Amid subdued economic sentiment prevailing in the global economy in particular and reflecting their shadows on the Indian economy, private equity players continue to be gung-ho about the lifestyle sector in the country.
Speaking at a panel discussion on the 2nd day of the India Fashion Forum 2016, Deep Mishra, Managing Director, Everstone Capital Advisors pointed out that after 2008, luxury is the only sector which did not have a bad year.
Concurring the same view, VT Bharadwaj, Managing Director and Partner, Sequoia Capital said, “India is an inflexion point where China was in 2008 in terms of per capital income that could trigger consumption and growth.”
In fact panelists were unanimous in their opinion that start-up entrepreneurs should raise fund in the form of equity whether they need it or not before the mood of the private equity players change.
Specifically addressing the budding fashion designers in the audience, Deep Mishra called upon them to set their niche for the investors to chase them.
“Value of a soap inventory may hold value, but lifestyle inventory may be perish in value over six months and hence niche focus is significance to survive,” Deep Mishra said commenting on the risks associated with the lifestyle sector.
“Colors leggings which only offers women’s leggings but they managed to raise funding from Sequoia because of their simple business & sharp focus in it. Make your business simple & stay sharply focused to it,” VT Bharadwaj said.
The panelists called for re-investing in the business every six months drawing a parallel with the top e-commerce portals, who continue to receive funding despite incurring substantial losses.
“Also despite all the focus on e-commerce portals, niche brands like Biba and AND had opened their standalone outlets to connect with their customers and establish themselves as successful brands,” Bharadwaj said.