Top D2C business in India
The D2C market in India is likely to touch US $100 billion by 2025. Over the last few years, it has grown by leaps and bounds. As of 2021, there were 800 startups, across industry sectors, operating in the D2C space. Most of the share of this market belongs to fashion startups; the fashion industry in India is expected to touch US $43.20 billion in sales by 2025! Let’s peek at the top 9 D2C brands in India.
But First, What is D2C business?
Simply, D2C means direct-to-consumer.
D2C companies manufacture their products themselves. They also distribute their products directly to consumers using their own distribution network.
In the pre-IoT (internet of things) era, businesses were controlled by distributors. Companies made products. And used distributors to reach them to customers.
Think of a popular FMCG brand that you use. Now, traditionally, you would go looking for this brand on a store shelf. And the manufacturer itself would need to have the brand placed on the store shelf in order for you to be able to see it and buy it. This required the manufacturer to rely on a distribution network to reach the brand to the store shelf.
The IoT age has made this distribution mechanism irrelevant.
Today, manufacturers make brands. They then package them and ship them directly to consumers. They no longer have to rely on a distributor or a wholesaler to reach their customers. Therefore their delivery processes are more efficient and their profitability has improved.
Top D2C brands in India
Bewakoof sells garments, footwear, stationery products and mobile accessories on its website. It was set up by Siddarth Munot and Prabhkiran Singh in 2012. The company claims to have sold over 10 million products and has six million customers. It also has partnerships with popular international labels and sells their merchandise. These include F.R.I.E.N.D.S, Looney Tunes, Marvel, DC, Disney and Star Wars.
boAt makes and sells audio products. These include headphones, earphones and speakers. They are a leader in the D2C space. They were set up in 2016 by Sameer Mehta and Aman Gupta. Their products are sleek and smart. They sell them to customers directly through their own website and through various e-commerce platforms. The company is profitable and has a top line of over Rs.1500 crore.
Also Read: What Is A D2C Business Model
Bombay Shirt Company
This is an online specialized apparel brand. Akshay Narvekar set up the company in 2012. It sells a wide range of clothing for both men and women. It offers four popular labels through its D2C model: Korra, Pause, cityof_ and Bombay Shirt Company.
Srinivasa Gopalan and Mithun Sancheti set up CaratLane in 2008. They offer a range of jewelry. They have an omnichannel marketing strategy. The company has significant funding from Tata Group’s Titan. They use the D2C model effectively to sell all kinds of customized jewelry; from pendants to bracelets to kids ornaments to bespoke designs.
Chumbak sells furniture, home décor items, footwear, accessories and jewelry. They have built a name for themselves as a premium home and lifestyle brand; they have done this through an omnichannel approach and with presence in Tier-1 cities . They were set up in 2010 by a husband-wife team: Shubra Chadda and Vivek Prabhakar.
Heads Up For Tails
Rashi Narang launched this brand in 2008. They sell a whole range of pet products through their website and through their branded stores spread across cities. They sell preservative-free pet treats, organic supplements and orthopedic beds for pets. They are focused on building the pet care category by promoting awareness for pet wellness products.
This brand has an omnichannel strategy too. It was set up in 2010 by Peyush Bansal, Sumeet Kapahi and Amit Chaudhury. It has 750 stores in 175 Indian cities. It sells the complete range of eyewear products – spectacle frames, lenses and accessories.
Celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor and Ravi Saxena set up this company in 2009. They sell kitchen appliances, cookware, allied culinary accessories and tools, and bakeware. They have 22 exclusive stories in India currently. They plan to increase this number to 100 by 2025. They have served 30 million customers so far.
Kapil Karekar and Richa Kar set up Zivame in 2011. They sell activewear, lingerie, sleepwear and shapewear through their website and through stores in India. Their stores are owned directly and are also owned by their partners. They have a strong customer base in Tier-2 and Tier 3 cities.
Also Read: Assembling A Workforce For D2C Brands
Pros and cons of the D2C business model
Lastly, let’s look at the pros and cons of the D2C business model.
The pros first:
- Higher profits. Because there’s no one in the supply chain between the manufacturer and the customer who needs to be paid.
- Direct access to who the customer is. Sharp customer profiling is possible to understand their preferences and their patterns of purchase.
- Greater opportunity to personalize products. The more access a manufacturer has to customer profiles, there’s greater value they build into the product development process to be able to personalize their products.
- Direct access to customers means that products can be tested with smaller sample groups before being launched on a larger scale. This saves costs and helps sharpen product features.
The cons now:
- With distributors out of the system, the entire responsibility for the product life cycle, from making to marketing to selling to delivery, now rests with the manufacturer.
- Selling online is simpler. But it is definitely not easy. Companies have to make an effort to stand out, grab the consumers’ attention and drive them to make a purchase. That’s a lot of work. And it often costs more money to achieve results if the online branding and sales strategy is not efficient.
- Sometimes, even if you make a great product, and even if your brand is well-known, if the shipping and delivery process is mismanaged, you may end up losing customers and your reputation. Being driven by clinical precision is very demanding and often very thankless.
Regardless of the pros and cons, the rise of e-commerce and the shift in consumer behaviour is a clear indicator that the D2C model is here to stay.
Ready to start your job hunt? Check out the Xpheno Job Board today