#AskPS
Ansha Dixit .

When the world is rushing towards getting businesses ONLINE, my friend believes he has a valid point of EXPANDING his business OFFLINE!

PS- He has a semi-wholesale garment business

His perspective totally amuses me! So thought of sharing it with you guys! 🤯🤯

He says he is going to stay offline- and dig deeper, to generate much more tangible benefits with fewer efforts and more ROI!

It is clear that retail and offline businesses are collapsing as the days go by!

As I see it, the better way to survive is by going online!! 🧐🧐

However, If you are converting into an online business, there are two options;

  • Either you can hire a full-time tech team which is costly, tedious, and due to cash crunch, not a viable option.😟

Or

  • You can outsource it from B2B service providers which is a much simpler, faster, and quicker alternative!🤓

But according to my friend, getting online is easy only till the part of making your website, but setting up Operations around an online business is a daunting task in itself! 😅😅

He is now pivoting to a B2B centric model- building his network of retailers who are going online and would need a large inventory and thus Growing his Business through COVID offline and ensuring retention at the same time! 😃

How logical do you find his approach? 🤨🤨

I mean could this work?

or he is just daydreaming and the only way forward is getting online?

Originally Posted Here
68 Comments

Agni Chatterjee

Yes they are complementary but for small players it would be advantageous if they can manage remote teams because cost saving is there. Offline is not going to disappear completely, hybrid models will show up soon.

Ansha Dixit

Yes, but how easy is hiring the right folks?:/

Have you seen any interesting hybrid models?

Abhishek Arora

Ok so I don't know what business is this guy into but let's take a real life situation where all these small players (read as retailers) are trying to go online or sell on online marketplaces while procuring their supplies or products from a large manufacturer who isn't interested in branding and is permitting white label to these small players. The manufacturer in this case need not specifically invest into going online as long as he has B2B supply orders. Works perfectly well!

Ansha Dixit

Abhishek Arora Garment business

Abhishek Arora

Most of the leather bag manufacturers out there in Paharganj in Delhi or I don't recall the area but the leather market out there in Mumbai are not online but suppliers to almost every small online seller of leather products (bags, wallets, belts) locally or globally.

Well I believe the model can work out perfectly as long your friend has a capacity and good B2B chain. I don't see a reason for him to tread online.

Ansha Dixit

How do you think he should go about building the B2B network?

Yes, I have heard about the leather bag manufacturers- but during this time- if they are not online; how will they grow their business? They need to be visible to the online sellers right?

or do they rely on their existing network?

Abhishek Arora

Ansha Dixit Most of the conventional business's specially clothing and garment already have established themselves through the local markets. It works the other way because small retailers with no manufacturing capacities come looking for them. One of my cousin is one of the largest suppliers of embroidered nets to export houses and otherwise purely through offline trade channels.

Mostly existing network and industry connects.

Ansha Dixit

Right got it.. How are they doing amidst this COVID situation?

Are they seeing business growth?

Abhinav Sankar

Im curious to know How he is building his network of retailers- is he thinking around the lines of community building?Ansha Dixit
It seems like a great pivot to me🤩

Ansha Dixit

Yes, let me see if I can add him here:)

Abhinav Sankar

Ansha Dixit Ideally going the community way would work in the long run in maintaining relationships with the retailers.

A simple WA group too would work, curious to know how he's planning

Sandip Tulsyan

Ansha Dixit what sort of garment business is your friend in? Can i talk to him to see if we can work together? I am also into garment trading.

Ansha Dixit

Sandip Tulsyan ladies wear.

Sure let talk to him. Will get back to you🙂

Piyush Soni

Seems like going online is a solution as a short term goal but for long term I think as your friend said, she would definately have a competitive advantage over others!

Ansha Dixit

Competitive Advantage as in?

Piyush Soni

Competetive advantage over others in terms of offline market! His connections would be strong locally!

Ansha Dixit

Yes thats a fair point :)

Rajesh Garg

I think being online is solution as far as I am seeing. Nobody knows when would this pandemic get oven and when would things open up!

Ansha Dixit

Atleast the offline supply chain is open for both essential and non essential items- I think as long as its open, should be good enough

Shikar Sharma

Completely logical, if he maintains a good grip over the market in coming months!

Neeraj Tiwari

Completely in agreement with him. This will solve two issues

1: Idea Validation
2: Starts Earning before investment...or rather he will get his own fund to go online.

Only in metro cities like Mumbai, online thing is coming....but still not more than 10-20%.

He will make money:)

Ansha Dixit

Yes agreed on your two points. But I was under the impression that this pandemic is bringing tier 2 folks also more online.

