NSRCEL Start-up: FabricMonde
NSRCEL at IIMB has been driving the ideas of innovation and entrepreneurship with their business expertise & knowledge and empowering the entrepreneurs to excel in their endeavours. Fabric Monde is one such company that has stood the test of time & uncertainty and has managed to turn limitations into opportunity. In an exclusive interview with the Founders of Fabric Monde and GOODFACTORCLUB.
Can you please tell us about your association with NSRCEL?
I (Jyothirmayi), along with two friends from IIT Madras (Ranjith) and IIM Lucknow (Hemalatha) co-founded Fabric Monde soon after college. Fabric Monde was originally a B2B platform for procuring fabrics by large brands for the production of clothes. Our team was incubated and funded by NSRCEL with this idea at an early stage. We literally lived out of IIMB and built the start-up with NSRCEL support step-by-step. We have seen significant growth since then and reached 12Cr ARR. That is when COVID-19 hit India and the country went into lockdown. Although initially, we were taken aback, we could re-gain our ground by introducing our B2C arm GOOD FACTOR CLUB and serve the customers with the changing needs in their daily lives.
What is GOOD FACTOR CLUB?
The GoodFactorClub is a community of people who are hopeful and positive about the future. The Factor that gives us the reason to feel hopeful about the Future is ‘Good Factor’. Every product on the platform has this factor. All products on the platform are vetted for their good factor and given a score. This helps the customer to choose carefully vetted products in the increasing clutter of today’s fake seller claims and lower quality standards
What are the products and services offered by GoodFactorClub?
We have launched the portal with 100% Made-In-Bharat Clothing and Home Décor and are expanding the categories soon. We only on-board sellers the create products having a positive impact on the planet and the maker. We are calling these products ‘Collections of Hope’ as these products give us much reason to be hopeful about the future of the planet. Locally-sourced, Maker-friendly, Planet-friendly products is our mantra. You will find Organic, Recycled, Artisanal and Naturally made products on the platform. Every product is verified and scored for a customer to compare the products of different brands and make a purchase.
How did you navigate COVID-19 and re-strategize the business to introduce your B2C arm, GOODFACTORCLUB?
We realised we could re-purpose our existing supply-chain and produce Personal Protective Equipment Kits (PPE) which essentially used the same production processes during lockdown when only essential services were allowed to operate. We took the decision to be agile and survive the testing times in the short term and prepare for the changes in the long term. With this decision, we saw the impact of our work directly as we employed 500 factory workers over 2 months to serve the frontline workers in 10 states across India. When the country got stabilised and lockdown was lifted, we came back to our original business and we saw the clothing sector changed its shape. It was not the same anymore. Companies and Customers have shifted their priorities. Lifestyles of individuals have changed. That is when we closely watched the consumer behaviour trends and introduced GOODFACTORCLUB as a B2C arm of Fabric Monde to address the current and future lifestyle needs of a mindful customer.
What changes do you anticipate to see post-Covid 19 that led you to conceptualize GOODFACTORCLUB?
COVID-19 has shaped the habits and lifestyles of individuals significantly. Shopping behaviours have changed. Lot more customers are comfortable buying online than visiting the nearby store or a shopping mall. Hence, E-commerce has seen a tremendous growth and will continue to grow for a few years. Customers are more conscious about the purchases they make and they want to largely buy products that have positive impact on the nature and the society. Work from Home has led us all to pay attention to more things we need for our homes and this will continue for a while. Customers are looking for reasons to feel-good about even the smaller purchases as they are aware that even a small mindful purchase can impact the maker’s life on the other side of the country
What does the GOODFACTORCLUB stand for ?
The platform we are building is for the community of a mindful consumer who wants to use products that are good for the planet and the maker. Our logo is inspired from five petal flower which in India is considered divine and offered to Gods and people worthy of it. The 5 petals represent Hope, Trust, Happiness, Togetherness and Integrity. You can run through the catalog of carefully curated mindful products at goodfactorclub.com and if you wish to become a long term partner for creating a positive world, you could subscribe to become a member on the portal.
How was the experience at NSRCEL and how has it help?
NSRCEL has stood as a strong support in many phases of our journey. During the lockdown, the mentors have been very helpful in guiding us into understanding new fields and giving us a perspective throughout. Some pitching opportunities for funds were given to entrepreneurs even in the toughest of the times. Their support and belief in us over a period of 3 years we were associated with us was unwavering and that’s what makes NSRCEL special for us.
Can you please tell us how your team members stood strong together during the tough times of COVID-19?
We are a small team of 10 members. Since we lived like a small family unit where open discussions were common practice, we could share the pain of COVID-19 with the team members. My co-founders Hema and Ranjith were a big source of strength as this event of COVID-19 is hard for any one person to handle and navigate through. Our developers and designers worked extra hours and operations team braved the on-ground challenges even during the lockdown. The entire team took the situation as a challenge and took tiny steps to do their bit for all of us to survive and thrive in this time.
What will be your advice to young startups and entrepreneurs?
Don’t waste a crisis. Every crisis brings opportunities as much as the troubles along with it. Greatest start-ups of the world are born in a crisis. Flipkart, slack, Uber all of them have been examples of it. India is getting re-shaped and we are at the juncture. Be observant. Stay focussed on the positives. Don’t waste a crisis. Come out of it stronger. All the best.