Companies

This Noida-based apparel retailer runs on a non-warehouse model

Mamuni Das New Delhi | Updated on August 28, 2019

Representative image

Bimba has digital inventory worth Rs 1000 crore

Imagine a dress shop with no dresses.

This Noida based export-oriented startup is one such example. Bimba, the new e-durzi retailer, has “digital-inventory” worth Rs 1000 crore and has of spoilt its customer for choice. Yet, the company does not have any warehouse, or dress.

The business model

Bimba shows an e-catalogue to its clients and creates the dress, chosen by a customer, within 48 hours of taking the order. It has mastered the art of just in time (JIT). The process involves printing a white running textile, to cutting and sewing apparels.

However, transporting the finished cloth to its customers – who are abroad -- takes approximatley three or four days (sometimes three or four weeks),based on the amount paid by the customer for transportation. Bimba’s products are sold in the United States (US), United Kingdom (UK), Australia and several European countries.

“If customers want the product to be delivered fast,, then we ship it via the express services of Fedex, DHL or Aramex, and charge the customer an extra $10 for shipping. If the customer is okay with delayed delivery of three-four weeks, then we ship it by India Post for free,” Nitin Kapoor, one of the two founders of the company told BusinessLine.

Shipping the product via India Post is about four-times cheaper than the express service providers. The company claims to provide India Post North almost 20 per cent of the national post service providers’ export business.

It to innovate on warehousing, after it had registered a huge inventory loss in 2015. “All the money that we had earned till 2015 was lost in inventory,” said Kapoor, whose company spent the next two years – 2015 to 2017 – in resolving the problem. Now, with e-inventory, the customer has more choices – 500 embroidery, patterns, colours and types.

The transition from 2015 to 2017

The two years saw the company transitioning from an inventory-led warehouse model to a non-warehouse model. “In 2015, we had a space of 8000 square feet, that stored Bimba products.. Today, we have a 12,000 sq feet facility with no warehouse. Fashion designers, garment designers, textile designers are under one roof. But there are no masterjis (tailors) in the system,” said Kapoor.

The use of e-catalogues has also helped to save money paid to a model. Once a model is made to wear a certain type of garment, then only the prints are changed using the software. “Now, we are not in a rush every evening counting inventory, worrying why products have not sold. We are practically without inventory,” said Kapoor.

Bimba’s merchandise are available on various online platforms -- Amazon, Allegro in Poland, Bidorbuy in SouthAfrica, Lazada in South East Asia, Trademe the Netherlands, Catch in Australia, among others.

Having tasted success in the online space,, Bimba’s clothes are likely to become available offline as well. “We will have small counters in places, where people can walk in, choose the type of dress they want in an e-catalogue and the dress will be ready in next 48 hours,” said Kapoor. Thecompany is also in talks with investors for the next round of growth.

Without a trial room and letting customers get a feel of the clothes, Bimba sees a return of 1.5-2 per cent globally, which is lower than the 20 per cent returns seen in India. This could be due to misfits, colour being different from what appears online.

Published on August 28, 2019

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