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Spectrum Casuals – A Student Startup that could be the underdog of bulk apparel business

Spectrum Casuals is a student startup (started by IIT Kanpur students) that deals with bulk orders in customized apparels (t-shirts,sweatshirts,track suits,bags,etc),goodies,merchandise,in a nutshell – i.e. anything and everything that requires customization.We design,develop,and deliver the goods at doorsteps of suppliers.spectrum-logo-final-Copy-2

What’s the big deal about them? Well, they have focused on a niche segment of customers and have cracked deals with instiutions like IIT Kanpur (but obviously), IIT Kharagpur, BITS Pilani, ISM Dhanbad,  DCE, IIT Indore etc and even bagged corporate clients like SAIL, BHEL etc.

In its current form, the startup doesn’t offer online ordering/customization, but the crux of the business is in bagging these big clients and building custom tees/merchandise for them.

Update: Notes from Mayank Valecha(founder of SpectrumCasuals):

We have been in the market for about a year, have been growing steadily.Initially we received some small orders from our respective institutions,and got work in some certain part of the year only,but as we expanded our horizons and our reach, we now keep getting some good deals,all thru d year, and have created a name for ourselves and a brand in the market. Recently we have been to get some big orders, from some major fests all over india. For our promotion purposes, we have also sponsored some big fests and have worked as Apparel/Merchandise Sponsor/Partner.

Yeah only recently we have been thinking of expanding to online retail , we have created a new web site called Spectrumbuy.com, and only some minor formalities have left, it will also be up soon.

If you look at custom merchandizing business, very few startups are actually still working on them – since consumer part of the business is too heavy for customization (few funded companies were setting up stores in shopping malls, but the amount of customization customers expected vs. RoI didn’t really match). The bigger money lies with corporate clients/educational institutions which always works with some bit of ‘jugaad’ (i.e. contacts).

SpectrumCasuals is currently focusing only on these customers and as part of Phase 1, have stayed away from the consumer part of business, which requires quite a bit of investment in infrastructure/marketing/PG integration etc.

In a way they aren’t different from several other small stores in big cities, but what really matters is their client base and the focus on serving only a particular segment.

What’s your take on such a business model? It may not sound super sexy, but is surely appealing. Right?

[Our coverage of Student Startups is supported by Lenovo’s DoNetwork initiative.]

[Are you a student working on a startup idea, we would like to talk to you. Fill in the form at http://www.NextBigWhat.com/students/ and we will get in touch with you.]

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