Conversations with Crimson: The Indian Fashion-Tech Entrepreneur (London Business School - UK) - Blog


London has produced many sartorialists from its famed Jermyn Street region. Now the city’s business school can claim a rising star in fashion technology scene. Crimson Oak recently had the opportunity to get a glimpse of the beautifully sharp mind of fashion tech entrepreneur, Anu Duggal. Anuis a graduate of the London Business School and the co-founder of Exclusively.In, an Indian-inspired private sale site for fashion, jewelry, accessories, home decor and travel. Prestigious venture capital firms, such as FirstMark Capital and Accel Partners, have invested over $18 million in the start-up.





 

COA: HOW HAS YOUR UPBRINGING INFLUENCED YOUR LOVE OF FASHION AND BUSINESS?



ANU: From far back as I can remember, I have always had an entrepreneurial drive and global perspective. Growing up, I would often travel with my family to many countries. I would look forward to visits to the artisans of Delhiandthe luxury designers of theChamps Elysees.

One of my first entrepreneurial endeavors was starting a wine bar in Bombay, India. The wine bar exposed me to the basics of business but the importance of customer experience: ambience, décor etc.

 

 

"Global competition can be fierce.
Find partners you truly trust."

 

 

 

 

 COA: WHERE DID THE INSPIRATION FOR EXCUSIVELY.IN COME FROM?



ANU: A mixture of the team’s personal experience travelling, attending numerous Indian weddings and Gilt Groupe in India provided our inspiration. The Indian wedding market is a growing $20 billion niche. The non-resident Indian community (the Indian Diaspora) we felt wanted style, authenticity and originality in their apparel selections, in particular the wedding niche.

The company’s operations are in Delhi and its marketing arm is in New York City. Most of our customers are based in the United States and later the United Kingdom. We source about 80% of our merchandize from artisans throughout India. With over 150,000 members since our founding in June 2010, our growth has been rapid and we have been well-received by the market.

My personal inspiration also infused my initiative in co-founding Exclusivesly.in. I want to change the world and eventually fund more female-led start-ups. We are inspired to create a global brand and own the ethnic apparel space.

 


COA: HOW HAS YOUR LONDON BUSINESS SCHOOL (LBS) MBA HELPED YOU IN YOUR ENTREPRENEURIAL VENTURES?

 

ANU: In pursuing a non-traditional career path I leaned on experience before LBS: my work at small companies, my wine bar start-up etc. The biggest distinction LBS provided was the complementary experience of relevant course work and most importantly, a “stamp of approval”.

 

In fundraising with institutional investors and attracting top talent for Exclusively.in, the LBS MBA degree, while not the only factor, is an asset.

 

 

 


COA: ANY ADVICE FOR OUR SCHOLARS CONSIDERING GETTING THE FASHION TECH INDUSTRY OR IN ENTREPRENEURSHIP GENERALLY?



Anu:
1) Very important that you find partners that you truly trust
2) Ensure that your team has delineated roles/responsibilities
3) Embrace hardwork and put 100% of your passion

There are tons of possibilities available in entrepreneurship now. Seize them!

 

 

 

 

Get Prepared To Get In!