Abhay Batra, the Co-founder and CFO of Clovia, has recently earned a well-deserved spot on the prestigious ‘BW Retail World 40 under 40’ list for his exceptional contributions to the industry.
Born and raised in Delhi, Abhay hails from a family of Chartered Accountants. Despite being offered the opportunity to join his father’s established 40-year-old CA practice, he instead opted to work as a Business Consultant at Protiviti. However, after six months, he realised that he wanted to be on the other side of the table where he could create value.
He then joined a client company, MMTC-PAMP India Pvt. Ltd., as the Chief Accounting and Corporate Controller. This company was a joint venture between a Swiss MNC and the Government of India, and he joined during its set-up stages, giving him the chance to learn how to build a company from the ground up. He learned from some of the best in the business and excelled in areas outside of his educational field.
After four years at MMTC-PAMP, when the learning started to slow down, Abhay took another leap of faith and joined hands with four other co-founders to create Clovia, which has since become a success story.
Abhay played a pivotal role in helping to grow the brand from a seed venture to a company with Rs 350 crore in revenue with minimal brand budgets, thanks to the team’s tight operations and strong word-of-mouth marketing.
This year, Clovia became one of the biggest exits in the Indian apparel space, raising its profile globally, and Abhay played a significant role in making this deal a success.
Clovia has also onboarded Shraddha Kapoor as its brand ambassador.
Clovia has achieved a significant milestone by offering a wide range of over 6,000 product styles, including 250 new styles every month, in more than 75 sizes. This is made possible through their feedback-led design approach, which involves processing over 1 million product feedbacks and 140 million customer profile data points to improve their fits and design collection. Their proprietary “Clovia Curve Fit Test” has helped nearly 600,000 women find the right size for them.
This year, Clovia became one of the biggest exits in the Indian apparel space when it was acquired by Reliance Group in a deal worth USD 125Mn, raising its profile globally. The company employs nearly 600 people on its rolls, while another 750 are off-roll. The brand indirectly provides employment to 7500 more people.
The brand has expanded its presence with 60 exclusive brand outlets and 250 other retail touchpoints, ships close to 1.5 Million pieces a month and has over 65 per cent of its revenue coming from Tier 2 & Tier 3 cities. They work with 140 factories in India to manufacture various product lines, completely Made In India. With a customer base of 4 million, it sells a product every 2.5 seconds.
Abhay is currently responsible for operations and supply chain, product quality, finance and legal, HR, admin, and IT at Clovia. The company’s proprietary technology engine, ReX, helps gauge customer purchase patterns and track post-purchase/usage feedback. The patent-pending algorithms help the company understand which products, designs, and colours are being purchased more, as well as which products have high satisfaction scores, enabling it to provide better products and plan inventory better. Clovia also uses smart technology and big data analytics for smart management of its inventory, ensuring it has the industry’s best inventory holding, one of the most critical parameters for scaling an apparel business.
Recently, Clovia launched Whatsapp as a service provider for customers to trigger purchase, offer, and service updates on the platform. The Bra BOT understands customer requirements from their messages and identifies sales or service processes. The BOT engaged 200,000 customers in the first 30 days of the launch and drove the sales process by understanding what customers are looking for and making product suggestions.
In addition to his impressive business acumen, Abhay has won several awards, including the CF0100 Roll of Honour 2021 for Raising Capital and Funds Management, the CF0100 Roll of Honour 2019 for Cost Control and Management, and the Pride of India Brands Award 2022, CFO100 Roll of Honour 2023 (Mergers & Acquisitions), CII MSME CFO of the Year 2023 and BW Retail World 40 under 40 by Bw Businessworld. He is also a trained Hindustani classical vocalist, a PADI certified Scuba Diver, an adventurer (Marathon runner, Sky Diver, Bungee, paragliding, and much more.