Are you not satisfied with your dressing sense and do not realize what clothes suit you the best? Your wardrobe is replete with a plethora of clothes, but you still feel you don’t have anything appropriate to wear? I’m certain many of us can relate to this predicament. We often wear clothes without giving due consideration to aspects like body type, skin colour and style preferences.
Voonik is a site that helps you to look your best by recommending what kind of clothes and accessories would go well together. It also gives daily recommendations on what to wear from your personal wardrobe. We got a chance to have a chit-chat session with Mr. Sujayath Ali, CEO & co-founder of Voonik. Read out what he has to say:
Could you shed light on your life before Voonik? What was your previous work?
Prior to Voonik, I was a VP at Visa heading their eCommerce checkout product. Prior to Visa, I spent more than 7 years at Amazon.com as a product manager. I started my life as a software engineer and have my MBA from ISB, Hyderabad.
What motivated this Startup? And what is the legend behind its name?
Starting their own company is a dream for all the techies. And “unable to dress well” was a personal problem for me and I couldn’t find any existing solution to address that. So, I left my job to solve this problem.
“Voonik” is a play on the word “unique”. The core value proposition for Voonik is in getting you to find your unique style statement and hence we wanted our brand name to be a play on that word.
What differentiates Voonik from the rest?
Voonik is India’s first in many aspects. We are India’s first personal shopping assistant that recommends clothing based on a user’s body type and style preferences. We are India’s first stylist-hand-picked store where each item is handpicked by the stylist keeping the user in mind. And best of all, we are all online and completely free.
How does the company generate revenue?
The services are free for consumers. We take 10% to 20% commissions from merchants for the purchases that happen through our website.
What challenges have you faced in your entrepreneurial journey? What has been the toughest decision you had to make lately, if any?
Primarily, there is a negative sentiment around eCommerce-related startups in India. I strongly believe this is the right time for our idea but the general misconception is that it is not. This has not hurt us yet but might play a role when we raise our funding. However, I am glad that we have achieved enough traction to prove the nay-sayers wrong.
I make all the decisions based on data and don’t allow myself to get attached to anything. So no decision seems tough, even in retrospect.
What are your plans for promoting Voonik? Also, do you have any tie-ups?
We are primarily relying on Facebook to amplify word of mouth and to generate awareness. We are also creating few press articles to get the word out. We have started few tie-ups. For example, we have tied up with a well-known fitness centre franchise to help their members improve their clothing and grooming through Voonik.
What more do you wish to include to take Voonik to the next level?
Voonik, as a product, still has leaps and bounds to go, to achieve its mission of making a common-man fashionable. I believe that building a remarkable product is all we need to do to take Voonik to next level and that’s what we are heads-down focused on.
Finally, what advice would you like to give to other entrepreneurs?
Startup is nothing but a bunch of experiments. Most of the ideas fail. The key is to try out a large number of experiments, pick the successful ones (through unbiased metrics), and double down on them. Some experiments need time and volume; recognise them and experiment accordingly.
The entire process takes place within a fraction of seconds. All you needs to do is, sign up and complete a 30-second style quiz about yourself. The site will then recommend outfits that suit you and answer all your style related queries. You can even buy items that you find interesting and get it delivered at your doorstep!
Want to discover your own unique style statement? Visit their website! Voonik