Like JioMeet leveraged this as an opportunity and got out their product (although it was a copy).

Is it not?

Sreenath Gupta

As I'm from the garment industry, I believe his approach is partly correct but yes at the same time you need to have your manufacturing unit which is quite expensive and taking over risk in this present scenario.

Ansha Dixit

What is your Business about in the garment industry?

Sreenath Gupta

we're a manufacturer of our own brand clothing plus we trade other brands as well.
We provide merchandise attire to colleges and corporates. You just name it, we'll provide our best of best.
Just launched our website
https://www.avantgardeclothingstore.com/

Ansha Dixit

You went online too;).
How's it going during this COVID? Are you doing sth interesting to boost your business?

Sreenath Gupta

yes now we're aggregating designers, local fabric artisan and many more.
And giving them an online place to display their products or arts under our brand only.

Sandip Tulsyan

Sreenath Gupta where are you based out of?

Anand Soni

Kolkata

Santoshi Aparajithan

Most of the garment buying houses and garment factories work on this model.
They serve Brands/Retailers who usually strive for multichannel distribution.

Ansha Dixit

Yes, but when retailers are not seeing any demand- how are they garment houses/factories surviving?

Danesh Simmry

Being a Faceless Organisation having its own Challenges along with Advantages, Though everyone going gaga online business model but being a Human touch always matter (Specially for India it is undeniable ) .

Ansha Dixit

Yes, that is very true!!

How are you dealing your business during this COVID crisis?

Danesh Simmry

Indeed its a Tough time for Almost Every Business Houses , I Tried to work on few parameters to make sure this pandemic couldn't force to me to reach into the level of Distraction where it effects revenue generation ...

1. Acknowledge theimportance of feelings, We Call or meet Every Contact person in our client data base and share our mutual challenges during pandemic and try to learn mutually how we could able to overcome this pandemic by learning from each other .

2.During Pre-pandemic I send one Mail every week to our clients on how we are working together to fight against this battle and how we are grateful . during Mid-pandemic I send one mail by-weekly to our client base about the updates of our industry and share resources to educate them , During Post Pandemic I send 1 mail every 3 weeks about the update on course of action we took to save ourselves and focus on business.

3. We Focus on our Total Client base and their retention over phone not by Business instead their Enquiry on items (this help us to raise our engagement ) , we focus to increase our ACB and validate our Quote Funnel twice in a week.

4. Finally we try to inspire business houses to buy what truly worth currently so that they could able to save for winter , this help us to back ourself on Track in-terms of ACB, Profit Margin (as the business values are remain smaller but profitability remain higher ) .
5. Finally now we bring back our Parity law of 80/20 and trying to bring our Top end clients (As per revenue ) by sharing industry updates and trying to help them to overcome this emotional challenges.

we also move into some payment flexibility for some clients .

Ujwal Šháh

Danesh Simmry Even I'm into Kids clothing retail. I like your strategy.. May use some of your strategies in my business.

Danesh Simmry

Ujwal Šháh I am honoured , thank you.
Though I am not into garments industry but focusing into wide client base will surely beneficial in this current scenario ,

1) it will help you to close more smaller value deal which will help you to increase your profit margin.
2) your Cashflow will be stronger because of larger client base.
3) you will surely find some amazing opportunity which unexplore from your end still.

And most importantly larger client base will help you to make your business in your own term instead of some major client neediness.


Thank you.

Nikita Chandiramani

The best option is.. online + offline..
Online: lesser time..more reach (if expanding in different parts of the country is taken into consideration) meanwhile making offline business because Mouth publicity + constant blinking of advertisements of specific business in local area --> is another level marketing.

Now comes operations and supply chain..which..after setting up an online business (as said) is quite daunting..so..the profit generated via offline can be divided..and a certain part should be invested in overcoming these two challenges..after you are sure that the product is sustainable to survive in the market.

Keeping both offline market and online market gates open..various business roles can be generated and hence profit channels too.

Deliberately when both online and offline start giving same profits..the business is ready to suatain..
Then we can apply various strategies..for example..customization..to reinvent and replenish more profits.

Ansha Dixit

Yes, this makes a lot of sense:

Offline advertising channel works in this COVID time?

Nikita Chandiramani

it depends on what type of business..
If luxury item/product ..probability is less..but elite people will buy.

If need/essential item.. (which it is..as it's a garment business) then yes..target audience will buy.

COVID only affected businesses in govt. Imposed lockdown..otherwise..people are out.

So keeping safety as priority..everything shall be back to (not normal) track.

Manik Rao

Online is as strong as your firm offline. You will definitely reach better audience online, but offline is still valid. It's a jugalbani always. Offline serves online.

