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How to start a fashion designing business in India?

The fashion industry is among the fastest-growing industries in India. Its domestic valuation and market size exceeded Rs1,000 crores and Rs.20,000 crores respectively, in the year 2021. Its net worth is 0.2% of the net worth of the global fashion industry, which is led by Eastern and Southeastern Asian markets.
How To Start A Fashion Designing Business In India
The Indian fashion industry has managed to sustain the growth in its revenues for almost half a decade since 2017. This includes the pandemic years of 2019 and 2020 as well. According to Statista, the industry earned a total revenue of $3,761 million in 2017, which increased to $16,853 million in 2021. The growth was driven by accessories, jewellery, cosmetics, clothing, and footwear markets in India, with an accumulated size of thousands of crores.

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What are the types of businesses that can be started as a fashion design business?

The fashion design industry in India is largely unorganized, with fast fashion manufacturing and retailing businesses accounting for a majority of the market share. Besides, smaller businesses like custom tailoring shops and boutiques also design and stitch cost-effective clothing for their local customers. If you are planning to start a new business in the fashion design industry, there are several options available for you to choose from, some of which include:
  • Brand Stores: Such businesses usually design, manufacture, distribute, sell, and market their products themselves to promote their brand voice in the market. The value and credibility of the brand help such businesses build a loyal customer base through years of operations.
  • You can sell your product design to a 3rd party manufacturer and retailer to introduce your product in the market while promoting it yourself to enhance your business or personal brand.
  • Fast fashion businesses: These are the most common small-scale fashion design businesses in India. Items designed are usually a low-cost copy of a high-end trending or popular designs.
  • E-commerce businesses: Such businesses sell personally designed products to their customers via online mode, usually on a web-based platform. They deliver their products at the customer’s doorsteps through a network of distributors and delivery channels.
  • Custom design businesses: These businesses design original products according to the specific needs of every customer.
  • Recycling businesses: Such businesses usually design cost-effective products by recycling and reusing old and worn-out materials to reduce the adverse impact on the environment due to waste generation.

What is the process of starting a fashion design business in India?

