Sharing the same space can inspire an idea. Roommates at IIT-Kanpur, Ankit Sachan, 27, Ashish Kumar, 27 and Koustubh Sinhal, 26, co-founded Fashupp in December 2013. Ashish did his BTech in Electrical Engineering, Ankit in Biological Sciences and Engineering while Koustubh completed a dual course of BTech and MTech in Mechanical Engineering in 2010 while the other two graduated in 2009 from IIT-Kanpur.
Fashupp is a fashion, lifestyle discovery and styling platform. With this venture, the triumvirate aim to disrupt the way in which people discover and consume fashion trends. Ankit says, “Style is all about a mix and match of clothes and accessories in a trendy and fashionable way. We call it a mashup since the user creates a collage of accessories which are decorated with a theme and background.”
The highly fashion-conscious users of the website create and curate the content where one can see the latest trends in the fashion world. The mashups are not just images; they can be purchased at a variety of stores across the country. Interesting contests are also held on the latest fashion trends. Ashish says, “Our aim is to enable people to find the coolest lifestyle products sold across the country.”
Like most ideas that come out of a seemingly simple problem, the founding of Fashupp was a simple affair too. The trip realised that there was no styling platform in the country and they decided to build one from scratch in June 2013. The three of them took care of the development of the website. They were later joined by a fashion Chief-Editor from NIFT and interns who are from NIFT too.
Koustubh reckons that giving up their cushy jobs for entrepreneurship was a decision that was hard to take and it gained fruition with getting a funding of `10 lakh from TLabs, an initiative by Times Internet, a start-up accelerator for internet and mobile technology start-ups in India. It all happened when they were selected in the 10,000 Startups, a competition run by The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) which gave them the much sought-after, ‘visibility’ that a startup yearns for. Fashupp earns its revenues by partnering with ecommerce stores through the affiliate marketing model.
Ashish advises, “Read a myriad of blogs and websites like Techcrunch, Mashable, GigaOm and FastCompany if you do not have a business idea, as this will help you understand how businesses work. Keep your ears and mouth open, talk to a lot of people and market yourself brazenly, this will help you when you startup.”
Koustubh advises that talking to startup founders, accelerators or anyone with an understanding of the startup world would do a world of good to you in understanding the nuances of business and how to bootstrap. Ankit asks the entrepreneur in you to plan at least a year in advance and believe in your dreams.