When Pri Shewakramani (29) and Harshad Daswani (37) came up with the idea of offering an online store for beach wear, they had many factors to analyse, but were always confident of making it through. “The idea came up a long time ago, and although it was a great lifestyle ambition, it didn’t seem feasible as a business. As the Indian economy has developed, the number of travellers, both domestic and international, to India’s beaches and resorts have grown. We also wanted a business that would offer us opportunities not entirely restricted to board rooms and meetings. That was the foundation to setting up The Beach Company (2012), the first vertical in our vision to corner the thematic holiday market in India,” says Pri.
The website offers beach and swim wear for men, women and children. They also have their own in-house labels. For certain brands like Bodyglove, they are exclusive distributors in the country. For kids they have swimsuits, goggles, swim caps, travel items, travel footwear and ‘Learn to Swim’ items like life jackets, life tubes, vest, arm floats and other swimming accessories. Their women’s range extends to sunglasses, hats, sun care, floats, loungers, sarongs and kaftans. You can also shop for brands like Arena Swim, Charmante, Prelude and NM for swimwear and other accessories at their online store.
Talking about prices, Pri says that they’ve opted for quality and have made a conscious decision to avoid selling products just because they are cheap, “Our focus on affordable luxury and fashion, with a keen eye on ramp styling and quality, has differentiated TheBeachCompany.in from other retailers. We also offer a very wide range of products for children — allowing parents to buy the things required for swimming classes, and ensuring safety and confidence in the pool.”
The company has recorded a stunning `1.89 crore in sales last year. Pri says, “I have been most surprised with how well swimwear sells for us online. I was always skeptical about women buying such a delicate item over the internet. Our excellent customer service has been a big success in this front.” Their product ranges from `99 for lip balm to `9,700 for certain swimwear.
Harshad explains that the first things they did was to make sure that their packaging was lined with a sunblock scent. “So when you open it, the smell immediately takes you to the beach. The feedback we have received on this has been phenomenal,” he says. The Beach Company is self-funded and the two partners initially pitched in approx `10 lakh for investment.
While their motto is to “dream big”, challenges were what pushed them to excel in what they do. Their biggest challenge was sourcing. “Unlike mainstream apparel companies, we had to start from scratch whether it was fabric, design, ideation or style and so on. Most importantly, we had to also educate the industry and our client-base on the challenges of buying swimwear online. It took time, but we have managed to evolve and now swimwear represents our largest category in sales and revenue,” says Pri.