Campus Sutra targets Rs160 crore sales this fiscal

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New Delhi: Fashion brand Campus Sutra, one of India’s largest online apparel sellers by volume, aims to increase sales to Rs160 crore in the year ending March 2018 from Rs100 crore in the previous year, through online sales and retail stores it plans to open over the next few months.

Campus Sutra, a Bengaluru-based private-label apparel and accessories maker launched in 2013, sells T-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, active wear and bags to a student-centric customer base through e-commerce platforms Myntra, Jabong, Flipkart and Amazon, apart from its own website.

The company, whose sales rose more than eight times in fiscal year 2015, has been growing at a handsome 150% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) on the back of online sales. About 75% of its revenue comes from Flipkart, Amazon and Myntra.

In the next phase of growth, Campus Sutra will enter the offline space through its own and franchise-owned stores, co-founder Aditya Agarwal said in an interview.

The company will launch at least three stores in Bengaluru by September and plans to tie up with franchise partners in other cities.

“This is an experiment for us,” Agarwal said. “We will see the response to the stores in Bengaluru and expand to other cities through the franchise model. The first three stores will be completely owned by us and will be set up with an investment of approximately Rs1 crore on each store.”

The next lot—about 25 franchise stores—is planned for tier-II cities next year, mostly in North India, besides Kota and Indore. The stores will be located in areas with a high concentration of schools and colleges.

“Besides targeting college students, our idea is to take the collection to tier-II cities, where we believe the demand is high but the supply is stifled,” Agarwal said.

Fast-fashion brands are increasingly embracing an omni-channel route for growth.

Roadster, an in-house label by Myntra, recently opened its first franchise store in Bengaluru, while fashion and accessories retailer YepMe—that has 23 stores according to its website—has committed to open 400.

Campus Sutra, a boot-strapped start-up, ships 150,000 articles on average in a month from its 35,000 sq. ft warehouse in Bengaluru which doubles up as its office.

The company clocked sales of Rs100 crore with 35% EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) and a net profit margin of 7-8% in FY17, Agarwal said.

The brand was ranked the largest seller (in terms of units sold across categories) by Flipkart during its Big Billion Days sale in October, and the “selection champion” (largest catalogue holder) for 2016 by Amazon in August last year, Agarwal said.

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According to Agarwal, Campus Sutra raced past contemporaries like Bewakoof.com (launched 2012) and omni-channel player Tantra T-shirts (1997), popular in college circles, due to a tight control on the supply infrastructure.

Typically, brands give specifications to manufacturers who take around two-three months to get a new collection on the line. Campus Sutra employs eight captive units in South India that manufacture exclusively for the brand. Through this and direct involvement with yarn suppliers and dyers, the company is able to deliver the articles, or in other words “mind-to-market”, in seven days, claimed Agarwal.

Campus Sutra competes, in some areas, with Kaaryah, FabAlley and Kalaari Capital-backed StalkBuyLove, among others, all of which are private-label businesses.

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