There are many textile companies across India that cater to bulk orders from customers, but not many cater to smaller quantities of fabrics.
Online marketplace Fabcurate has set out to solve this problem. Started in July 2020, the Surat-headquartered startup lets customers source any kind of design on a fabric regardless of the quantity.
“We used to get constant enquiries from design students and boutique owners for a particular design on a fabric, but were unable to source as the required quantity was low,” says Sanjay Desai, Director, Fabcurate.
This led Sanjay to think about starting a venture where he could fulfil the demand for customers looking for these kinds of fabrics. Fabcurate is a one-stop-shop online platform where one can place an order for a fabric of any design, which could start as low as one meter, going up to 1,000 meters.
Sanjay is also a director at True Colors Impex, one of the leading digital textile printing companies in the country that provides fabrics in large quantities.
According to Sanjay, customers who were seeking lesser quantity fabrics were not able to get the fabric as well as the design they desired.
Sensing a demand from such customers, Fabcurate started to curate designs running into lakhs from different parts of the country where any prospective buyer can choose.
“Our proposition was very simple. We give them the design option or they can give us their own designs and we will print,” says Sanjay.
For Fabcurate, the added advantage in this regard is the presence of True Colors as it has got fabric digital printing machines, which can churn out from 400 to 10,000 metres a day. It has set up separate machines whose output is of smaller quantities.
The big task for Fabcurate was to get different designs from across the country – from places like Rajasthan, interior parts of Madhya Pradesh, or even West Bengal.
The team went to all these locations to source the design and added it to its portfolio.
“Our customers faced a challenge when sourcing a particular design and we are able to provide it to them. Our forte is digital printing,” says Sanjay.
Once a customer places the order, the fabric is printed and delivered in a span of two to three days. Fabcurate also provides an opportunity to young designers to put up their designs on its website. “There should be no limit to their creativity,” says Sanjay.
From a fabric perspective, it was not much of a challenge as the parent company, True Colors, has reserves. As Sanjay says, the demand for a particular fabric depends on the season. If it is winter then heavy fabrics are much in demand, while the festive season throws up its own requirements.
The start was a bit slow for the startup as a majority of customers were design students. But later, with word of mouth and digital marketing tools, it was able to attract all kinds of customers.
These include people running their own boutiques and small businesses. Fabcurate also has customers from locations such as the UAE, the UK, and the US.
In the first month of its operations, Fabcurate saw a revenue of Rs 3.5 lakh, and for the month of December 2020, it did Rs 1.17 crore with 9,000 orders, according to Sanjay.
Fabcurate generates around 97 percent of its business completely online and a very small percentage of customers come in person if they require fabric in large quantities.
Fabcurate started with a team of four people, and now has grown to more than 70. The startup will be most likely closing FY21 with a revenue of Rs 25 crore.
In his journey of building the business, Sanjay says what has delighted him the most is creating jobs.
Fabcurate was founded during the height of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Sanjay also saw that many small businesses were shutting down operations due to the non-availability of materials.
However, Fabcurate was able to supply the design fabric, and helped small businesses and artisans to get back to running their operations.
Fabcurate also has competition from other players in the market who provide similar services like Textileweb, Texofab, Queen of Raw, etc.
Sanjay has ambitious plans for Fabcurate. The startup is aiming to see revenue of Rs 100 crore by 2023 with the ability to process 2,500-3,000 orders per day.
“We have got a core team and we have started to hire to meet the growing demand,” says Sanjay.
Sanjay is also very confident that they will provide even more competitive rates to its customers once the volume rises.
“We would like to be a leading fabric ecommerce brand in the country,” says Sanjay.