Have you ever thought how forceful the combination of a graduate from Indian School of Business, with a PGP degree in Marketing & Strategy (not to mention the exhaustive experience in bespoke manufacturing and knowledge of catering to the aristocracy and business class) could be, once it teams-up with a marketing specialist with diverse experience in brand communication, sales and operations covering the FMCG, Pharmaceutical and Lifestyle sectors?
Well, my first thought would be- Not To Guess!
Of course these are bloody long resumes to talk about (and they say I was the worst student during my schooling years), and taking a guess at what they might be up to would be a foolish act.
And yes- it is a child’s game!
SR: First thing first, take us through vitruvien.com… what is it about?
EJ: Vitruvien.com is an online e- commerce portal that retails custom-made men’s shirts. The innovative and user-friendly interface allows customers to design their own shirt; starting with selecting from a range of the finest fabrics from European mills, the colours and patterns. You can then proceed towards customising the style be it the collar, cuff or right down to the smallest button and get it tailored to your measurements.
The virtual shirt designer ( a 3D online mannequin) allows you to visualize in real time how different styles will look, so you can arrive upon the perfect shirt. All this at the comfort and luxury of your home, with just a few clicks of your mouse buttons.
SR: Who all are there in your team and what are their roles?
EJ: The management of this venture is being led by Rajesh Goradia and me. Rajesh hails from one of the pioneer textile families of Mumbai, and comes with an in-depth knowledge of fabrics; evaluation of a good quality fabric, what’s popular, what’s feasible, what patterns to construct, what will fit well, what weather conditions suits a particular fabric, etc . He is assisted by Puneeta Bajaj, who looks after the procurement, shirt production and back end operations of the portal. With a work experience across FMCG and Lifestyle sectors, I am responsible for the website management and customer engagement through marketing, sales and business development.
SR: How did you come up with the idea of launching this business endeavour?
EJ: The e-store was made for the discerning men of style. We realised that the most common woe for these men, is finding the right shirt in their wardrobe that fits well. Since no two men are alike, we believe their shirts shouldn’t be either.
We wanted to offer men the option of not only getting the right fit but also customizing it to their favoured style at affordable prices. With this goal in mind, Vitruvien.com took shape.
Sr: How different is it from other bespoke brands that sell men’s wear?
EJ: Men generally do not have the patience to shop but yet like to look stylish. With unique measurement profiles, an evolving catalogue of both classic and fashion forward shirts and an unparalleled number of customization options, we have made it easy, effective and quick for men to dress with a few simple the clicks of a button. Moreover, with our online presence we are very accessible and offer shipments across the country. Our price points are also aimed at meeting value-for-money.
SR: I read about your brand- ” 20 collar, cuff and other custom options to choose from”… tell us more about it.
EJ: We carefully evaluate trends across the globe and hand-pick the best styles as options for customizations of the shirts at Vitruvien. The customer gets to pick the kind of collar he wants, the cuff, no. of pockets, etc. We also share tips on the basis of occasion to help you make an informed choice for customizing your shirt. Thus, you can be assured every single time you shop with us, you have a shirt that’s unique and styled by you.
SR: Giving more options is like giving the power in the hands of the consumers for fruitful consumption- am I right?
EJ: Exactly. Consumers are increasingly growing fashion- conscious and aware of global trends, styles, developments with internet offering endless possiblities. We have just tried to amalgamate the two, putting the power of bespoke into the hand of our customers. Instead of getting customers to fit into shirts, our motto is to make shirts that fit them perfectly.
SR: How long does it take for a consumer to customize a shirt on your Vitruvien and get it delivered at his/her home?
EJ: The customization of the shirt can be done under 5 mins. The entire process is online. What’s more, we have a virtual 3-D shirt designer that lets the customer see his choice of collar, cuff, etc. on the shirt he likes in real time. Every shirt of Vitruvien is hand-cut and hand-made. The shirts are dispatched in 5-7 days.
SR: What all can one customize in a shirt on Vitruvien?
EJ: You have the option of customizing the shirt styles in terms of the type of collar, cuff pocket, placket, button, bottom cut and back pleats you want. You can choose from a range of available fabrics, colours and patterns. We would be adding a monogram feature soon. At all times, with each customization you select we make suggestions depending on the ocassion to shop for.
You can also customize the measurements of the shirt – the kind of shirt length, collar size, sleeve length, etc. you are most comfortable wearing.
SR: What do you think are the essentials that an e-commerce website must have in order to cater to the needs of its targeted audience?
EJ: E-commerce is a dynamic space that is ever-evolving. The possibilities are endless and there are innumerable things that can be done. But, what’s most important is for you to get into the skin of the customer and understand what clicks for them. Constant innovation is the key. The biggest advantage of ecommerce is convenience. And this must be explicitly available in every step, from the user interface, to the product offering, to the logistics and right down to the one-on-one responsiveness to customer queries.
SR: What do you think is the USP of your brand? What would attract consumer the most?
EJ: The Fit and the Fashionable Customization. Based on our extensive research on fits, we have carefully curated sizes for men of any built, shape or height. No matter what your size, we will always have it. As for the customization, no two shirts in your wardrobe will be the same. You get to put your personal stamp on each shirt by styling it yourself.
SR: Would you be adding any more products on your portal or will it be limited to shirts?
EJ: Currently our focus is providing the best shirts and customer service. We do have plans of foraying and adding trousers and men’s accessories to our offering in the future.
SR: Last but not the least- one tip to all the men out there who are about to buy a shirt from somewhere?
EJ: Looking good is arriving with a great sense of personal style and individuality is a crucial piece to it. So when in doubt, always go with what you look best in and fits you well rather than what is in trend.