order to keep the cost low and support the Make in India concept, she started with her in-house team where manufacturing of the product could be done from the imported best quality fabric.
Increasing Awareness Towards The Right Lingerie
Another challenge that Clovia Lingerie faced was how to reach women. Opening up stores was not an easy route and it could take years to establish a brand name and using mass marketing could have garnered negative publicity. At the initial level, she started running women-centric campaigns on Mother’s day, yoga day, international yoga day, women’s day and much more to create and spread awareness towards the right lingerie product. She educated women on what type of bra they should use while playing games or during working out in a gym and what fabric should be used in different weather conditions. To increase women involvement, social media platforms were used. Clovia started by creating a Facebook group for women named Clovia’s Closet where they could comfortably share their personal experiences and more on keeping their personal interception personal. Launching of this Facebook page proved to be a great success for Clovia Lingerie. Currently, Clovia’s Closet has nearly a thousand members, members can join through invite only.
Launching Clovia Lingerie Brand, Making It a Success
During an interview, she reveals her success mantra; “Hard work was the only ticket to success. This made me competitive and ambitious right from the start.” And this is what she is doing to compete with her competitors. Being a new start-up and that too in an industry which is not openly talked about, Clovia had to compete not only with local vendors and showrooms but also with some big leaders in the market which had their own brand line. Clovia managed to make a mark in the industry by introducing creativity in the sector. Every month, Clovia launches more than 200 patterns and designs which are new and are not repeated. Not only women can feel comfortable with different fabric styling and fit but they can also feel beautiful with a large number of patterns available every time a woman visits the website. Clovia picked up the right nerve of its customer and provided them with the right product at the right time. They reached out to the women, made them feel comfortable and beautiful in their own way without taking them out from their comfort zone. This ‘mantra’ worked in favour of Clovia strongly and kept its customers waiting for the new patterns every month to choose from.
Considering the competition that Clovia is facing, it is mainly from Zivame since this is the company that was established at almost the same time and had similar thought work. Other competitors that have emerged are PrettySecrets, Buttercups, N-gal, FabsDeal and Zotory. Although the online competition has increased, it is interesting to know that the presence of more than one company in the industry has actually increased women awareness towards buying the right lingerie for different occasions.
Working on the economy while boosting women confidence
Neha Kant’s success mantra for Clovia is “Lingerie is not simply to be worn, it must be experienced. Comfort can be cute, so your lingerie need not be a drab affair. Well-fitted lingerie can uplift the confidence and mood. You deserve that every day!” As we talk about the strategy that the company beautifully captured the essence of the said industry. Clovia set the goal regarding women of the country to uplift the mood, the elegance and their confidence. Clovia started with a single factory and the continuous growth has resulted in them into 16 factories where everything is still being managed by Neha Kant herself while she is each and everything on her observation; like material need, product manufacturing, convincing production partner to work on an estimated budget and fulfil the target. In one of the interviews, she accepted Smart Technology is the most helping hand for her, adding, Neha Says, “Helps to monitor the sales trends and patterns on the website and then manage the inventory accordingly, thus reducing the operational costs.”
It’s no surprise that Clovia’s revenue is increasing every year with the strategies that strike the right chord. According to one of the VCCEdge‘s report, net sales of Clovia stood at Rs 30 crore in FY16 as a comparison to Rs 18.6 crore in FY15. Although net losses increased in FY16 by Rs 9.5 crore in comparison to Rs 1.7 Crore in FY15, it’s a clear sign of long-term investments within the company. Recently in April 2017, Clovia; in post-Series-A funding raised $4million from Singularity Ventures and IvyCap Ventures.
Is it the end or still a long road to making a mark for Clovia Lingerie?
From Craft Driven’s point of view and the current market trends, it seems like Clovia is set to gain a bigger share of the market in the coming 6 months with new budget and goals. Although easy it seems, it’s not going to be an easy ride. There are still several women who prefer buying innerwear from stores after checking the proper fit, there are women with their own standards who don’t believe in buying delicate clothing without seeing the fabric in front of their eyes and others who find it more convenient when a salesgirl is there to guide them. In addition, a big market (in fact an extremely big market) lies in the tier 2 cities where shopkeepers are often men and women find it uncomfortable buying lingerie from them and often end up buying whatever the shopkeeper shows. Educating these women on how they can find the right fit online from their platform is although difficult but definitely not unachievable. They can run campaigns and in the end, be more social!
For customised market research reports for any kind of startups and business in any industry, you can contact Craft Driven Market Research team here directly.Tags: Affordable Lingerie, Clovia, Craft Driven, Craft Driven Market Research, entrepreneurial start ups, entrepreunership, Lingerie, Lingerie Product, Make in India, Neha Kant, Singularity Ventures, startingup, startup, startups, Success Mantra, VCCEdge