B2B (business-to-business) online market start-up The Yarn Bazaar has begun tying up with large fashion brands, including international companies, and big buyers while it plans to make its presence felt abroad before the end of the year, said company’s founder and CEO Pratik Gadia.
“We still want to focus on the domestic market... And probably sometime mid or end of the year, we would want to start an international presence also,” he told businessline in an online interview.
The company, launched in 2019, enables textile companies to discover yarn prices, information, people, market trends and trade with the tap of a finger.
Offering end-to-end solution
It is an online marketplace that has simplified processes of yarn sourcing in the country. In this, it has helped local yarn manufacturers go national and enabled buyers with a wide array of products and quality to choose from.
“We are a pro transactions platform, and it is an end-to-end solution. We do everything from, say, discovery to QC (quality control), transactions, fulfilment, advisory, market, everything together, including transportation,” said Gadia, who belongs to a family that has been into fabric manufacturing.
The Yarn Bazaar now plans to get into the financing part of the business. “Right now, buyers are paying 100 per cent advance, but we know that they have a massive working capital crisis because of the nature of the business. So, now we’ve started tying up with banks and NBFCs to enable supply chain finance for them,” he said.
Pandemic and after
On the company seeing through a testing period since its launch in view of the Covid pandemic and a volatile cotton market, Gadia said the online platform was into advisory from the start and it stepped in to help its stakeholders to say it is normal for prices to go up.
The Yarn Bazaar noticed that most middlemen in ensuring cotton or yarn supplies were not focussed on advisory. “We have a team that dug into the past data and noticed that every time there was a pandemic or recession or other global macro events, commodity prices have shot up between a minimum 100 per cent to about 200 per cent,” said the founder and CEO of the company, which works with large players such as Sintex, Trident and a global fashion firm.
The pattern remains fairly consistent over the next two years. “When we started, the lockdown was announced from March 2020. Prices dropped by 30-35 per cent. Then, they slowly started going up before touching ₹1 lakh last year,” said Gadia, who spent 6-7 years with his father in the family fabric business.
Since The Yarn Bazaar had access to data, it began sharing the reports with its shareholders and ensured buyers did not panic. It was important to address the issue as the nature of the textile industry is different with raw materials making up 50-80 per cent of the final product’s cost.
One of the first things that The Yarn Bazaar did soon after the pandemic lockdown began in 2020 was to launch an advisory vertical in which it had podcasts, live stories carried on apps such Spotify and Google podcast, and fortnightly newsletters.
“We are clearly focused on yarn and we don’t want to do anything else in the value-chain. But we have started to diversify to other yarn categories. We have begun with a good quantum of viscose and polyester spun. We are about to start trade with polyester,” the company’s founder and CEO said.
Industry interactive sessions
The Yarn Bazaar is looking at cotton sourcing, basically providing expertise to its yarn suppliers. “We have someone who can advise you which cotton you should source and at what price and why cotton is more important than price also is,” he said.
The online platform, which has executed about 2,000 orders at an average size of ₹20 lakh, has begun to do industry interactive sessions, mainly interacting with university students, particularly those specialising in textiles, to make them aware of the opportunities in the sector.
“We looked at the data. A lot of textile students don’t end up joining the textile industry. They would rather go to another industry where they get paid higher. It’s a chicken and egg problem. If the industry does not draw talent, it will not flourish,” said Gadia, whose online platform has registered 15,000 companies with 150 of them transacting as suppliers.
The start-up, which also imported yarn with importers based on their requirement, is now trying to empower these students so that they launch new verticals. The idea is to train such students and equip them with skill sets so that the industry can hire these talents for specific roles, he said.
Gadia said India’s textile sector has opportunities in the form of China plus one through which global firms are looking to promote destinations other than the Communist nation particularly after Covid affected supplies and Bangladesh’s least developed country status coming to an end in 2026.
“The price of Indian and Bangladesh suppliers will be the same post-2026,” said the founder and CEO of The Yarn Bazaar, which has a staff strength of 35.