INSIGHTS Podcast Series — #7: Anjana Reddy — What’s Right About WROGN?

Anjana Reddy and Anand Daniel after the podcast.

“You can’t get bigger than Messi,” Anjana Reddy says. Less than two weeks ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Reddy, founder of Indian fashion company Universal Sportsbiz Private Limited (USPL), reflects on her entrepreneurial journey from a sports e-commerce brand to a national fashion industrialist.

A sports fanatic and forward-looking business mogul, Reddy left her town in Hyderabad to attend university in the US, where she discovered something she had never seen before in the Indian market: Dogs wearing team jerseys at sporting events. Well, everyone wearing team jerseys – and drinking from team-branded beer mugs. At pep rallies, football games, and after-parties, every single attendee had a way to let you know exactly which team they were supporting. That’s when she struck gold and decided to combine her two favourite things.

With India’s craze for the game – whether that’s cricket, football, or entertainment – Reddy decided to bring the business model to India in early 2012 through Collectabillia.com, a celebrity-based e-commerce merchandise and memorabilia brand. For this brand, she signed legends like Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, and Rajnikanth. In 2014, she even managed to sign Lionel Messi right before he played the World Cup (despite a run-in with the Spanish Embassy; you’ll have to hear her story to believe it).

After her initial success, she developed her business even further, scaling it to include women’s fashion and youth-oriented clothing in both online and offline markets with WROGN and Imara. Though she was unfamiliar with the clothing industry, one of the oldest trades in the country, she spent nights studying the entire process from yarn to final product at factories, and analysed the market for years in order to position her brand effectively.

USPL is a lesson in market disruption, customer valuation, and how a little entrepreneurial drive can make a world of difference. Join us as Reddy, now on the Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list, discusses the importance of market analysis, distribution, and funding.

Accel shares such interesting entrepreneurial stories, with informative nuggets to run and scale your startup. Follow the links below and subscribe to our #AccelInsights Podcast Series using the following links: iTunes, Twitter @Accel_India, Google Music: (US & Canada Only)and the RSS feed

We Are The Champions

At the start of the world cup, I blogged wishing our team the very best and saying that Dhoni would have to deliver for us to win the cup. All through the tournament, Dhoni did not hit form, but the rest of the team – Sehwag, Tendulkar, Kohli, Gambhir, Yuvraj, Raina, Zaheer, Harbhajan and Ashwin – all pitched in to get us to the finals. This was an outstanding team effort. And today, in the finals, and under tremendous pressure, Dhoni delivered the goods. This innings was a feather to Dhoni’s captaincy cap that he has worn with class all through this world cup. Also, hats off to Gambhir and Kohli for outstanding knocks under huge pressure. 

The Indian cricket team has brought great joy to a billion people. Today is one of the happiest days of my life and all thanks to the Indian cricket team. This video is dedicated to Dhoni and his men. You have made a whole nation proud!

 

Book: 2 States by Chetan Bhagat

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The main spotlight to my otherwise dull weekend was reading Chetan Bhagat’s “2 States”

Really liked the book as it helped me not get depressed watching India “snatch defeat from the jaws of victory” as they lost to South Africa in the Cricket World Cup on Saturday.

The book was a light read (was able to go through it before the match got over – imagine how exciting the match was) but was also great in highlighting how diverse India is in terms of culture. It portrays the trials and tribulations of a young couple who meet in college, fall in love and try to convince their parents to let them get married. It’s almost like people from two different countries from the EU (maybe one from the erstwhile Eastern Block nations) and the other from Western Europe, getting married.

Parts of it are hilarious – particularly the nuances of Tamil and Punjabi culture highlighted in Chetan’s unique style. 

Thanks Chetan for making my weekend less painful.

I’m hoping I don’t need a book for next Sunday’s India vs. West Indies game!

 

 

Jai Ho!

“When the Indian team is playing cricket, India stops worrying about Inflation, Corruption, SENSEX and everything else” 

– paraphased quote of Harsha Bogle on CNN IBN, Saturday, Feb 19 2011

It’s just a couple of hours to go for the 2011 Cricket world cup to begin for the India team and the excitement is all over the air. I flipped through ten different channels and all of them have discussions around the world cup and many of them are talking about Sachin Tendulkar being key to the world cup. But, in my mind, Mahendra Singh Dhoni needs to pull off a Kapil Dev for  India to win this world cup. Kapil led from the front in the 1983 world cup that India won – be it the 175 runs against Zimbabwe coming in when India was struggling at 9/4 (this innings is in Wisden’s top 10 ODI batting performances of all time) or that unforgettable catch in the finals to get rid of Viv Richards which changed the whole match – check it out below (quality not that great):

Granted, this is considered one of India’s best teams to be fielded in the world cup. But the team in 2007 wasn’t bad either. I still remember my Barbados trip with a group of friends (both Indians and Pakistanis) hoping to see some matches in the Super 8 including India vs. Pakistan. But lo and behold, both teams got knocked out and we ended up seeing Ireland and Bangladesh play. My wife and I ended up having a blast in Barbados with our friends, but we still really missed seeing India and Pakistan play.

Now, coming back to this world cup. I agree we have an outstanding team – particularly from a batting line up perspective (Sachi, Sehwag, Gambhir, Raina, Dhoni, Yuvraj, Pathan to name a few). Our bowling is not too bad either especially if Zaheer and Harbhajan deliver. But, I think it’s key for Dhoni to quickly get back into his outstanding batting form and lead the team from the front. Last year’s IPL victory for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) is a testament to what Dhoni can do at crunch time. I still vividly remember his 54 run knock against Kings X1 Punjab and particularly how he paced himself till the last over and unleashed a torrent of sixes to take CSK through to the semi-final. That IPL knock which I saw live on TV was a touch of pure genius. You can relive and enjoy that final over by clicking here.

And the way Dhoni lead the CSK team to the Champions League T20 victory against the best teams from all over the globe, was also amazing. I salute his leadership skills and have high hopes for him and our dear Indian cricket team. 

Here’s wishing the Indian cricket team the very best of luck for this world cup and may they bring joy to the hundreds of millions of fans around the globe!

 

 

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