Raghavendera Singh Raghav, Founder of My Luxury Bargain tells us about authentic pre-owned luxury.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Raghavendera Singh Raghav: My family and I are doing very well. Thank you for asking. The pandemic and the lockdown has been a different kind of a journey for all of us, but it did not stop my family and me from spending time with each other. Personally, I got back to old hobbies like photography and cooking, to name a few that were long forgotten. Overall, it was a quiet and private time that seemed pending on my behalf for a very long time.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded My Luxury Bargain.
Raghavendera Singh Raghav: I was a finance guy who was handling portfolios of HNI’s. I gave my GMAT in 2015 to study abroad, and just before my result, I was going through a magazine where I read an article about the booming Pre Owned Luxury market in the USA. I was intrigued by this article and sat one weekend to get an idea about what was a pre-owned luxury and why it was booming in the west. I was fascinated by the numbers. I cancelled my plan to go abroad and study and started researching on the sector. After nine months of research, I concluded that this concept would thrive in India. I decided to start a website named My Luxury Bargain; a market place for Pre Owned Luxury Fashion.
How does My Luxury Bargain innovate?
Raghavendera Singh Raghav: We pay close attention to customer feedback. One such example of innovation was a small change that we did to our website. That change yielded a great advantage for buyers as well as sellers on the website – The “Negotiate Tab” lets buyers haggle the price of luxury items with their sellers. An Indian buyer loves to bargain on anything, and when we introduce the ability to bargain for Luxury accessories; the market gave us an immensely positive response.
The other feedback that we have received from our customers; and what our next innovation will be, is an app that has the ability to reveal a luxury item’s current resale value so that a Luxury handbags buyer can make an educated decision to sell it, consign it, hold onto it, or maybe even buy more. The app will be able to pull from a database of over 75 brands and 12,000 bags and will be able to tell a luxury buyer what her item’s value will be in the resale market.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Raghavendera Singh Raghav: We have always believed in the philosophy of the Lean Methodology. Our belief in optimizing people, resources, effort, and energy of our organization toward creating value for the customer paid off during the pandemic. When it comes to business finances, we were in a great position to handle the downturn during the pandemic. Aside from Social media advertising costs, we did not need to control our expenses in any other business areas.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Raghavendera Singh Raghav: At first, when the lockdown took place, the entire team was anxious at the concept of working from home. These were tough times for the entire team. Family’s health was a priority, and working from home was a concept that took everyone a little time to get accustomed to. We are a small team, so no hard decisions were required to be taken. However, keeping the team on the same tangent and keeping them motivated while each one of us worked from home was a task. Needless to say that each one of us kept each other’s energy level high, be it on the professional front or the family front, we had each other’s back.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Raghavendera Singh Raghav: During the pandemic, our consignees who sell their luxury items on our website were unable to physically send the item to us. Thus we turned to technology and the internet to help them consign on our platform. We asked sellers for a detailed video of the item and shared the same with the prospective buyers. In turn, buyers were able to book an item for themselves by paying a small fee, and once the lockdown was eased, they received their items.
Even during the crucial times of Covid 19, we did not compromise on authenticity, transparency, and personal attention to every transaction.
Your final thoughts?
Raghavendera Singh Raghav: My Luxury Bargain is all about luxury at its best. Covid 19, without a doubt, gave us a whole new perspective on our business. Nevertheless, it has opened new avenues, and we look forward to every challenge as a learning opportunity that will augment our services to our customers.