Pearl Uppal, who quit Yahoo! India as director, sales in October, has partnered with Harish Bahl, founder and chief executive officer, Smile Interactive Technologies Group to launch an online retail venture called Fashionandyou.com.
Uppal will be the co-founder and chief executive officer, while Bahl will hold the position of investor, founder and chairperson of Fashionandyou.com. He will act as a mentor and also be involved in the daily operations of the website.
The portal will go live on November 16. Uppal explains that the business model of Fashionandyou.com will be based on the concept of sample sales, in which a shopping portal organises online sales to sell luxury brands and high-end fashion products at discounted rates of up to 70 per cent.
Usually, an online sample sale event lasts for a limited period (24-72 hours) and a fixed quantity is offered on sale.
Products such as apparel, watches, footwear, handbags, sunglasses and home décor will be made available on sale on Fashionandyou.com.
The venture will be targeted towards the upper middle class segment and high net worth individuals.
Only those users who are members of the website can purchase the products. The membership to the portal will be free but based on invitations only.
Uppal says that Fashionandyou.com is actually a part of a global brand alliance consisting of seven other sample sale websites across Russia (Kupivip.ru), Canada (Beyondtherack.com), Switzerland (Fashionfriends.ch), Brazil (Brandsclub.com.br), Germany, Turkey and Australia. All portals will share market strategies and may come together to buy products from manufacturers.
Apart from receiving investment from Harish Bahl, Fashionandyou.com has also received funding from a few European investors. Although Uppal is not ready to reveal the names of the European investors, she indicates that the investors are the same for other portals in the alliance.
Initially, the retail venture will be promoted through social media and word of mouth marketing.
Interestingly, Bahl has not exited from Smile Interactive.
Smile Interactive owns a stake in interactive agency Quasar and has incubated ventures such as Tyroo.com, an online ad network; Zoomtra.com, a travel meta search engine and Zumtra, an online travel technology provider.