Pradyumndev Jodha

Basically Dropshipping locally.
Product discovery is still a thing.

Ansha Dixit

and discovery can only happen online?

Pradyumndev Jodha

In times of social distancing, it is the most logical and rational way.

Gaurav Ahlawat

Nothing new drop shipping is the same

Harshal N Shroff

Semi wholesale garment bussiness kya hota hai ?

Ansha Dixit

lol retail plus wholesale.

That is how he describes it

Harshal N Shroff

kuch bhi. Retail + wholesale which retailer is a wholesalers and the other way around.

Kuch bhi.

Ajay Hemnani

Harshal N Shroff it is called semi-wholesale.

And that's actually a term and I also used to have the same in the part.

If you have a retail customer in the store, you can still cater to him with high margins. And if you've someone buying in bulk you can offer him same price as wholesale market.

It is good specially in garment business where the stock is subject to refresh everyday based on new design and patterns.

Krishna Arora

He needs to be pure wholesale otherwise those online retailers wont buy from him due to rate issues also how is he sure that he is going to find online selling customers without online marketing?

Ansha Dixit

True that, but as I understand from fellow PSers comments on this thread is they are able to build an offline network- through existing industry connects.

Abhishek Arora

Ansha Dixit Also, trade listings play a big role for these entities.

Varun Nathani

Online is short term for individual businesses no matter come what may .

Garment is a huge industry which can't go completely online

Footwear and clothing are no doing good in numbers in the e-commerce industry.


Garment is the credit industry where payment cycle works till 90 days ( which obviously will be cut down due to this covid thing) but in the long run it'll be back.


Local for vocal fits completely in this segment as a wholesaler covers 100-150 kms area of his town for business

Which online players can't offer due to logistic issues

Ansha Dixit

With the rise in hyperlocal delivery systems- I think the logistics issue will soon be solved?

Swiggy, Zomato are all penetrating into tier 2 markets as well!

Varun Nathani

and are hardly successful in tier 3 cities

Plus swiggy zomato parcel size is way too small and deliverable on bike where as in your friends case a wholesale order is a huge one which can't be transported so easily

Bakulesh Rane

Digital marketing is bubble unless the product is free🤔😂😂😂
Word of Mouth💯💯💯better than any form of marketing

Ansha Dixit

Hahaha! Ye word of mouth bhi online ho gaya hai- 'Influencer Marketing';)

Bakulesh Rane

That's still different from Fake Online Influencers😂Indians are Zugadus in knowing that (don't buy stuff because influencers market )
Word of mouth is still a different thing even in this Digital Age.(its a community marketing the strongest of all)

90% times the ad seen by people are not into buying the stuff just Google & FB & Insta makes the profit in their revenues there was one good article on that (Buying works sublte) if found will share here

Ajay Hemnani

He can survive and this will work only if he has enough capital and deep pockets to keep this afloat.

If he is renting the place out and taking a loan to support his business idea then it will not work.

PS - I have experience in offline b2b and b2c garment business

Ansha Dixit

Can you elaborate, with your experience in this space as well?

Would be useful for all!:)

Ajay Hemnani

The problem in this space is the management of expenses and the cash flow with margins generation. As the stock or design updates are very frequent, the idea is to have newer designs and do not stick to the price margin at the time of selling.

This space works in high credit scenario as well which means that payment can be delayed by 3 months to the suppliers and in turn sell the inventory in cash so there maybe less requirement of cash. But it depends if you are able to get stock at good price because one is trading off with 3 month credit period.

Most expense is of rent and capital requirement and how quick one can turn the inventory around.

Samvidha Sinha

Love his approach. If he has the confidence - b2b market is growing🙂a lot depends on the product, and his delivery, and his business+networking+connecting with clients skills. I think he has a strong point here and a very acute sense of business...

Swagata Kumar

I think there is a valid point and scope

Pratik Kanthi

The fundamental advantage in an offline store is the speed. You buy and walk away within minutes. Some things will always work offline.

Abhinav Sankar

Well, in a city like Mumbai- I always prefer online; going to a hope is such an effortful process.:/

Mayur Malpani

Being a mediator in The new world after Covid is a dieing model, either be a manufacturer, or be a retailer... Don't be in between this chain.

Abhinav Sankar

Why so?

Bakulesh Rane

Abhinav Sankar Retailers will be completely out of businesses unless behemoths like Dmart , Walmart , Jio retail etc.

Sathish CP

B2B2C model works well if you get the model right. It's great to do it that way which will allow you to focus on a few things that you can become good at and leave the rest to other small players who together can form the ecosystem. And keeping up his own foot front will always stay as an option that he can choose to in the near future once he had made the complete ecosystem stronger.

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