Exclusive: Fashion And You co-founder, Rahul Narvekar has joined broadcaster NDTV to set up its e-commerce operations, MediaNama has heard from sources. We contacted Narvekar and he declined to confirm or deny this development. We have heard that Narvekar will be heading NDTV’s e-commerce business, although the exact designation is not clear at the time of writing this article.
Earlier this week, NDTV had stated its plans to enter the e-commerce space through its subsidiary NDTV Worldwide Ltd. Its not clear whether the company is setting up an online commerce business, or a new TV Channel, with home shopping, on the lines of STAR CJ and HomeShop18, but we’ve heard from sources that the venture will target Indian diaspora with ethnic wear.
As we said earlier, a late entry into the e-commerce segment isn’t that bad as an idea, since the market has already been created by others. But it is yet to be seen if NDTV will be able to generate significant traction for its e-commerce venture. While the NDTV brand affiliation might give it leverage, it is also possible that the venture might face problems while scaling due to a comparatively large bureaucratic firm.
Narvekar was the co-founder and director, brand sourcing, FashionAndYou.com. However, he had filed a company petition against Gold Square Sales India Pvt Ltd, the company that owns and operates FashionandYou, saying that he has reasons to believe that the company is allotting fresh shares against his interest in October 2012.
We have heard from sources that Narvekar was later brought on to revive the fashion website ThePrivateSales, which, we hear, is winding down its operations. This shutdown was also mentioned in a Quora thread last month and a note on the website states that it is currently down for maintenance, at the time of writing this article.
ThePrivateSales had raised $5 million from a group of five investing companies in May 2011 and taken a loan of Rs 1 crore from Delhi based entity Nextwave Communications, which owns 18.94% shares in HFCL as of December 31, 2012. It offered clothes and accessories from designer brands including the likes of Hugo Boss, Ralph Lauren, Esprit, Nautica and Gucci and had claimed to have 400,000 registered members and 140 brands as of May 2011.