Myntra CEO Ananth Narayanan has put all speculations to rest and said that he will continue to lead the company’s operations. “I’m very excited about Myntra,” said Ananth Narayanan to Reuters in an interview after reports of his resignation started making the rounds.
Business Today met Narayanan in August this year when he spoke mostly around the innovation DNA of the company and how it is driving growth – in 2017, Myntra totalled $1.2 billion in Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) and was targeting $1.85-1.90 billion this year. It had 18 million monthly active users on an average.
Walmart announced a $16 billion acquisition of Flipkart and its group companies in May and Narayanan stressed Myntra had everything to gain from the acquisition.
“They are going to let us run the company completely independently,” he said, and added: “Our plans will get accelerated. For me the benefits are three fold. One, is the longer-term thinking, second is emphasis on how we grow, third is that we can learn a lot on omni-channel. There is also an opportunity to take some of our private brands global.”
Myntra’s private brands, or its private label business, has emerged as a differentiator and generates more than a quarter of its GMV.
Most e-commerce marketplaces now do private labels but for Myntra it is about two things. Such a business generates higher margins and is also an assortment filler. “There are people searching for something that no brand has. Sometime back, ‘boyfriend jeans’ was a trend and we noticed that people were searching. We were able to quickly produce that in 45 days with Roadster. This also builds exclusivity. Roadster is only available on Myntra and Jabong,” Narayanan said.
Roadster is a casual denim brand, already a $100 million business. There are about 13 odd private labels including Anouk, an edgy ethnic fashion brand that ran a campaign around ‘bold is beautiful’, a lesbian advertisement. Mast & Habour, another casual brand, has a nautical theme. While Moda Rapido, a brand into jeans, tees, and dresses, have no human designers – it is designed and tested by machines.
“We are the first guys to develop an AI-based brand,” Narayanan said. “It is a $20 million business and growing at 200 per cent year-on-year. A machine creates hundreds of variations of a design based on data from our sales, what’s trending on social media. Then a programme determines the ones that could be best selling. We make it and have it live on Myntra in 45 days.”
The machine is not allowed to copy a design, or use any logos that are proprietary.
“We think of innovation in everything we do. That is the culture I am trying to build,” he said.
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