Last Updated : Sep 06, 2018 08:08 PM IST | Source:

Start, Up and Away: Archana Walavalkar and Dhimaan Shah, the personal stylists for all Indians

Moneycontrol’s Anchal Pathak catches up with the founders of StyleCracker and asks them what it takes to make it big in the Indian fashion industry.

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For someone like Archana Walavalkar, opening a venture of her own seemed like a natural progression. The stylist has worked with enviable brands like Vogue and has dressed actor Alia Bhatt in her first film Student of the Year. Having achieved a lot at a young age, it was time for her to start something new.

Dhimaan Shah, who comes from a family of entrepreneurs, after spending some time as an investment banker in New York, decided to return to India and start a new venture. It was through friends that the two driven individuals met and started StyleCracker, an online platform that works as a personal stylist and merges fashion and technology to curate the perfect fashion box for customers.

"We collect data points from users and on the basis of those data points a box is curated in 180 seconds, then a stylist takes a final look at it before shipping it out to the customer," said Archana.

The five and a half year-old-company has gone through two rounds of funding and even caught the eye of actor Alia Bhatt, who is an investor in the company. "Alia knows the pulse of the market and has great ideas, she is very involved with the functioning of the company," Archana added.

So when two people with completely different personalities come together to launch a venture, how do they avoid stepping on each other's toes? “You can't avoid that," Dhimaan said frankly.

"But the key to make things work is to call a spade a spade and that's the culture of the entire company," he added.

StyleCracker, at present can ship 800 to 1,000 boxes of customised items a day, thanks to technology. The company employs 10 stylists who go through the boxes and give a final nod before they are shipped to customers.

So what is the most challenging part of their business? "We work very hard and if there is a delay in the last leg of the process, if the package doesn’t reach on time, then it gets a little frustrating," both founders agree.

When asked about what they like to do in their free time, Archana and Dhimaan are at a loss for words. "We work seven days a week, so there is very little time to do anything else," admitted Dhimaan, while putting the ball in Archana’s court, who said, "A city like Mumbai does not give you much time, so on the weekends I just want to relax and unwind."

Moneycontrol traces the journey of some of India’s upcoming brands and their founders to find out what makes them tick. If you're an aspiring entrepreneur looking for some business tips or if you love a good start-up story, tune in to Start, Up and Away right here on
First Published on Sep 6, 2018 08:08 pm
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