It’s the age of technological advancement, it’s the age of agility, of convenience, and above all, of collaborations. The year gone by has not been one of the best for any industry, and particularly for the fashion industry. The retail brands faced a complete halt in the business during the lockdown induced by the pandemic, the manufacturers and suppliers had to stop operations in order to comply with the rules laid out by the Government to contain the spread of the infection.
Well, all that has passed and now it is the time for the industry to revive and cover for the lost business and time. And making the process even smoother for both brands and manufacturers, Gurgaon-based Fashinza, started by IIT Delhi Alumni Pawan Gupta and Abhishek Sharma, has introduced India’s one-of-its-kind B2B platform that helps apparel and fashion brands outsource their manufacturing seamlessly, with complete transparency and reliability and in the process, helps manufacturers in their business revival process.
Pawan Gupta, Founder and CEO of the start-up, elucidates, “Founded in the year 2020, Fashinza is a tech-enabled, agile manufacturing marketplace for fashion brands. Our vision is to democratise the fashion supply chain to make it faster, more flexible and sustainable using technology and machine learning. Fashinza helps brands reduce inventory forecasting errors and produce goods with complete transparency and minimal effort. The global apparel supply chain needs technology intervention for it to become efficient and fair. It needs to be more agile, like for instance, during the pandemic, when the retail orders dived South, we were able to provide a scalable demand-supply matching platform for all PPEs and enabled the production of complete PPE kits by onboarding a greater number of suppliers in the moment of need.”
Fashinza is continuously expanding its network of manufacturers globally and is working with the leading brands across ten countries, with a mission to combine innovation and sustainability.
What’s the hype about?
So what really makes Fashinza a go-to place for manufacturers as well as brands? The B2B platform assumes complete ownership of tasks from design to delivery, from communicating with manufacturers to performing stringent quality checks, taking care of the entire production process which includes procuring fabrics, costing, sampling, production, quality check and delivery, of a wide range of apparel categories such as activewear, casualwear, loungewear, heavy winterwear, denim and ethnicwear for men, women and kids.
It offers an access to extensive catalogue for all apparel categories as well as fabrics and then, the brands can explore hundreds of original design options which they can produce. The brands coming onboard with Fashinza can also customise on their requirement and share their requirement through a techpack or choose from the catalogue of apparel by selecting every detail like fabrics, colours, prints, logos and design of their preference. And the lead time can be as low as 2 weeks and can go up to 60 days depending upon the fabric, sampling requirements, etc.
“Fashinza is a B2B marketplace and any fashion brand – a start-up or a big retail brand – can source apparels through our platform. Brands can use the production platform to streamline the production process with the help of seasoned manufacturers. We charge a commission from the suppliers for providing them various services including technology, financing and efficiency improvements. Our business model is centred around solving technology, efficiency, quality and working capital challenges for suppliers, thereby improving their margins and hence making our margins. We do not charge anything from the brands. Fashinza assumes the responsibility of performing quality checks at multiple points during the production process. During the post-production quality check, our team ensures that the AQL set by the company is diligently met. Quality checks are entirely our responsibility,” maintains Pawan Gupta.
“The start-up by Smartchain Innovation Private Limited, is disrupting the apparel manufacturing process by leveraging in-house SaaS platform which includes Live Dashboard – TNA, Ready Catalog, Communication, Product Comments and Follow-ups, Order Placement and Tracking – all in one integrated platform that provides regular notifications on each style ordered, hence we are completely transparent and traceable with just one click dashboard that can be accessed anytime and anywhere,” Pawan Gupta elaborates.
He then adds, “We are a highly tech-driven company and are building the platform through AI technology which helps us automate supply chain management, bring more transparency and reliability and reduce lead times. A lot of Business Intelligence is applied to optimise the processes on an individual stakeholder’s level. For example, our system would look at the data of suppliers, their capabilities, past product portfolio, raw material inventory and then match the best suppliers. We also use data to break an order across suppliers to achieve fastest turnaround time.”
The reach and the spread
A tech-enabled manufacturing company supported by 80 ethical and sustainable partner factories in India, Bangladesh and Vietnam and backed by leading VCs – Elevation Capital and Accel Partner, Fashinza boasts of a network of cloud-connected factories which provide complete transparency and visibility for the overall production process.
“Our goal is to solve the global supply chain challenges by combining technology with sustainability. We have a network of 250+ manufacturers and we’re growing everyday. Leading brands from the USA, Mexico, Canada, UAE, UK, India and Singapore love and trust our services. Talking about the manufacturer onboarding process, every manufacturer is required to fill up a form that captures upto 30 data points across their capabilities, capacities, social, environmental and labour compliances. Our team also conducts an on-field visit to ensure all the information provided is correct and also verifies the certifications available. Once all these data points are captured and entered into the system, the system starts assigning them sampling orders to validate their performance and slowly the quantity assigned to them is increased. All the orders you place with Fashinza’s network of suppliers are updated in real-time on your online FZ dashboard. You can also invite your team members and other suppliers who are not part of Fashinza platform as well,” explains Pawan Gupta.
Few of the many clients of Fashinza include Forever21, Spencer’s, Reliance, Bewakoof.com, Noon.com, The Souled Store, Clovia, Libas, among other brands across 10 countries. Furthermore, the firm is aiming to grow continuously and there obviously have been advantages for the brands onboarding the platform.
Besides working with ethical factories across different product capabilities and price ranges, Fashinza gives the flexibility on MOQ. Elaborating on the importance of low MOQ, Pawan Gupta says, “We understand that brands look for low MOQs because that helps them to experiment and plan their inventory better without having to deal with the risks of deadstock. One of our objectives is to help new or existing brands to scale new collections without any risk and create a better market; keeping the same in mind, we allow brands to place orders with low MOQs. Such experimentation allows brands to find bestsellers quickly, increase sales at full price and reduce any deadstock.”
Apparel industry has undergone multiple shifts over the past decade with the rise of direct to consumer brands; even the advent of fast fashion has pushed brands and retail firms to be faster and agile and Fashinza is offering just what is needed right now. The start-up has received great response from the industry so far. It has recently secured a seed funding of US $ 2.6 million which is being mostly spent on building team and tech-enabled platform for smoother experience.
“The problems that we are solving have troubled the industry for long. The stakeholders were clearly exhausted having to deal with supply chain issues, long TAT, unreliable delivery, high MOQs, lack of transparency and unproductive partnerships. We offer them the solution to all of their problems through a single platform, saving them time and effort. Previously, they could never imagine that manufacturing and sourcing could be so hassle-free, but with over 200 cloud connected factories, we’ve made that possible and we are quite overwhelmed with the love and appreciation we have been receiving from our clients,” says the elated Co-founder.