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Shweta Ganesh| Posted On: 07-Feb-2013

With a passion for perfection and integrating the country’s biggest designer names on a singular platform, Surbhi Tanga along with her husband Raman Tanga have transformed the e-commerce experience. Designemporia.in is not your regular e-retail site with various discounts and offers all through. In fact the site has successfully positioned itself as a platform for bringing forth the geniuses of Indian design providing a common platform for design lovers globally. SK catches up with Surbhi Tanga who reveals all about her vision, passion and challenges to make this portal one of India’s biggest e-commerce destinations for fashion and lifestyle.

How did you come up with the idea of ‘Designemporia’?
By profession I’m an Architectural Historian and a designer as well which is why I have a deep inclination and passion for design. It’s all about interpretation and interaction with the audience. Having the keenness and ideology along with the relevant research methods that go into a venture like this, along with my husband we took the business plunge. My husband Raman comes from the IT sector and understands the nuances of this sector like no other! We combined our ideas and vision to translate it into Designemporia. It was a normal and natural extension of our abilities and sensibilities.

What were the challenges that you battled with?
Though we had our finances for integrating e-commerce and design, getting the right people to eliminate the foreseen errors was what was very challenging initially. Getting the required man force who understand the business of what’s happening and what might happen was quite a task. Also, currently we have about thirty designers on board but initially when we started off it was tough to convince them, tell them about the project in hand before they became a part of our vision. Also, dealing with the industry of designers in itself is a challenge. They function creatively and we have to play the role of being the middlemen between the designer and the customer which is not an easy task!

What, according to you would be the defining USP of the portal?
Our tagline defines what we do best- ‘When brilliant designers of India assemble under one roof, shopping online becomes an experience of majestic proportions...’ Though it sounds ambitious, it is true and we are the only players in this domain to have come up such an innovative concept. Online shopping is currently being given its due share of attention and we want to make the most of it.

How does the concept of bringing together e-commerce and e-promotion work together?
Our business model is very different! When a designer is on board, he/she is given a microsite to which id and password are provided.  The designer can access the site whenever he wants and can also upload images, deals, price as per his discretion. This gives the designer the right over his products. Think of this as visiting a mall! We pass on orders as well to designers, giving them complete freedom and command over his label. An analytics report is also made available which tells them what’s their best selling products with the numbers because in business numbers speak! This innovative model allows for interaction between the consumer and designer through us where we just provide the facility for e-promotion and e-retail.

How do you manage to keep reinventing Designemporia in the e-commerce platform considering there are developments each day?
My husband and our IT team understand this field very well so we keep track of all the latest developments and happenings. This makes us stay ahead of the times. We just revamped the look of the site and also our FB page. Social media interaction is vital to every business and we incorporate all forms of web based interaction. We also have an order processing chart which means that it’s okay if an item is not in stock. We deliver it in a couple of days when it’s available and the customer has the option to customize it as well. So, our passion and need to serve our customers better globally makes us do better!

As someone seeking affordable fashion and the season’s trendiest options, what does Designemporia offer?
We have designers and labels of various price points as far as affordability is concerned. From Rs1000 to Rs 50,000, we have options in clothing and lifestyle covering the biggest trends in and around what’s making headlines. Since it’s a web based venture, our audience is global and so are the featured products. We have young designers who are fresh out of their graduate colleges but with a thorough vision. We get only the best designers on board and our collections keep getting updated all through which means we only offer the latest and trendiest options to the fashion-seeking customers!

The Advisory Panel for your portal consists of some prominent names. What role do they play for Designemporia?
Yes, the panel consists of people like Mahesh Gupta, Abhimanyu Dalal, Kusum Chopra, Praveen Kenneth who have been in the industry and understand the role of the website really well. Dr.Kusum Chopra helped us understand the fraternity and industry better. In fact, a few of the people on board also helped us get designers on board. We needed such help, support and guidance when we first started out in order to land safely! We need such people to promote design to a global audience. Since we share the common passion for design, it works better for us.

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