The word Start-Up is very complicated in itself. It encompasses ideation, hit and trial, execution and most importantly, it puts you in a state where you know THIS WILL WORK but what you don’t know is-HOW WILL THIS WORK?
You can hence, refer to this blog as a step by step guide to the journey of a startup or read it as a story which tells the tale of two fashion-based entrepreneuring men who started a start-up in 2019 in the Indian Fashion Industry– I Knock Fashion.
The Founders Of I Knock Fashion
Mr. Imran Ahmed (Founder & CMD, Ellora Boarding PVT LTD, I Knock Fashion)
Director at ElloRa Creations PVT LTD, a pioneer export house based out of India that manufactures high-end fashion for UK based brands. With an experience in the fashion export business of more than 12 years, Mr. Ahmed felt that there is a lack of awareness and publicity about the fashion of India and the Indian fashion industry. His idea was to bring to light the indigenous fashion sense, the artisan’s workmanship, and the creativity of the Indian fashion designers to the international world.
Mr. Varun Loht (Co-Founder & CEO, Ellora Boarding PVT LTD, I Knock Fashion)
A fashion designer with a collaborative label VAR-SHI, Mr. Loht has showcased VAR-SHI’s collection at the Alta Moda, Rome. An entrepreneur in crafting, he is also partners at the SHI CAFE and an event organizing enterprise Enthralling Entertainment Events. Mr. Loht who has worked closely with the fashion industry both within and outside India desired to create a common platform that would allow the emerging fashion designers and fashion & beauty brands to position themselves in the market.
”Things that annoy me end up fueling my ideas” – Josh James
Somewhere Josh James is BANG ON RIGHT!. The foundation of I Knock Fashion came from the missing link of the Indian Fashion industry that annoyed both the founders.
As the founders belonged to the same industry, they were acquaintances meeting at common event grounds. Discussing how India is considered as a manufacturing base but not truly recognized as a fashion market was the ignition of I Knock Fashion’s existence.
After monitoring the start up’s scalability, market validation, business model and design, I knock Fashion’s office was set up at Okhla Industrial Area, New Delhi, India.
An online fashion and beauty media resource and consumer behavior research organization, www.iknockfashion.com was preparing to set foot into the fashion industry across the globe.
How did we start a startup?- The Start-Up Journey of I Knock Fashion In The Indian Fashion Industry
The Launch of the website
Sitting at the office, we were eagerly waiting for a mail to pop onto our mailers, checking every hour waiting for approval by the veteran designer of the Indian fashion industry Anju Modi.
Let’s go two months prior to the month of May- As Mr. Imran Ahmed was an established name in the industry the founders decided to understand the intensities, loopholes, and expectations of and from this industry through the eyes of the students who are studying fashion in India.
Hence, he would visit fashion colleges as a guest lecturer to explain the business aspect of fashion to the students, also telling them about the new online fashion media and resource I Knock Fashion.
This gave insights and goals to the CEO and built the most trending and impactful part of www.iknockfashion.com – BLOGS.
While they were asked to follow and refer to the Instagram page @iknockfashionofficial, the work was on full throttle at the office for the launch.
Yes, the Instagram page was built much before the launch to create a pre – buzz. I Knock Fashion was launched on the 27th of May 2019 and about 3 weeks prior to the launch Mr. Varun Loht decided to bring the website out with an established name of the Indian Fashion Industry in order to provide greater authenticity to this online fashion media platform.
With Mr. Varun Loht- If he wants something, HE WANTS IT! the maneuver, find ways all he wants to hear is that WE HAVE IT!
Networking and connecting with so many established designers seemed like a waste of effort until Ms. Anju Modi decided to give it a thought and act on the proposal sent by I Knock Fashion. Launch time was decided to be 6 pm, and the I Knock Fashion team was gazing at their monitors awaiting the acknowledgment to publish the journey, logo, and photographs of the Indian Fashion Industry expert fashion designer Anju Modi.
https://www.iknockfashion.com/category/saturday/page/2/, go through the link, a glance of it will tell you what finally happened.
THANK YOU ANJU MODI
Following Months Of The Start-Up Journey
June – July- August The Summer/ Monsoon Season
A Team Is The Armour Of An Organization- Stepping further the challenging part was to build a team. As the work expands so does the need for like-minded hands. Day in and day out both Varun and Imran got involved in taking interviews to build the right team.
June and July took us to explore another very important aspect of fashion – BEAUTY.
https://www.iknockfashion.com/beauty/ was introduced in the month of July to satiate the thirst of the beauty lovers.
Apart from this, another important sector CAREER was being worked upon side by side to bridge the gap between the established designers and the students looking for an opportunity to explore fashion.
As all startups go through their success and failures- So did we, we had career pulled out of the website a few months later.
About building a team, it is a full-time task to get people under the same umbrella as yours. An incidence that changed the vision of the organization fell between the monsoon months – Our CEO called for a small meet telling us his further plans, we had to now take a leap, get in contact with the best of the fashion events cover them, publish about them and further prove our authenticity and reach to our already visiting users.
The Fashion Design Council of India was organizing a fashion week – India Couture Week. We managed to get media invites for the same but WE DID NOT HAVE A PHOTOGRAPHER and the event was just 1 day away. Hurrying up we hired a fresher the same day of the event. – One of the very few everyday problems of I Knock Fashion.
FDCI was just the beginning we bagged Lakme Fashion Week, RITU KUMAR, Gaurang, Suket Dhir, Samant Chauhan, Ruchika Sachdeva and many many more after that.
September – October- November The Winter Season
The day everything fell silent- The approaching winter got along with it the dry winds of providing value to brands in exchange for monetary benefits.
It isn’t as easy as it sounds. When you introduce a new perspective in the consumer market the first response is always RESISTANCE.
