Challenges and opportunities in online Clothing, Footwear and Accessories (CAF) Industry: Panel Discussion


Panel discussion on challenges and opportunities in online clothing footwear and accessories industry in India, at Internet Retail Expo 2013. This panel discussion was moderated by Harminder Sahni, Managing Director, Wazir Advisors and other panelist included Aashish Puri, Co-founder and COO, Rock.in; Gobind Pahwa, Vice Chairman, Shopnineteen.com and Shyam Kamadolli, Director, Fidelity growth Partners India.

If we look at it two years ago, many people would have said no way for selling apparel online, people want the touch and feel, and then only people would buy; but now we have all been proven wrong as people do buy online. Apparel in India is still a small category and online transaction  is only 8%, internationally it is 18% but still there is a lot of potential. But big challenge is how to make money. Apparel market in India is expected to grow even faster than it has grown in last 10-15 years. There are gross margins, everyone wants to look fashionable, people want to buy online, and this makes online retailer optimistic about apparel market.

  • Are there challenges in this particular category, as a lot of women like to try out and see fitting in case of women apparel?
  • In case of international brands in India, how online companies manage complexities of size, etc?
  • From an investor’s point of you, CAF being largest category internationally, in the Indian context do you see this as an opportunity for online business as compared to other categories?
  • Is multi-channel strategy a better way to go?
  • How companies engage customers when then don’t have shops in front of customers?
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