Yelloe: The Journey of the NIFT Graduate Who Built a Brand from Scraps
Rahul Gupta, who was working as a retail planner with a reputed clothing brand, quit his job two years after working and understanding the intricacies of the retail business. He decided to start his own venture, and being a NIFT graduate, was always inclined towards fabrics and designs.
In his first venture, Rahul started dealing with fabrics, importing them and selling them in North India. It so happened that when he was importing fabric material for brands in Delhi-NCR a few years back, he once received a container with small pieces of PU fabric. And it was those scraps that gave Rahul his idea for a start-up. “It was my very own Eureka moment, the moment that led to the birth of my brand Yelloe Designs. I decided to bring in a designer who could make bags out of those pieces of fabric. And that is how I met Varsha who did not just join as a designer but also became a partner in my company. And did I mention that later she became my life partner as well?” Rahul says.
“Instead of saying that we built a successful, home-grown handbag brand from scratch, it would be better to say we built it from scrap!” says Rahul Gupta, Myntra’s Brand partner and co-founder of Yelloe Designs. In 2016, Rahul and Varsha hired their first employee and now they have 12 employees along with 200-300 people working at the manufacturing unit in Dwarka, Delhi. Started with an initial investment of 60000 INR, the brand clocked 5cr overall last year. Currently, Yelloe offers handbags, satchel bags, travel kits, messenger bags, and laptop skins.
“Back in 2016, when for the first time I saw a lady carrying our handbag, she must have purchased it from an e-commerce website, it was such an emotional moment for me. I think I even shed a tear,” Rahul says.
Leveraging the Myntra Advantage
About his journey with Myntra, Rahul says that looking at how Yelloe products were being received on the platform gave him a lot of confidence. Not just that, Myntra gave his brand the much-needed push at the beginning. “Myntra has helped us grow like we never imagined. For brands like us which have limited capital and sources, Myntra functions as essential support, a mentor who can show us the roadmap to success,” he adds.
Giving an example, Rahul says that there was a time when they were not sure about a particular handbag and its design. The Myntra team however assured that it was a definite seller. “In just a few days, we sold about 500 units of that bag,” he adds. The brand gets 35% of its overall revenue from Myntra alone and during annual events like EORS and BFF, it clocks 4X-5X more revenue than BAU.
Like several other brands, Yelloe also received its share of setbacks during the pandemic. “I remember someone from the Myntra team suggested we make essentials like masks. We immediately diversified. In fact, we were the five first sellers on Myntra to offer masks during the beginning of the pandemic. Even though it is just a small part of our business, the masks kept us afloat. The sales from the essentials covered the salaries of our staff and kept us running,” Rahul says.
On speaking about his future plans, Rahul says the brand is planning to venture into the belts and footwear category. That’s not it, Rahul is aiming to reach 25cr revenue in the next 5 years.
Disclaimer: Myntra in this article refers to Myntra.com