India: Myntra, the country’s largest fashion ecommerce company, is reviving an incubation programme aimed at providing 10 small brands with technical, design and financial support, targeting about $500 million worth of business from them in the next five years.
The online retailer had nurtured about a dozen startups in 2014 as part of a programme then known as the Myntra Fashion Incubator. “We had never shelved it but it sort of tapered off,” Ananth Narayanan, chief executive officer of Myntra, said about the company’s effort to back small brands.
“We are happy to partner with them like we did for HRX. We are happy to buy into them, handhold them, give them ideas on designs.”
HRX was started in 2012 by Bollywood star Hrithik Roshan and was exclusively licensed to Myntra in 2013. In 2016, Myntra acquired a 51% stake in HRX for an undisclosed amount. Roshan and co-promoter Exceed Entertainment currently hold a 49% stake in HRX.
Narayanan said a Myntra team of more than 40 designers and the company’s rich consumer data would help small brands scale up their businesses. “We know what consumer preferences are and we are able to translate into better designs. Therefore, the design success rate is much higher,” he said in an interview. “We supply to 19,000 pin-codes the day we launch the brand.”
Such incubated brands can also be sold on Jabong. com, a Gurgaon-based online fashion retailer that Myntra acquired for $70 million in July. Myntra, which is owned by Flipkart, plans to achieve an operating profit for both itself and Jabong by December 2017, Narayanan said.
It sells more than 2,000 fashion and lifestyle local and global brands including Nike, Adidas, Puma, Levi’s, Wrangler, Diesel, CAT, Harley-Davidson, Ferrari, Timberland, US Polo, FabIndia and Biba.