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July - 2014 - issue > 50 Cool Startups of the Year 2014

FabAlley: Emerging as the Preferred Fashion Destination for Girls in their Early-Twenties

Susila Govindaraj
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Susila Govindaraj
While other women merely felt the scarcity of pocket-friendly fashion options, doers Tanvi Malik and Shivani Poddar saw it as a stepping stone and launched FabAlley, an online fashion brand in 2012. The Noida-headquartered company addresses the needs of style-conscious women in their early/mid 20s who are early jobbers and are looking to buy their dream wardrobe within a tight budget. The two aims to prove that 'young' is no longer antonymous with 'wise' by meticulously strategizing their every move via FabAlley's fashion-forward and budget friendly apparel and accessories. While evaluating FabAlley, Shivani and Tanvi double-checked the huge gap between supply and demand for affordable yet globally trendy products with an in-depth survey. Having foreseen that the technology revolution would result in making e-Commerce the next big thing, coupled with the convenience of serving 6000 pin codes from one warehouse; they opted for going online and FabAlley was born in June 2012.

FabAlley scrutinizes high street and runway pieces to remain indomitable in capturing the latest global trends and present them in the fastest time possible. The swoon-worthy collection is literally tailored to the tastes of the upwardly-mobile, young Indian women by FabAlley's in-house designing team and manufactured by their vendor base across the globe. FabAlley has become a fast fashion pioneer in the country by introducing 200 new products every month, beating their online competition fair and square. Since FabAlley is positioned as a fashion brand and not an online marketplace, they also retail through other channels such as Myntra, Jabong and Flipkart. On these channels, FabAlley is one of the highest selling Western women's wear brands.

In a short span of two years, their challenges have evolved from 'not being taken seriously' to 'keeping back-end apace with tremendous growth'. Being all of 25 when they started, they faced their fair share of challenges, such as setting up a supply chain, building a robust vendor base at par with their expectations and mitigating their lack of IT expertise by outsourcing the IT function to a competent third party. With major support from their family, the duo was able to bootstrap the company for a year and a half, till they got funded by the Indian Angel Network in October 2013.

The team of fashion enthusiasts at FabAlley is constantly striving to bring the best to their customers, whether it's the latest trends, a fabulous website and fashion blog or an excellent customer experience. "The challenges in a start-up are very different from those in an old and established corporate. Which is why our hiring strategy is very different. We bank much more on the person than their past work experience or degree," says Tanvi Malik, Co-Founder, FabAlley. Since they are scaling up, FabAlley is moving technology in-house to have complete control over it. Currently, they are working on channel expansion and strengthening their brand via more aggressive marketing efforts. Though they are already shipping to countries such as U.S. and Australia, they plan to market internationally in the next few months and make a stronger presence there with their global fashion offerings.
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