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Where Online Meets The Offline

“We are also backed by investors like Tiger Global, Flipkart, Hotstar, and angels too who have believed in us and provided the funding to start this journey.”- Rishi Vasudev, G.O.A.T

In an insightful interview, Rishi Vasudev, co-founder G.O.A.T. speaks to Urvi Shrivastav, Editorial, BW Businessworld about the changing e-commerce space, his brand, and the platform they provide to upcoming businesses for rapid business growth.

What is G.O.A.T. ventures about?

E-commerce is a segment that is growing very fast, especially due to the pandemic. Consumers are increasingly getting more comfortable buying online, creating a whole new opportunity for brands and labels to sell their products directly to consumers. As brands scale, they encounter the challenge of expertise, such as digital marketing, backend logistics, selling on different marketplaces, etc.  We believe there is a great opportunity to help D2C brands become big players in the market. At G.OA.T. we believe there is a great opportunity to help them, and take brands that are at five to ten crores, and scale them to 100 crore brands in three to five years. We will first invest in these brands and then provide expertise to these brands in various areas like warehousing, logistics, sales and marketplaces, digital marketing capabilities, and of course availability of funds.

E-commerce and D2C brands have been around for a minute. Why did you plan to launch G.O.A.T. now? 

In the last three-four years, the online ecosystem has really opened up. Due to the pandemic, many D2C brands have come up, which should have scaled up by 3X or 4X are barely afloat. Something must have gone wrong with the inventory planning, access to funds to build more working capital, or getting the right people on board. This is the right time when markets are growing for D2C brands, and there are many brands that have done the hard work of reaching zero to one and are really struggling to move from one to ten.

G.O.A.T is a new player in the market, how did the idea of this platform come about? What was the journey like raising investment?

I have spent about two decades in the industry, with the first 13-14 years spent offline working with brands like Aditya Birla Group, Arvind Brands, Calvin Klein, Arrow, and the like. Post that, I spent five to six years in Flipkart, as head of their fashion business. Having had the experience both online and offline, I realised how fast the online market is emerging, and how there is a need for many more brands in this space. When we put this plan together and went to various venture capitalists, we saw a lot of interest, even from the industry experts in the market. We have experts across the spectrum, including MD of Conde Nast, to the CEO of Texsport, and Sujeet Kumar who is the co-founder of Udaan. We are also backed by investors like Tiger Global, Flipkart, Nordstar, Mayfield, and angels too who have believed in us and provided the funding to start this journey.  

You have had a wide exposure working with Flipkart, Calvin Klein, Myntra, and Lifestyle Brands. How do you plan to inculcate your learnings in G.O.A.T. and make it stand out from all the existing players in the market?

People in the offline space have become efficient is doing things a certain way, while people working in the online space have not spent enough time in the offline industry to understand design, fashion industry, etc. Having spent time in online and offline spaces, I am in a good space to bring them together via G.O.A.T. This will merge the art of fashion and brand building and the science of e-commerce. The confluence of online and offline becomes very important as brands try to grow. With my background and the people who have joined the company, we have a huge capability to do that.

What was your business model like in an already crowded e-commerce market that drew in these giant investors?

Globally accelerator model and roll up model is gaining steam, as are Thrasio and Perch business model. A lot of brands joining a larger group has always been a good strategy. Even in offline large conglomerates operate multiple brands, while the backend is driven by a common system. This business model is gaining pace online as well. I think the investors truly understand this business plan very well. There is the knowledge base of start-ups, and then there is the knowledge base of large organisations, as we bring them together there is more synergy.

G.O.A.T is an interesting name, how did it come about?

I love sports and I am myself an avid sportsman. I have always been inspired by the great sportsmen, from Roger Federer to Mohammad Ali. They have always been the G.O.A.T.s for me, the ‘Greatest of All Time’. When I look at brand owners, they have created something, left their cushy jobs, and tried to create a proposition in a crowded market. They deserve to stand on the podium as Greatest of All Time. When we thought about this, the idea was to make the experts in various fields available to brands. The other way to look at it, is that goat is a wise animal, it is not aggressive, does not push you hard, but it really guides you. It goes with expertise, knowledge, wisdom

Source: Business World

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