While most of India’s business women concentrate on power dressing, adopting a no-nonsense demeanour and outworking men on clocking time, 20-year-old Mehal Kejriwal with her boho dressing style, petite stature and casual working module has banked upon an idea that not many have cashed in on in the country as yet. It’s a concept that has been gaining popularity in the west, but what provoked the just-out-of-her-teens youngster to get up and do something about it was a simple situation that she saw in her home.
Reused luxury – it’s a concept that has been frowned upon by a few, but more and more consumers are now beginning to understand the value behind a concept such as this. Mehal Kejriwal’s DuaVivo is one of few such initiatives in the country where a user can either sell pre-owned luxury goods, and aspiring clients can buy spa-treated pre-owned items such as designer handbags, belts, wallets, sunglasses, watches and more. The idea is all about offering luxury articles at an affordable price to aspiring buyers and reusing and recycling expensive and long-lasting merchandise, thereby kicking off a campaign to recycle, reuse and reduce wastage, even in the luxury segment of the market.
RITZ meets the youngster who started off her campaign, first through an online module and is now replicating the model though DuaVivo stores across the country
Photography: Lucky Malhotra
Make up and Hair: Roshni Safir
“The word DuaVivo literally means ‘Second Life‘ and that’s what I wanted to do with luxury merchandise – give them a new lease of life,” 20-year-old Mehal Kejriwal tells us. The idea popped into the youngster’s head as she watched constant battles for closet space between her parents, Vivek and Anju Kejriwal. “My mom loves to buy new bags and shoes and dad was always arguing with her because she would not use it after a couple of times and would lie unused in the closet. He would always push her to spend to invest on gold or land as it had a resale value. During one such argument Dad happened to say that the only solution to the problem was to sell off some of mom’s stuff and that’s when the idea hit me,” explains the petite beauty. The casual statement left her with some deep thoughts and soon Mehal had worked out a business plan which she put forth to her father Vivek Kejriwal, MD of Sunvik TMT Steel.
Being the hard-nosed businessman that he is, Vivek Kejriwal saw worth in his young daughter’s idea and offered to back her financially to put her idea to fruition. “It took me and my team a whole year to get the website up and running, put a team of authenticators into place, get the back-end teams set up and begin procuring merchandise to put on sale. Today DuaVivo has procured more than 450 luxury products for the website and store in Bengaluru and sold more than 170 products, all in the span of five months since we have gone live,” Mehal tells proudly.
“I plan to have more stores – in all the metro cities of India, Dubai and Singapore are on the cards as well”
So how does her business model work? “Its simple, there are three ways in which you can deal with us. If you would like to buy, you can place an order on our website: www.duavivo.in or App (available on both iOS & Android) or you walk into our luxury store and purchase the product you wish. To sell your luxury darlings with us there are three ways. You could register on our website DuaVivo.in or app. One – consign with us – as a seller once you list your product for sale, post which our team will contact you to authenticate the product you wish to sell and then revert with a price that would be around 40 to 55 percent of the value that you paid at the time of purchase. One hundred percent confidentiality is provided to both the buyer and seller in this case. Two – you can list your product for direct sale and an interested party will contact you directly for which the transaction would be completed handled by you and you would only pay my company a fixed facilitator fee. Three – you can directly sell it to DuaVivo and get paid for it within three days,” she explains.
The merchandise on sale on the website and at their brick and mortar store VR Bengaluru, ranges from designer women’s and men’s hand bags, luggage, belts, watches, wallets, pens, sunglasses and even some shoes. High-end brands such as Louis Vuitton, Prada, Bottega Veneta, Omega, Tag Heuer, Mont Blanc, Christian Dior and Jimmy Choo are some of the most highly listed, while mid-level luxury names like Michael Kors and Coach are also available for sale. “The formula is simple,” explains Mehal. “The more expensive luxury products – especially designer brands that never go on sale – are the best buys. Mid-level luxury brands that often have seasonal sales are sold at price-points lower than what they would be during sale. Limited edition products have greater value as you can buy them for nearly 50 percent lesser than what the store value would be.”
According to her the way to look at the idea of pre-used luxury is different. “One must understand that these products are expensive to make, and hence extremely expensive to buy. For many, spending Rs. 1,00,000 to buy a Louis Vuitton bag is difficult. But with this solution, you can buy the same one for around half the price, use it a couple of times and resell it and get around 70 to 75% of their money back. Therefore, now you have used a beautiful Louis Vuitton bag for just Rs.15,000 to 20,000 where its MRP is Rs 1,00,000.” She adds here “A platform like DuaVivo also does away with the ‘bored of being seen with’ issue that many luxury users are troubled by.”
Presently DuaVivo primarily operates from their online platform, but their store in Bengaluru is a great space for a first-time buyer to check out the condition and genuineness of products. “We work with an American authentication firm – Authenticate First, who certifies every product that comes to us. We provide a 100% original lifetime money-back guarantee if the product is proved to be fake. The company provides every client this important layer of protection against counterfeits in the market. It is only upon receiving an authentication certificate from them that we actually go ahead and procure a product, have it cleaned and refurbished as needed and then list it for sale on our website and store,” explains Mehal. “We’ve come across a few fakes in the process and have promptly returned them to the owner with a ‘thanks, but no thanks’ note. We’re not selling any fakes though our website or store, you can be sure of that and the lifetime money-back guarantee authentication certificate provided for each product can be validated by the brand itself,” she tells.
Considering the response Mehal has seen over the last five months, she is now all set to open her second store – this one at the capital city – one of the country’s most extensive luxury user hubs and aspirational communities. “I want to get more people to understand the idea of recycle, reused and reduce when it comes to luxury merchandise and I feel the best way to do this would be to have more stores where people can come and see what is on display and buy or sell once they’re fully convinced. It helps build trust, provides a touch and feel factor and gives a customer a luxury shopping experience.” she tells us.
Presently her buyer network spreads across the entire country with concentration on Delhi, Mumbai and tier 2 cities and orders from abroad, while the seller network remains concentrated to the main metros within India. “I plan to have more stores – in all the metro cities of India. Also Dubai and Singapore are on the cards – and I want more users from India to pro-actively sell online so that the buyer network may increase as well. And I understand that the only way to achieve that is to educate the consumer,” she says.
She’s also seeking funding to action her expansion plans and is in the process of compiling detailed business plans to take to Venture Capitalist and Angel Investors.
And what’s her life like when she’s not working, we ask? “Since the business is now picking up I’m working most of the time,” she says with a laugh. “But I do take some time to meet friends, indulge in a bit of dancing since I love it and make the most of family time with my parents and sister. I find great satisfaction in bouncing ideas off my dad and mom – they are always my biggest critics and that has definitely helped me shape my company better.” she says signing off.
App: DuaVIvo : available on both iOS & Android
Ground Floor, VR Bangalore Mall, Whitefield Main road, Mahadevpura, Bengaluru 560048
Phone: : +91 7676104444
Main Road, Near Starbucks, Hauz Khas Village New Delhi 110016