D2C Unlocked: Chapter 17: Aamchi Mumbai || The Greatest Insights Unlocked!

17th Chapter of D2C Unlocked, a flagship community-led founders event held in Mumbai witnessed a gathering of founders of over 100 Direct-to-Customer (D2C) brands from the state, for networking and knowledge exchange among industry leaders and experts.

The event unfolded with a dynamic panel discussion with co-founders of leading D2C brands namely:

  • Shweta Srivastava, Chief Experience Officer at TATA Cliq
  • Puneet Sehgal, Co-founder of Freakins
  • Niti Singhal, Founder and Designer at Twee In One 
  • Rahul Rohra, Co-Founder & Chief marketing Officer at Scitron
  • Moderated by Nitya Sharma,  Founder, Simpl

Let us quickly discuss the most important insights witnessed during this discussion:


“Performance marketing is so monetized, we go and raise money from the investors and we give away 50% of that to Mark Zuckerberg”

Performance marketing has become heavily monetized, where a significant portion of invested funds ends up allocated to platforms like Google and Facebook. Puneet Sehgal made an insightful observation about how brands today tend to funnel half of their advertising budget into these platforms, leading to an oversaturation of content. Instead, businesses should focus on devising more effective marketing strategies, particularly within the consumer market.

An exemplary case is Freakins, positioning themselves as a supply chain company within the fashion industry. Their success lies in consistently introducing new styles on a monthly basis, recognizing the pivotal role of a robust supply chain in the realm of fashion.


Merely engaging influencers to showcase your products isn’t enough.

To break through the clutter and establish a lasting brand recall, influencer marketing should foster a genuine association between the influencer and your brand.

The influencer landscape has significantly expanded over the past decade, with numerous influencers each advocating unique core values, typically in the 22-25 age range. Recognizing this, Freakins recognized the importance of forging authentic relationships with influencers. They innovatively introduced the concept of ‘Capsule collection with influencers.’

What does this entail? Freakins involved influencers as part of their design team, allowing them to contribute their unique style ideas. Upon launch, these collections were branded with the influencer’s name, clearly highlighting their involvement. This strategy resonates with our audience, emphasizing authenticity, while also making influencers proud of their contributions to the collection.”


When faced with an oversaturated market, the pivotal question arises: how does one carve out a distinct positioning?

This question is particularly pertinent for every Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) brand striving to stand out amidst the colossal presence of over 1 million brands.

Shweta from Tata Cliq offered a compelling insight into this dilemma. Tata Cliq devised a unique strategy centered around a curated marketplace model. They meticulously selected only authorized sellers, prioritizing trust as a fundamental factor. Additionally, they embraced a ‘phygital’ approach, implementing an omnichannel strategy to cater to their customers across various touchpoints where they are present. This approach was designed to create a model that aligns seamlessly with the diverse needs of the customer base.


Fast Fashion versus Sustainability: A Battle of Priorities. Is the quick turnover of trends more important, or is saving the planet our ultimate goal?

During the panel discussion, it became evident that two panelists represented contrasting markets. Freakins champions fast fashion, aiming to bring Zara-like options to the Indian market at half the price, catering to the budget-conscious Gen Z demographic. 

Conversely, Twee in One stands as a ‘Made to Order’ brand focused on sustainability. The discussion revolved around the significance of sustainability in today’s landscape, posing the question of whether brands are willing to invest in sustainability, even at a premium cost.

Niti from Twee in One presented an intriguing perspective, emphasizing that the answer is both ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ Twee specializes in ‘Reversible’ and ‘Convertible’ clothing, appealing to consumers looking to minimize their environmental footprint. Niti highlighted their focus on individuals making conscious decisions to invest in versatile clothing, promoting a lighter travel experience without compromising on style. They target a niche market seeking sustainable choices rather than catering solely to the masses.

Perhaps, this is a topic that we shall pick up for our upcoming webinar. For now, it leaves us contemplating which path holds the key to the future.


How to Establish a Business Presence in Tier 2 and 3 Cities?

Rahul from Scitron provided valuable insights into this topic. His extensive experience of visiting 22 states led him to conclude that Tier 2 cities thrive on community connections. In these cities, fitness represents more than just physical well-being; it’s a means to break barriers, gain respect, and become an integral part of a community. He described this phenomenon as the ‘Guruji and bhaiyaji market,’ where community leaders are revered and influential.

The sports nutrition market in India is growing, with different types of products becoming available. But to reach smaller cities, you need influential leaders who can make people like your brand. Rahul says if your brand becomes the choice of these leaders, you’re halfway to winning.

To quickly sum up about the brands given above:

  • Freakins specializes in fast fashion denim wear
  • Tata CLiQ is an ecommerce platform offering Fashion, Footwear, and Accessories
  • Twee In One creates exclusive collections of reversible and convertible clothing
  • Scitron focuses on nutritional supplements