A part of our team got involved in calling fashion and beauty brands, setting meetings with them, testing the waters of the market and much more.
Victory did not come by until the end of November when an indigenous Jaipur brand decided to explore our platform to advertise. Further on, the analysis by Mr. Varun Loht about the lack of a branding platform was proven to be right and I Knock Fashion as visualized earlier by both the founders, became the platform to speak and talk on behalf of these brands.
Today we position upcoming, emerging and established labels on the website www.iknockfashion.com and Instagram @iknockfashionofficial through In blog placements, campaign for consumer research, data whatsapping, banner placement, etc.
We have brands associated with us from across India- Maharashtra, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujrat, Hyderabad are a few states where we have already set foot in.
Between the months of September- December the VIDEO section was introduced to spice up the fashion game for those looking for an audiovisual impact. Designers, MUA’s, Exhibitors were contacted and interviewed.
Our 2019 journey thus opened various opportunities for I Knock Fashion that is being worked upon in 2020 too.
Team, I Knock Fashion
‘Day in and day out both Varun and Imran got involved in taking interviews to build the right team.’
Your vibe attracts your tribe- this is taken very seriously here.
”We will wait, but get the right person” is what Mr. Imran Ahmed said while we were building the team. I KNOCK FASHION was started by just two members the founders themselves, later on involving freelancers and other permanent members. Today, we are a team of 16 people.
We have had the off tribe people too and those have not stuck by for more than a month with us. A small IKF family, what you might like the best is that every time someone is at the coffee corner, you will hear a sound ”COFFEE ANYONE??” and the yes or no then echoes through the floor.
Besides this team, we associated with a legal and financial advisory outside the work area too.
Lessons Learnt From The 2019 Startup Journey
- EVERYTHING DOESN’T WORK IN YOUR FAVOR
A start-up is a start-up for a reason, there isn’t much you know about the market. Things won’t always work in your favor hence, always have a motivational speaker and a plan B ready. At I Knock Fashion, Career and Knock were pulled out of the website in order to focus on other areas. But in 2020, the knock section is being reintroduced in the FEATURE page.
- YOU WILL MAKE MISTAKES
One can’t always be perfect, a saree curation brand desired to advertise through I Knock Fashion, but the team unintentionally became a party to a situation which led the client to show worry and mistrust. The calm and composed CMD & CEO decided to refund the total amount and vouched for value over money.
- TOO MUCH WORK, LESS HANDS
Mr. Varun Loht often says ‘ That’s the fun of a start-up’, any startup is a place for’ Jack of all, master of none’. Initially, the immense workload is shared between the innocent and gullible members of the team, but there is a lot that one can gain it.
- FINANCIAL ISSUES
A common problem with startups is finances, hence if you feel the need (which you will know in advance), it is suggested that you start exploring to gain financial support either through banks or investors.
In the month of November, the founders got an opportunity to meet with Mr. Anirudh Dharmani for investment in the organization. Out of the 400 who had filed, I Knock Fashion was chosen in the fortunate 4. This meeting was an eye-opener and brought many changes in the course of action.
Any new concept would take time to be accepted by the consumers or audience. At I Knock Fashion, we set our expectations high but goals are short-lived and mostly fulfilled.
What keeps us going?
You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone
- WORK CULTURE
I Knock Fashion’s office will see it’s rainy days probably once in a month. The culture and environment are self-motivated where everyone is free to share their ideas.
- CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES
With fashion and beauty expanding its wings in the Indian market, a lot of opportunities lie in the fashion and beauty sector. Apart from the opportunities, the challenges we face as a startup keeps our mind and toes working.
Standing anywhere in the office of I Knock Fashion, one would often here Mr. Varun Loht say ‘’This is a million-dollar start-up’’, the belief in a project can make you work wonders by exploring and pushing yours limits to achieve targets.
Our Associations And Reach
While writing the blog Mr, Varun Loht adamantly said, ”Let it be to build transparency between us and the reader.” Hence below are the statistics of the website shown as they stand in the year 2019.
|Sub- Category||May 2019- August 2019||September 2019-December 2019|
Current Total users gained in the year 2019:
New Users- 37,669
Demographics and Geographic
We are currently in 110 countries across the globe with a maximum viewership in India.
Designers/ Events – Interviews, Stories And News
We have since inception brought news and stories directly from the source in order to ensure its authenticity. Our associations with the designers and PR’s have enabled us to stand up to our goal of being an authentic source of fashion and beauty.
|Designers and news covered||PR Associations|
|Sulakshna Monga||PR Pundit|
|Nitin Bal Chauhan||Dipublicrelation|
|Rina Dhaka||Perfect Relations|
|Reynu Taandon||Elevate Promotions|
|Samant Chauhan||EnRight PR|
|Suket Dhir||Sky Communications|
|Gaurav Jai Gupta|
|Label Ritu Kumar|
|The Body Shop|
|Vogue Wedding Show|
|Lakme Fashion Week|
What you should expect from I Knock Fashion in 2020?
- Entering into the new decade, I Knock Fashion plans to go international focusing mainly on India along with bringing to its reader’s authentic information from the global world of fashion and beauty too.
- A goal set for us is also to create our own market research sample size and reveal analysis of the research in the field of fashion and beauty to our subscribers.
- The highlight of 2020 will be ‘I-SHOP’ an exclusive fashion and beauty e-commerce, where everything would be made available under one platform. It comes with some amazing features, stay tuned and follow us on Instagram to know more about it.
We have tried to summarize our journey and statistics in this blog with the aim to maintain transparency and trust between the user, client and the organization. You can contact us at +91-7277774776 or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details. Subscribe to I Knock Fashion to DISCOVER THE FUTURE OF FASHION AND BEAUTY.