The year was 2007. Three young IITans by the name Mukesh Bansal, Ashutosh Lawania, and Vineet Saxena, who were unheard of until then, had their eyes set out on a dream project which they called Myntra. For a few months after its creation, business was still slow and limited as it sold personalised products to their customers. As of now, Myntra.com is the unprecedented king of the ecommerce sites in the field of fashion and lifestyle products. 500 international and national brands are now available on the online marketplace. With a goal of receiving 20000 orders per day, Myntra eyes are set on dominating the online “pot of gold” market. But how did this company which barely managed to survive its initial 6 months go on to become perhaps the largest player in the Indian online market?
For all you aspiring entrepreneurs here is a timeline of Myntra’s sensational steps to success.
1. The Founding and Funding era: In February 2007, Myntra was setup by the three young IITans. Within 6 months the site received its initial seed-funding from Sasha Mirchandani founder of Mumbai Angels, an unknown angel investor and Accel Partners. With this initial funding Myntra started off business with a B2B (business to business) e-commerce pivot, working on personalisation of items such as gifts, T-shirts and more. Soon Myntra raised its second bout of funding of Rs. 10 crores from Tiger Global, IDG Ventures and Accel Partners in November 2008. With two years of experience in the market, Myntra soon found itself on the online directory. Myntra’s start was not spectacular but it was strong on its values and built the foundation for its future.
2. The Pivot and Tie-up Era: 2010 saw Myntra pivot into the B2C (business to customer) model and expanded its catalogue of products from personalised items into fashion, lifestyle, tech gadgets and almost every other branch ecommerce. In a planned tactic, Myntra entered into contracts with internationally popular brands like Adidas, Nike, Puma, Catwalk, Inc 5, United Colors of Benetton, FCUK, Timberland, Avirate, FabIndia and Biba, Roadster, Sher Singh, Dressberry, Kook N Keech, which are all some of the 500 odd brands that showcase their products on Myntra. It is during this time between 2010- 2011 that Myntra developed their famous hybrid model to tackle logistics problems. This new model ensured that customers would always remain satisfied by working on the logistics themselves along with many other well known third party service providers. Their supply chain was thus in safe hands.
3. The Campaign and Motto Era: Nearing the end of 2011, Myntra once again received around Rs. 100 crores of funding money from Tiger Global. The year was also responsible for opening Myntra’s advertising campaign with its first TV commercial in July. The commercial which said that Myntra ‘juxtaposes new-age fashion with old-world grit’ was a strong message and a reminder of the rising influence of the online market. And then Myntra rolled out its “Ramp It Up” ad in October 2011 which showcased Myntra’s business acumen and grasp by launching its Autumn Winter 2011. Soon it released an Out of Home campaign in chief metropolitan cities in February 2012. The most decisive step on Myntra’s part is perhaps their free shipping, cash on delivery and 30 day return offer with 24 hours dispatch which promoted buying items online in its third and most successful campaign named “Real Life mein aisa hota hai kya” in July 2012. By extending its catalogue of items and hassle-free Returns Policy were hailed as exceptionally fresh ideas. Myntra Coupons were also released at this point which were aimed at attracting first-timers and also retain all their loyal customers.
The Upcoming Era: The ecommerce supremacy of Myntra until 2013 has gone all according to plan. The annual revenue which at the time of inception was around Rs.7 crore has now shot up to Rs. 500 crores in 2012. Their growth rate of 46% is also being reviewed in business schools and management institutions as the new age of ecommerce strategy. Objectives have been set and plans have been made to increase revenue from high-margin private labels which are not chief contributors with a current 8% to reach 25%. The thoughts of an IPO also prevail in the market.
It was recognised for many awards such as ‘Fashion eRetailer of the Year 2013′ by Franchise India – Indian eRetail Awards, ‘Best E-commerce Website for 2012′ by IAMAI – India Digital Awards, one of the ‘Hottest Internet Companies of the Year’ by CNBC – TV18 Young Turks Awards for 2011-12, ‘Images Most Admired Retailer of the Year: Non–Store Retail’ for 2012 by Images Group and ‘Best E-commerce Partner of the year 2011-12′ by Puma India.
The success story was not without its troubles. Ashutosh Lawania, and Vineet Saxena parted ways and exited the company. There have been one too many cases when Myntra was unable to process its orders and had to lose out by sending vouchers to customers.
These can however be considered as minor speed bumps which every successful company faces and will soon be resolved. Myntra has a sturdy marketing policy, brilliant customer experience and distinctive business ideology which cannot be equalled. Myntra coupons have also become as famous as the company and everyone knows the 3 famous offers of Myntra.
This ends the sensational success story of Myntra, without doubt the largest online fashion store, which stands a lesson for everyone to learn when it comes to ecommerce dominance.