Founders Dhruv and Udit Toshniwal hail from a family with over 40 years of experience in the Indian textile export industry. Having worked with some of the largest global brands such as Uniqlo, Massimo Dutti, Marks & Spencer, Levi Strauss & Co, Ralph Lauren and Hugo Boss, they know what it takes to deliver the highest quality product to consumers. The duo have successfully leveraged this knowledge to launch The Pant Project, which revolutionises the retail of pants with their laser focus on ‘fit, fabric and functionality’.
Slaying it in style
“We started The Pant Project in October 2020 as a purely digital brand basis our own website www.pantproject.com, and in the last 6-8 months, we have already served over 5,000 customers. We’re serving customers right from Lakshadweep to Nagaland to the interiors of Tier-I and Tier-II cities in India. Our customers range from millennials, working professionals to their parents. We are happy to serve such a varied group. However, we didn’t except such traction in such a short time. But given the response and recognition it is clear that we are catering to a very big need gap in the market,” Dhruv Toshniwal, Founder, The Pant Project mentions.
Udit Toshniwal, Co-founder, The Pant Project, in order to elaborate their market strategy and how they have been able to create a strong foothold in the market, states that there was one thing they knew from the beginning that the apparel domain is a fairly crowded space and they wanted to do something highly different. “From the first day, we focused on custom-made pants for men. We had services like monograms so that you can add the initials of your name, free alterations. And I really feel that it’s the service and personalisation element that’s really helped us capture the customers,” Udit adds.
“We have always thought of having an omnichannel presence, so in the long term a physical outlet where customers can touch and feel our product is due. But given the pandemic and the challenges of a physical store, we want to be a purely digital brand for a while now. I think somewhere down the line, we’ll be looking at a mix of the digital and physical platforms. Customers have been hesitant before their first digital experience and before they placed their first order with us. But after the first time, they realise how seamless and easy it is and they also have the security of free alteration. Reordering digitally is so easy that even if we do have a physical store, I think most customers will choose to order digitally even if they place their first order from the store,” Dhruv further adds.
The Pant Project goes even further, and offers clients a range of advanced customisations to choose from, with choices to add pleats on the front panel, extended tabs on the waistband, roll-ups on the hem, a button or hook fastening mechanism, and even free monogramming, guaranteeing a unique product that’s made just for you – every single time.
As a customer, you go to The Pant Project website, go through the style and make a selection. You choose your inseam length. They have a size guide that helps customers find their right size, so you can choose where you wear your pants; there are different fits for low, mid and high rise, and you can also use your fit – slim, tapered or relaxed. Once you’ve done this, you can choose other customisations like monogramming, buttons and also add pleats. After receiving the order, the brand will custom make each pair of pants. That’s why it takes them 10-14 days to deliver the pants. This is a fairly simple process of ordering, wherein the whole craft and complicated work happens in the backend and each piece is made with dollops of attention and precision.
The best part is, all the customer data and their measurements or customisation requests are stored with the brand. This makes reordering a fuss-free and easy process. Also, in case of alteration, The Pant Project will pick up the pants from your home, alter them and get them back to you at no additional cost. Dhruv mentions, “It’s hard for men to find pants that fit them well at an affordable price point, I started the company because of this reason. I’d say we do have some percentage of women who place orders for men, but the majority of orders are placed by men themselves. And they love the seamless experience we offer.”
Offering luxury on a budget
Bringing ahead the legacy of Banswara Syntex Ltd., Udit and Dhruv not only sharpened and made the luxury manufacturing experience an easy to opt for alternative for the normal consumer with The Pant Project, but also having this vertically integrated supply chain allows them to offer better customisations, quality of fabric and pricing. “Also we don’t have any physical stores at the moment so we can invest more in the product and still maintain a price point similar to off the rack stores. And the last thing is that we have been really fortunate to have a high repeat rate from customers. Maybe we are not making the highest margin per pant, but we believe we’re adding value to a customer. So, we’re really looking to have a long-term relationship with each customer,” Dhruv informs.
When talking about the role technology played in their business, Udit says, “The first thing we did is focus on a clean user experience and a seamless interface on the website and tried to provide a curated collection where it’s extremely easy for clients to navigate through the different types of pants we offer and also checkout in the least number of clicks possible. And in terms of novel technology innovations, we are constantly thinking of how we can make the clients find their best size. I think it’s still early days for us, but we’re looking for ways to solve the sizing problem. Also, we’ve been working from home for the last year and a half, so our entire company is GSuite integrated, and out platform is Shopify powered and we have a lot of customer data on Shopify. And I think the ability to work remotely, to serve our customers remotely is something that will stay.”
Being a bootstrapped company, which has the legacy of their family’s textile business to their credit, the founders are right now focusing on product innovation and they excitedly informed that within a month they will be launching their waterproof pants, highlighting a unique fabric innovation. Not only will the pants stand out in style but will be an all-weather, highly functional and performance-oriented piece of garment.