The entire clothing purchase of the Muslim consumers is driven by multiple factors and the number of factors has been increasing rapidly in the fashion industry. Though the Muslim ethnic clothing can’t be directly translated into Islamic fashion, the idea of the Islamic fashion has a key element embedded in it. And that element is called, ‘Importance of Religion’. India has a Muslim population of 17 crores, that can’t simply be disdained. While half of them are in the low-income group, there is a domain of Urban Muslims that tend to live a luxurious life. Muslims who are interested in the Islamic ethnic clothing and who want to represent their culture.
According to the 2015-2016 Report on the State of the Global Islamic Economy, Muslims spend an amount of $230bn on clothing, the number projected to grow to $327bn globally by 2019. India with its Huge Muslim population (in and around the country), skills, raw materials & manpower is going to play a major role in this segment. There are no visible global fashion brand in this segment Yet, Most of the Islamic fashion market both on national and global levels is haphazard and mostly driven by small manufacturers. In India we can only see people setting up small boutiques, Ethnic cloth shops and concessions stores. In India too, There is not a single Pan-India Muslim fashion brand available in the market, there are no chains of high-end stores which sell quality products at affordable price and Muslims who want to buy premium quality products for their party/functions still have very limited options. Therefore, to bridge the gap by encouraging small traders/manufacturers to create brands and sell across India, landed ‘Mubarak Deals’.
Mubarak Deals was launched in February this year after scrutinizing the market for six months. With a team of 4, the company is based out of Bangalore. Much interestingly, Mubarak Deals has four founders who have diversified professional job experiences. While Naeem Akhtar (CEO), an MBA in Marketing, worked with HDFC, SunEdison, Somashekhar Kanna is a PGDBM and is from ICICI, Karvy Investment background. The other founders Chidannd Hebbale is M. Tech and is from IBM & Padmakar Pratapure, a B Tech has sales & marketing experience in John Deere, Escorts, Tafe & SunEdison. The single focus of Mubarak Deals is to emerge out as the market leader in the Islamic Fashion Industry (India) by optimizing the quality-reliability-Workability-Price equation.
Out of curiosity, we approached its Co-Founder & CEO Mr Naeem, Akhtar asking about the motivation and the story behind the startup, Mr. Naeem Akhtar said that “I always wanted to be on my own, During my previous experience in HDFC Bank & SunEdison Energy I just learned my way to business and when I discussed this with my family, they said ‘If you believe in it then go for it’ and the rest is history. Speaking about the story behind our startup, being a Muslim, during our special occasions whether our weddings or festivals whenever I wanted to buy some premium quality Islamic ethnic clothing for my family I always had the problem of where to buy and which brand to buy. There are no branded stores, no large stores, and no exclusive online store not a single Pan-India brand available. And the old ethnic stores that are available doesn’t have a large domain of clothing. I was sure that there are many like me who are facing this problem among the 17 crores population because this segment is completely un-organized throughout the country. So I thought I should be solving this problem. ‘’Discussing with my friends, made it possible”.
Unlike every other multi-seller marketplace e-commerce store, they are not just operating only online, but also following Omni-Channel business model of Online as well as Chain of Physical stores. You might have come across these type of business models before say, firstcry.com is a successful example in kids segment. The only difference is that Mubarak Deals exclusively deals with Islamic ethnic clothing. They plan to bring many international Muslim fashion brands to India and also create their in-house brand for premium Muslim clothing. The company generates revenue from the 10-20% charges on every sale that happens on their online store, about physical stores, they are following both company owned as well as franchised model where the company will source and supply at a price. A Franchisee would get a trade margin on every sale. Though there were no difficulties faced so far, being a startup choosing the associates is a tough job as there are many factors involved in quality, reliability, trust. So, often some issues arise in selecting them and once that is done with due diligence, it’s all set to go.
About the future plan, Out of the Omni-channel model, the online marketplace e-commerce site www.mubarakdeals.com is live and generating revenue. Therefore, the founders are considering to open few Company owned stores in the Q4 of 2016. They also have a plan to build a chain of stores in major cities/markets which has a demand of Islamic fashion through franchise model. The goal is to operating 50 stores by the end of 2017 and creating a niche brand in the market. Regarding funding, the founders say that they are still bootstrapped and are in talks with some sources to raise appropriate funding to fund their future expansion plans. Isn’t that amazing? In case, if you want to buy traditional Muslim clothes, you don’t actually have to search all the narrow lanes in your cities. They’re only a click away to supply you with the best ethnic clothing across the country.