Yepme to turn fully-online men’s fashion house

August 10th, 2011 - 2:59 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 10 (IANS) Leading Indian men’s apparel and accessory brand Yepme has recast its business to turn into a fully-online prêt fashion house and is finalising a second round of venture funding to expand operations.

Promoted by three industry veterans with domain experience in marketing, back-end technology solutions and supply chain management, the company is also adding new strategies to push business, such as 30-day return policy and same-day delivery.

“There are, indeed, several formats to reach out to customers. But each has its own, unique logistical dynamics and challenges. We have built our expertise in the online space and feel that is the best way forward,” said chief executive Vivek Gaur.

“Our front-end, which reaches out to customers through our web site, and the back-end that takes care of invoicing and deliveries, are integrated. This gives us ample scope for total customer satisfaction,” Gaur told IANS.

Gaur explained that most retail outlets and brands that have physical stores to sell do not offer contemporary designs to customers through their web sites. Online format, for most, is usually for disposing inventories. Besides, the number of stores is limited.

“In our case, we have created a very dynamic site. You not only get to pick your product of choice from a wide variety of latest designs, but also get a 360-degree look and feel by draping it on a virtual model,” Gaur said.

“We also have several other features for customer comfort. A 30-day return policy — no questions asked, but for one-two for self-improvement. Then a cash-on-delivery option, in addition to credit-card gateway. And a 24X7 support,” he said.

“But don’t expect us to sell cheap. That’s not the idea. Quality comes for a price.”

Yepme is run by three alumni of the Indian Institutes of Management, who have worked for organisations such as Accenture, SBI Caps, HCL Technologies, HT Media, Living Media, Shoppers Stop, Pantaloon and Reliance Trends.

Chief operating officer and founder Sandeep Sharma has domain experience in enterprise resource planning, Gaur is a veteran in the e-commerce and online merchandising space, and president Anand Jadhav is their supply chain expert.

The prêt brand has six broad categories - accessories, footwear, jeans, shirts, stylist picks and trousers. In each of these, there are four-to-seven sub-categories, ranging from the casuals to formals and party-wear.

“Apart from catering to large cities, our idea is also to reach out to people with that discerning taste living in smaller towns and even remote locations because of their postings or other professional/personal reasons,” Gaur said.

The company’s first round of venture financing came from the $350-million India-focused fund named Helion Ventures that has invested in such start-ups as MakeMyTrip, RedBus, Azure Power and GetIt.

“Helion is expected to participate in the second round as well. We also have two-three other funds that are interested. We hope to finalise this round of funding quite soon,” Gaur said, without going into specific financial details.

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