The pandemic has made the challenges faced by fashion designers in operating their businesses crystal clear. The slowdown of production, interruptions in supply chains of raw materials, and a shortage of labour in the pandemic hurt the smaller businesses the most. Although the online mode for the sale of designs and products was quite helpful for these businesses, there are certain tips to keep in mind for future-proofing your business, some of which include:
  • Conduct thorough research and analysis: Before starting a business in the fashion design industry you must conduct thorough market and industry research so that you can make informed choices and decisions about your business in the present and the future. Even after setting up your business successfully, you must continue to conduct market research and prepare reports at regular intervals. This will help you reflect and improve the status of your business.
  • Choose your industry: Businesses in the fashion design industry can either operate at a smaller scale as fast fashion or custom design stores or at a larger scale as high-end brand stores. Choosing your industry would depend on your professional knowledge and experience in the field as fashion designing is a craft for only the highly skilled and experienced to master. Other significant factors to consider are the potential investors and investments for start-ups in the field. As success is a key ambition for entrepreneurs, analysing the rate and pace of achievements becomes an important task before starting a business.
  • Get funding: You need to arrange funds or investments for your business from credible and authorised sources like financial companies and banks. Individual investors may also invest in relatively smaller businesses.
  • Choose your target buyer: Different designers may sell their products to different buyers according to the nature of their business. The sale of designs can be between two businesses in case 3rd party manufacturers and retailers are involved, else if the designing business conducts all operations from manufacture to sale, products can be sold directly to customers at business-owned stores or websites.
  • Prepare a detailed business plan and strategy to help overcome forthcoming challenges.
  • Choose your location: There are certain factors that you must consider before choosing a location for your fashion design business. These include the proximity and affordability of supply chains for raw materials, low cost of input and raw materials, low cost of transport, low rent on properties, dense population or network of your target buyer or customer, abundant availability of affordable labor, safety, and sanitation of the location. If your business is to be operated online, check for network connectivity in the area.
  • Ensure the availability of necessary infrastructure, logistics, and machinery: In case the designer is also the manufacturer and retailer of the products, it needs to be ensured that the necessary infrastructure like factories, heavy machinery, retail stores, etc are available and functional for the business to begin its operations.
  • Build your supply chain: Based on the cost of transportation, cost of input materials, the abundance of suppliers, and the competition in the suppliers market, you must build the most effective and efficient supply chain for your business.
  • Choose your niche: The fashion design industry offers a wide variety of niche products that you may choose to design, sell and manufacture. These include clothing, footwear, accessories, jewelry, and many more. You may operate with a single or multiple product niches. However, it is advised that you begin your business by designing products in a certain category and expanding your operations over time.
  • Choose a name and logo: The name of your business should be such that it communicates your personal or business brand voice, your area of operation, and the specialty of your product. Keep in mind that it does not deceptively mimic the name and logo of an existing business as that will violate Section 4 of the Trademark Act, 1999. Do not forget to register the name and logo of your company as a trademark, when applying for its incorporation. You may avail of services at SetIndiaBiz which carries years of expertise and experience in registering trademarks for several new companies at an economical cost.
  • Choose a mode of operation: Designers conduct business operations like selling and marketing their products in both online and offline modes. However, consumer data in recent years suggest that customers have been more active on online shopping platforms, compared to offline shopping in the fashion industry. In 2021, approximately 97.5% of the purchases were made online, mostly by mobile phones.
  • Choose a legal status: Fashion designing businesses may register as an OPC, LLP, partnership, or a private limited company based on the nature and scale of operations and the ultimate ambition of the designer. If the designer wants to get recognition in the industry, he may either set up an OPC or sell his designs under a registered trademark to manufacturing companies. Sabyasachi Mukherjee and Manish Malhotra are apt examples of the same. Businesses may also operate as public or private ltd companies provided profit earning is their primary ambition, for example, Titan operates as a Public Ltd Company. Partnerships are desirable only when mass production is involved and brand creation or profit earning is not an aim.
  • Register and Incorporate your business: To begin operations in India as a separate legal entity, your garment business must be licensed and incorporated. SetIndiaBiz provides you with a one-stop solution for the registration and incorporation of your business.
  • Get necessary approvals and licenses: Post registration and incorporation, as a new company you must obtain the necessary licenses, some of which include a Business license, Trade license, GST registration, Tax registration, Trademark registration, EPF, and ESIC registrations. You can avail of our services for all post-incorporation formalities at an economical cost..
  • Draft a business policy.
  • Recruit skilled and experienced employees as the profession required a highly skilled and trained workforce.
  • Construct customer feedback and grievance channels.
  • Launch your business.

Conclusion

Fashion designing is a creative venture for your business to step its foot in. The earning potential rests on the designer’s potential to create original designs for a variety of fashion products in the industry based on consumer needs and current trends. Besides, the foreign market for Indian fashion products remains new and untapped for Indian businesses to expand into.
SetIndiaBiz specializes in providing company registration and post-registration services to all kinds of businesses, including fashion design businesses, for the past several years. Our services are backed in quality by a team of professional and legal experts in the field, and our costs are most convenient for clients inside and outside India. Besides services, we also offer guidance to our clients with respect to legal and tax compliances post-incorporation. You can check out the details of our services on our official website

About Setindiabiz

Setindiabiz is an organized team of experienced CA, CS, & Lawyers, duly supported by a pool of trained accountants & paralegal staff that provides quality & affordable compliance services to startups & small businesses in India. The views, statements and recommendations expressed in this article or post are only for the sole objective of providing information, and it does not constitute professional advice or recommendation of the company. Neither the author nor the company or its affiliates accepts any liability for any loss or damage arising from any information in this article or any actions taken in reliance thereon.

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