Look hard enough and you can always find a need left unserviced. Even though the e-commerce giants are optimising industrial scale delivery and sales, personalised attention is still hard to provide at that scale. This is what Darziwala, a new bespoke tailoring service, aims to provide. Alvin Chettiar (co-founder) tells the story of the venture.

Who is the team behind Darziwala and how did the idea come to be?

The idea came when I (Alvin Chettiar – the self-taught engineer) and my Co-Founder (Jayesh Karvir) who has a business background were working together. We have had a strong and healthy partnership all these years. Jayesh then used to sell surplus shirts to other colleagues. There, we found out that everyone wanted a personal fit. We did some random surveys & found out that people who buy from online retailers, but would not mine if they get a personalised fit at the same cost. We thought the pain point wasn’t of that importance, but we wanted to test the idea.

So, we decided to do an MVP in order to see some traction. We were surprised to see almost 150 signups in 15 days, further converting 14 of them to paying customers. So, we went with this idea of online bespoke tailor and Darziwala.com was born.

Who is your target consumer and what is the need that you’re servicing?

When we started, we thought our target audience is everyone, but as we started getting more orders we could categorize them as women who are independent & men who are very keen about their fashion. The customers that we have are not just looking for a perfect fit, but they also want these services given to them at their doorsteps and at a convenient time.

Do you have in-house tailors?

We currently have 6 in-house tailors and growing. All our tailors have different skills. Some are masters of traditional wear and some for western and even for suits. We do have some tie-ups with other garment manufacturers, who help us get the stitching done during peak seasons like Wedding, Christmas, etc.

How does this work operationally, since sending specialised people to take measurements and the home delivery seems to be a tricky task to be done in a cost-effective manner?

When we say personalised or customised clothing, we mean giving that extra care to each customer & his order. Our process is pretty simple:
Book an Appointment at www.darziwala.com
Our Specialised Executive visits your place & takes measurements
Get an order delivered to your doorsteps

However, in order to get the above process cost-effective, we try and get the maximum inputs from the customer’s first order or visit. This helps us to get a better idea about the customer likes and preferences, which helps us in our future orders. With regards to home delivery, we haven’t tied up with any third party delivery service till now.

How has the growth been since launch and what are the future plans?

We believe in lean startup and therefore try to progress by adding one feature at a time. We are currently focusing only on catering to Mumbai & Navi Mumbai cities and seeing a good response. We’re now getting more orders by referrals therefore we’re coming up with a referral program. Also, we do plan to expand to other cities by next year, but currently only focused on Mumbai and Navi Mumbai cities.

What is the Donate & Earn service?

We had a friend who was helping an NGO and we wanted to help him for the same. We tried to ask our customers whether they would like to donate their clothes for a good cause. Most of the customers did donate their clothes. We then went ahead and partnered with an NGO – Helping Hand Foundation and created a service called “Donate & Earn”. With this service we try to give benefit to our customers as well. Whenever customers donate their clothes they receive a 10% discount for their future Darziwala orders. You can do the same at: https://www.darziwala.com/donate-and-earn

What is your one tip for aspiring entrepreneurs?

There was an advice given in a Stanford University video and I would like to advice the same. If you want to be rich, then please don’t go for a startup. You need to build a startup only if you’re solving a problem. Further there are many good resources for startups like withStartups, Inc., etc., do follow them, but don’t just follow them, also execute what you learn from these resources. Knowing is important, but executing & implementing is more important for a startup.

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