Anuraag Ajmera of InMonarch® tells us about Virtually Well-fitted Tailor-made Luxury Men’s Clothing with Affordable Elegance in the present Pandemic.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Anuraag Ajmera: Well, we’re all doing fine. The times have been challenging for all of us. COVID-19 brought a unique phase in our lives and gave us a different perspective to think about. I really appreciate how everyone is tackling it, especially our government and medical staff. Many of us remain unaffected by COVID-19 so far. And I hope since Vaccine has come the things will stay that way in India. I wish good health to the startup.info team and its readers over the coming months.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded InMonarch® Company?
Anuraag Ajmera: My entrepreneurial journey started with high aspirations and big dreams when I was in my engineering final year. I took a U-turn by changing my line from Mechanical Engineer to Fashion Entrepreneur. It’s a long and very interesting story which I cannot write in short but in brief here are the highlights:
In 1995, I started Monarch Garments as a co-founder. This became a renowned retail store for men’s apparel in western Rajasthan within seven years, especially in Jodhpur. Since then we are known for our expertise in giving well-fitted custom high-end suits in one shot. Our product range has increased gradually each year, and today, we manufacture mostly everything and have something for each generation. I feel proud to say that as of now we have satisfied more than 100,000 offline retail customers. We are making all types of suits from business to formal to a wedding for men and women. The product range which Monarch Garments is delivering to its customer starts from Business suits, Tuxedos suits, shirts, breeches, Bandhgala | Nehru suits, Sherwanis, Trousers, etc. All are made tailor fit. So with this company, as of today, I played a key personal role as a master tailor in providing a well-fitted made-to-measure suit to more than 25000 offline | retail satisfied customers.
In 2011, I, founded InMonarch®, A digital Men’s Custom Clothier Company, with the main idea to get orders from worldwide online customers looking for tailor-made men’s suits. It was not an easy decision as I knew if the fitting and quality do not go well for any reason, then chargeback and a-to-z case options are there with customers to return the suit. But I knew we had the expertise and now see today Inmonarch is becoming a famous online brand for custom made Indian wedding Luxury outfits for the groom and groomsmen worldwide. We have a large bank of satisfied customers with us. So with this company, I now have ten years of experience as a personal Digital MensWear stylist | Outfitter, and Fit Specialist. I have personally managed more than 12000 e-commerce customers to get well-fitted tailored suits through InMonarch.
In 2016 under my vision successfully developed a flagship e-commerce platform for the company InMonarch. This e-commerce platform displays all the inventory, which is there in our retail showroom, from models to fabric and accessories. It takes bespoke men’s suits orders online through the website https://www.inmonarch.com. This e-commerce platform has two more apps integrated with it; one is an IOS app, and one is the Android app, which is further taking orders. Apart from this, it is synchronized with nine amazon stores that we have. In this way, it helps in maintaining inventory and orders position up to date with minimum Human Resources.
Presently my international clients don’t have to shop for retail anymore because I am always with them through InMonarch iOS & Android Apps and its website.
As of today, with both of these companies, I bring with me more than 24 years of experience in manufacturing high-end tailored men’s suits domestically and internationally.
What are your accomplishments?
Anuraag Ajmera: I have successfully developed two fashion brands in the field of men’s luxury custom-made clothes. One is “Monarch,” which is domestically fame, and the Other is “Inmonarch,” which is international fame. I did Mechanical Engineering in 1993 from MBM Engineering College, Jodhpur, with Honors Grade. I took a Diploma In Advance Computing from CDAC Hyderabad in 2000.
How does InMonarch® innovate?
Anuraag Ajmera: We are in the business of Luxury custom-made Menswear. We are dealing with all sizes, whether it is small, big, or tall. Now and then, we are dealing with a new design. So without innovation, we cannot live. I am innovating my work for the last 24 years. Particularly from the last ten years, my aim towards innovation is to give the best fitting to my online customers whom I have never met personally. Finally, I am getting great success in making custom-fit suits without trials which can be measured by the quality of feedback I am receiving from my customers. Whenever I see any new body in shape and size, I innovate my methods as I strongly believe that if measurements are taken correctly with perfect body reading, then no trials are needed.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Anuraag Ajmera: Well, the COVID-19 pandemic was a major obstacle that affected our business in two ways:
From Working Perspective, it forced every one of our tailor units, to work from home. We transferred all our machines to individual worker homes so that we can have production unstoppable. We started back in May, and we are still going strong! And this is very likely to continue for some more months. The interesting thing is that, contrary to expectations, we can work very efficiently. If it all goes well like this for one year soon, we will continue to work like this forever.
From a commercial perspective, social distancing conditions and Government imposed lockdowns affected our showroom | shop sales. It was the same case initially with our online business. Internationally people lost their job, people started working from home, and the Weddings got postponed. Now both are picking up. We have not lost our sales in both cases, but it can be said our sales got postponed and we are very likely to come back as weddings have started.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources and what are the lessons learned?
Anuraag Ajmera: An important lesson learned was how good you are working with any external forces like this pandemic can stop your business domestically and internationally. This we had never thought.
Also, hire skilled local tailors as much possible as you can.
Use as much as possible connecting apps for texting and video calling with tailors and others while working. It saves tremendous time in transferring and understanding the instruction correctly to make custom-made garments.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Anuraag Ajmera: In straightway our business customer relationship management depends on fitting. How good fitting you can give to customer clothing is directly proportional to a good customer relationship. So we use fitting as our specific tool.
Your final thoughts?
Anuraag Ajmera: We customize mainly special clothing for any size for their special day, which is harder to customize than any everyday wear clothing. Many of our customers who made wedding clothing for them in the past are now our regular customers. They are making their business suits and everyday clothing like shirts, trousers, and blazers from us. The reason is we have their perfect fitting with us. Our main expertise is giving one-time online custom fitting without trials for any men’s suit you make from us. This is making customers worldwide happy and fetching us repeat orders for their day-to-day clothes which I mentioned above. Our clients are businessmen, grooms, groomsmen, high school students attending Prom, and Musicians (wearing Nehru jackets). We have 18 categories in menswear and nearly 4000 products on our website, which we offer with standard size and with tailor-made options with no extra cost. So we are in luxury clothing with affordable elegance.
We are on Amazon.com for the last seven years. We are consistently maintaining the quality and timely delivery to our customers there, which is a significant achievement for any fashion brand doing custom-made international business.