For years, lingerie has been talked about in hushed voices and it still continues. Almost all of us have unforgettable experiences of encountering a salesman while shopping for lingerie at a regular shop.
However, the lingerie market underwent a big change when a brand like Clovia offering lingerie at the doorstep of women, making the entire lingerie buying experience pleasant and quick. Let's thank the brain behind it, Neha Kant, Founder and Director, Clovia.
While Clovia is one of the most popular online and offline lingerie brands today, ever wondered what all went behind building this dream? We had an exclusive conversation with the Founder and Director, Neha Kant. Read on.
Entering Into The Lingerie Market
Talking about taking the first step into the lingerie market, Neha Kant shared, "It has always been an uncomfortable experience for women to shop from physical stores as they were mostly run by men. While traveling abroad, I was exposed to varied styles and options. I then realized that there exists a major gap in intimate wear for Women in India. Upon deeper research, we found that the prevailed distribution channel restricts the flow of customer feedback back to the brand and therefore, there was a lack of innovation and variety."
To bridge the existing gap in the lingerie business, she decided to start her own brand with the help of her husband, who is an avid tech entrepreneur. She was then joined by a very senior tech specialist and an experienced lingerie expert. Clovia started in 2013 and since then there has been no looking back.
Making The Brand Stand Out Amidst Competition
Founder and Director of the brand, Neha Kant shared, "Clovia produces its own products with the finest fabrics, imported laces, and satins. We make sure that the lingerie that goes out of our production unit is perfect in terms of cuts, fits, shapes, and designs. Clovia has further combined fashion with tech where smart technology is used to keep a check on the sale trends and patterns which further helps in managing the inventory. We procure raw material, design in-house, hand-pick raw material, and for manufacturing take help from third-party facilities, the majority of them working exclusively for us. We have an in-house designing team that helps us innovate products high on style and comfort. We ensure 4-level quality control and sell through a host of direct sale channels. Most importantly, we are a customer feedback-based brand and therefore always stay relevant to our users."
Overcoming Biggest Challenges
At the very beginning, there were a couple of big challenges for Neha and her team. However, they knew how to overcome them all. Talking about the same, she shared that the biggest challenge was that the customers didn't understand their size properly, especially the cup sizes. The brand came with a fit test which helped every woman understand her size. Initially, the brand had a standard production run and that was one reason why they couldn't produce more than 100 styles. However, by using technology, the brand was able to come with an optimum production plan. Now the brand offers more than 200 styles per month.
Neha Kant shared that her family always supported her through her journey. She said, "I was quite ambitious right from my school days and have always received great support and guidance from my family. Getting into a startup was for the purpose - of providing quality, fashionable and affordable lingerie to Indian women at an interesting price bracket."
Motivation To Grow The Brand Further
"Clovia has been built on 3 important pillars: In-house designing and production leading to strict control on quality + smart technology + improvising customer feedback. Clovia’s product range is based on consumer feedback. We have received great response and acceptance from our customers not just from metros but also from tier 2 and tier 3 cities. This trust and acceptance play a significant role in keeping our team motivated and keep coming up with the latest innovations and category expansions," she said.
Advice For Women Who Wish To Start Their Own Business
Neha Kant shared that women should stop thinking that they are a 'woman entrepreneur' and just think like an entrepreneur. She said, "Women are doing well in all the professions and are no less when it comes to leading and mentoring big teams. So if as an entrepreneur, you fall into a situation where you have to work harder to earn people’s respect just because you are a woman, then there are 2 options:
A. can u change the people who think like that? If yes you can (and should) change the people you work with!
B. If no, then make sure you keep doing the right thing. If they’re smart enough, they’ll fall in line with time."
Neha Kant's story to success is truly inspiring! What are your thoughts? Share with us! For more such stories, stay tuned!