Madura’s claims to become largest e-tail venture of an offline player in India

The go to place of the tech firms in Bengaluru, a nondescript three story building, where a group of around 100 people that includes 35 engineers discuss more about analytics and cloud technology than advertising and catwalk, is not a place one would identify with a fashion powerhousessuch as Lifestyle and Madura Fashion.

Trendin will be the next biggest growth driver for India’s largest clothing offline store, which is its e-commerce branch. Within a year of its start, sales of Trendin have matched those of 30 of its offline branded stores or nearly 1% of Madura’s turnover.

Kumar Mangalam Birla’s fashion flagship claims that Trendin run by a completely independent management team and partnership with many tech startups and having dedicated warehousesis the biggest e-commerce market place for any brick and mortar retailer in Inida.

The head of e-commerce at Madura, which has over half a dozen marquee brands including Allen Solly, Van Heusen and Louis Philippe, Mr. Shivanandan Pare said that “The engineering group of Trendin has built the platform, which is unlike any other brick-and-mortar firms setting up in online commerce market place and also the Madura’s Trendin has built its technology in house”.

“This gives us great agility and flexibility.” Before joining Madura, Pare, 41, was instrumental in reshaping Reliance’s BigAdda by changing the social networking site into an online commerce venture 5 years ago. The stakes are much higher now as there are strong rivals that includes Amazon and Flipkart in the e-commerce markets pace and his merchandise portfolio is limited to own brands

The management graduate and an engineer, Mr. Pare said that “The mandate is very clear – Trendin should be Madura customer’s choice online. We have wide variety of merchandize compared to other e-commerce market spaces and even our own offline store”.
Market share gains by online players, strategies of several traditional offline retailers that include Future Group, Tatas and Reliance now turning into omnichannel retail, which requires processes to support customers shopping both online and in-stores and IT systems.

For Birlas, it is no different. The chief executive officer at retail consultancy Third Eyesight, Mr.Devangshu Dutta said that Trendin’s big challenge is to attract enough customers to its website.He said “Online e-commerce space, in the last 3 years, was driven by discounting and deals. Such a platform has an inherent strength of service and product mix, which is now getting important.”

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