At Leather And You they are passionate about leathers. This passion has led them to offer a platform to thousands of leather artisans and brands across the world who believes in making fashion products with genuine leather. LeatherAndYou is a Delhi based multi brand online mega store dedicated only for genuine leather fashion products promising to offers customers the largest range of genuine leather products in India and all across the globe and to sellers, a platform to promote their brands in a transparent manner. We had a conversation with Rohit. Let’s see what they’re up to?
What led to the idea to commence ecommerce market place— ‘Leather and You’, and when are your expected to launch your dream venture?
The Idea was conceived during an informal discussion with my friend at his office (who is a small scale leather products manufacturer) when I asked him if there was some kind of job where I could use my skills suitable to the industry and groom myself simultaneously. The conversation moved on further with me asking him his marketing plans and how he plans to reach out to customers to which he responded with conventional methods of doing things that were being followed in the industry for several years. Through subsequent research post this discussion I found that there was not a single dedicated channel/online platform for branded leather products be it the Indian market or the global.
I realized at this point the need to create a platform where in people could buy genuine leather products without worrying about it being fake. Customers go through a painful experience of hoping from website to another in the hope of finding quality product at best prices. This is where I found the opportunity and thus came to the conclusion that creating a platform like Leather and You would eradicate this pain point of customers. Simultaneously it is would also overcome the pain of local brands to sell their products with ease and get the much needed visibility in the market. JUX-PUX: Unfolding Beverage Industry In India
Give us an overview of your business and the services you offer.
Our mission is: One Industry. One Platform. Keeping this in mind we have a vision to digitalize the whole industry across the globe. We will be offering a b2c and b2b solution to the industry.
Leatherandyou.com is world’s 1st multi-brand online market place (Platform) dedicated for only genuine leather products. Customers will be able to search for branded, custom designed and local made products under one roof without giving a second thought about the product being fake (as we say if its leatherandyou.com it will be genuine) thus building the blind faith for the website regarding it services. Our plan is to stretch our wings in b2b market as well to elevate the leather market as a whole.
Tell us about your engagement with ecommerce.
This is our 1st business venture, me and my partner both are non-business, non-technical background guys with one same vision. Vision to eradicate the issue of buying or selling genuine leather products and services to eventually become Google of global leather industry. This platform helps to deem your Emotions – The Wall And Us!
What is the experience and value you intend to bring to your customers? Also, who are your biggest clients?
Talking About experience, we want to build trust that no matter what, if you are looking at a product on our website it surely is leather and none other (we have no place for fake). For us there is no such thing as biggest client. Every person who is visiting us (virtually) is of equal importance. We can’t segregate on the basis of, “who is giving more business” that will be ethically wrong on our end. Every person who believes in us and have faith, “Yes they are selling genuine quality product,” is our biggest client.
You said your vision is to evolve as World’s first multi brand e-commerce market place for genuine leather products. What innovative technologies and approaches have you adopted that will set apart Leather and You from other players?
Technology changes every now and then and we will be upgrading with time to have the most simple user friendly website, what doesn’t change is the approach towards product and people who are buying it. We are not doing anything new when it comes to developing an ecommerce website but what’s new on our ecommerce is: its a dedicated platform to one line of products i.e. leather (now that’s New). I have been a victim of fake leather product and I don’t want other people to go through the same. We will be selling what we are saying. Simple.
How do you handle packaging? What is your process and what packaging materials would you use to package your goods?
Initially we will be going through the general packaging system (Poly delivery bags) but we have plan to go for alternative resources where we can save the environment by not delivering in plastic polybags or even paper bags. We see how polyutherine is changing the world’s ecology, we don’t want to be a part of it in the long run.
Which of your products you expect to have highest returns?
As of now we can’t say what products will have highest returns but if we go by the data of the industry then in the 95% of domestic products 45% is led by Footwear industry. So we expect that the footwear is going to be the hot segment on our website. But you never know people haven’t seen variety of leather products under one roof, may be once they see what we have to offer the scenario might change.
Do you think with marketplaces looking to concentrate on rural consumers, returns will reduce?
Returns generally happen when a consumer is not satisfied with the product, can be any attribute of the product or is the mistake by venture by sending wrong products. At leatherandyou.com we will assure that the product delivered to the consumer is accurate as per his order and the only reason that he should be filing return should be the case when he doesn’t like the product after having it in hand. For quality we will make sure that it is of the set standard that we follow.
Are you approaching investors to invest in your firm? Also has any other deal been finalized or is close to finalization?
How do you think the GST is going to impact the Indian logistics market and to your firm?
The GST in Indian logistic market would reduce the logistics cost involved as well as the time involved to deliver a product as lesser taxes in terms of state entry taxes and other forms of specific state taxes has been merged or removed under the new GST tax regime. Hence the same would be reflected not only for our firm but also for the ecommerce industry as whole especially with regards to dropship business module.
How much emphasis do you place on traditional marketing and how much is social media?
1st of all we need to define what is marketing. It’s nothing more than being there in the market and telling people that we exist. With the kind of approach we have towards customer defines our (brands) place in their heart and mind. One needs to understand that people are not fools and every penny has its cost, masking the negative things and marketing only positives is no way to transcend in this consumer universe, many marketing campaign drastically failed online/offline because of depicting only the positives, we need to understand that positive and negative co-exist but maintaining the balance is the real challenge. Basic Five Fundamentals for Growing Your Startup
Our emphasis will be to disseminate the information that one can buy genuine leather products through our website and whatever mediums suits the best to depict the same will be the path to knowledge (marketing).
How do you set yourself apart from the crowd in an over saturated ecommerce industry?
E-commerce industry in India is coming to saturation point because the players want to become giant players without working on their resources. Most of the e-commerce platforms are selling anything and everything (which of course is difficult to manage) making the whole process go hay-wire (lacking authenticity/quality analysis of products). On the other hand leatherandyou.com is a segment based e-commerce platform focusing on leather products only (which is also our key feature) also, assuring people about the genuineness of the products as many of the top e-commerce platforms are selling fake leather (PU) products in the name of genuine leather products. Also with lack of awareness about the genuine leather products consumer end up paying for fake products at real prices.
What’s been one of the biggest challenges along the way?
To find the right people at right time with right energy.
How would you describe the market for luxury products in India? What do you expect from the future?
India is the future for many industries as the market is budding with many people especially the youth being empowered with more buying power, India surely is a place to invest in luxury goods. You couldn’t have thought of getting a Mercedes in 90’s but today you can own one just by paying installments which wasn’t the case before. Markets are molding their products as per needs of the consumers to reach maximum consumer base.
What are the key challenges faced by the domestic leather industry?
It is a highly unorganized revenue generating industry. Digitalization in this industry is close to 1%-2% of the overall industry yet it’s a multi-billion dollar industry.
The union government has approved establishment of a mega leather cluster recently, what are your thoughts on it?
The decision of the Union Government is welcoming as it will escalate the current growth rate of the industry. We hope that this step will also empower small-medium manufacturers and the existing ecosystem of the industry.
Your message and advice to budding entrepreneurs, more precisely startups who have just ventured in the ecommerce segment.