Broadcast: GoUntucked uses art and design to make awesome t-shirts for the Indian audience, with phenomenal designs and world class garment quality. They are are an internet-driven company, and all the sales currently happens through their eCommerce platform at www.GoUntucked.com.
Idea and Vision:
T-shirts are something very personal. We buy formal clothes because of external motivations (our workplace, often), but we buy t-shirts for ourselves…and they deeply reflect our values and identity. In fact, we treat t-shirts not as a piece of clothing, but as a canvas for ideas.
So it’s all about capturing what people feel and care about. That is what excites us. We also felt that the international brands (Levi’s, Benetton) do not create India-centric products…so we saw a sizable business opportunity.
We invite talented artists and designers from around the world to submit designs to our ongoing design contest. Our community then votes on these designs and winners can take home up to Rs. 25,000 / US$500.
What is your start-up story? Where did you get funding from?
I come from a technology background, and have two international patents and numerous research papers in my name. But I always cared deeply about design and entrepreneurship, and have started two successful non-profits in the past. After doing an MBA from University of California, Los Angeles in 2008, I worked in Silicon Valley for a year, and then decided to head back to India to do something exciting here. My co founder- John- is also a graduate of UCLA, and we started talking about how the t-shirt market is so exciting, and yet under-served. We raised a seed funding round to support our initial growth.
What is your target market? What is your revenue earning plan or model? What’s cooking for enhancing user engagement?
Target market is 18-35 year olds in Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities in India. A large section of our audience is “cosmopolitan”, in the sense that they have broad exposure to the world, and have an independent outlook on things. We also tend to attract people who care as much about design and aesthetics, as they do about price and quality.
We do online marketing on Google and Facebook to reach out to people, and that’s worked pretty well.
We also find that a lot of people hear about us from word of mouth, which is great. We also maintain a Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/GoUntucked) which has over 10,000 fans, and we get a lot of ideas for t-shirts (and even some sales) from there.
Now and then, we sponsor fun events at colleges.. we have sponsored the largest hip hop festival in India at Mount Carmel College, Bangalore, and a Rock event in Chennai. soon, we are also opening some selective offline stores which will allow people to experience our products in the real world.
Team is the bloodline of a startup. What’s your take?
Team is the most important asset for a startup. At the co-founder level, it’s important that you get people who are like-minded in terms of their work ethic and values, but differently oriented in terms of their experience and skills. John, my co-founder, has a lot of experience in design management, and brings a different outlook to the founding team.
Any ideas you want to share from your startup briefcase?
The most important lesson is this: you must find a way to get out in the market and sell something real for money ASAP! Do not over plan, do not spend too much time building your platform or products. Whatever you “know” about the market is only an assumption till you start selling to people, and succeed or fail.
Second is about focus. If you do nothing else, spend 10 minutes every day questioning whether your plan for the day is focused on the absolutely essential activities that will create value. Lack of focus is the biggest enemy of startups, and a common pitfall.
Any new releases from Go Untucked?
For now, its about bringing one great t-shirt after another. We will focus on other channels later on in 2012.
How do you think Go Untucked is adding value to the startup eco-system?
We share office space with 3 other startups, in a pretty bungalow in HSR Layout, Bangalore. I feel it’s the best way to get started- sharing space with other startups gives you the energy you need, and is also cost-effective. I am also the Bangalore program leader of the Startup Leadership Program, which is a global non profit program for grooming startup CEOs.
Finally, we also do bulk manufacturing, and give special rates to other startups!
Visit GoUntucked.com for more fun!
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