ReshaMandi is India’s first and largest digital ecosystem for the natural fibre supply chain from farm to fashion. In a short span of two years, ReshaMandi has witnessed a formidable growth with increase in revenue from Rs. 20 crore in FY21 to Rs. 450 crore in FY22.

ReshaMandi initially in the early 2020 started with silk, however, in FY22, they have added other natural fibres such as cotton, coir, jute and banana to the portfolio, managing the full eco-system for all natural fibres catering to a diverse set of stakeholders.  Today, ReshaMandi works with 60,000 farmers, more than 10,000 weavers, over 7,500 yarn manufacturers and 3500 retailers.

Mayank Tiwari is the Founder and CEO of ReshaMandi, India’s first and largest digital ecosystem for natural fibre supply chain, starting from farm to retail; aimed at creating definitive fashion trends. In his present capacity, Mayank is responsible for leading effective teams, streamlining operations and strategy across the organisation, with the objective of enhancing market share and driving sustainable growth. Mayank has 13 years of cross-domain experience across user experience, retail, e-commerce, and lean manufacturing to drive continuous business improvement and help exceed the revenue and profitability objectives.

Utilising his experience and expertise, Mayank aims to help rural India by providing sustainable livelihood, financial inclusion, and making them rural super consumers via ReshaMandi. This is aligned with his vision to build India as the natural fibre powerhouse that would streamline the apparel and textile industry and empower stakeholders in the ecosystem. He is a gold medallist from the prestigious NIFT (Batch of 2007) with a specialisation in apparel technology. Beyond his corporate life, Mayank takes a keen interest in travelling, poetry, singing, and reading books in his leisure time. He has featured in the Fortune India 40 under 40 list of 2022.

Mayank Tiwari, Founder and CEO of ReshaMandi, spoke exclusively with the Textile Value Chainrecently during an interaction.

Excerpts:

  • What inspired you to start a platform like ReshaMandi? / How did you come up with the idea and how were your initial days while bringing this idea into reality?
    ReshaMandi is India’s first and largest farm-to-fashion digital ecosystem for the natural fibres supply chain. The inspiration for the concept first struck in early 2020 as we wanted to promote one of India’s most treasured legacies – the silk industry.

    My education and experience in working closely with artisans in the handlooms and handicrafts sector in NIFT set me up to pursue a venture in the silk industry. With a deep interest in finer fabrics, I discerned gaping problems in the supply chain which caused most of the stakeholders to lose out monetarily and the consumers to have to pay a higher price for the end products.

    The natural fibre industry is highly unorganised with problems like price fluctuations, absence of proper markets, lack of proper logistics, no definitive advisory, minimal quality testing and no transparency in the processes. Issues like lack of standardization in the industry, poor database management, diverse range of practices leading to fluctuations in production and quality are still plaguing the sector. This led to the initial conception of the idea of ReshaMandi.

    Soon we were able to deduce various pain points in different verticals of the supply chain and conceptualized a solution in the form of ReshaMandi mobile application – a 360 degree solution that engages all the stakeholders in the silk industry such as farmers, reelers and weavers  and addresses the entire cycle of silk production right form the harvest to the end product i.e., the fabric. ReshaMandi’s technological interventions have revolutionised the natural fibre supply chain since its start, which has helped regulate the unorganized segment. Technology has been the enabler here for us to ensure a smooth supply chain management.
    Right from the initial stage, our founding team worked closely with the stakeholders and spent much time studying the problem statements in each vertical of the supply chain. At present we work with 60,000+ farmers, 7,500 yarn manufacturers, 10,000+ weavers,  3500+ retailers and they are our biggest advocates. The number is only going up while our stakeholder universe is also expanding. We are tapping the entire natural fibres supply chain with a singular purpose to improve productivity and boost profits for all our stakeholders.

    How did you reach out to the farmers? How did you tap this market?
    The initial days were quite challenging as we had to convince farmers about our platform and the value we are bringing to them. When we started in the midst of the pandemic, I used to answer every call from farmers. Whatever the time, if a farmer called and informed me about his crop, I would drive to the farmland to meet the farmer and make, sure that they received quality-based pricing. Word of mouth helped in building the community and we continue to do so.

  • How did you convince your investors to invest in something that had a concept never heard before involved in it? 

We have always believed raising finance shouldn’t be difficult if the business idea is solid and the founders are clear on their vision. It’s crucial to realize that businesses must adhere to good governance and demonstrate consistent income and profitability.

We believe our foundation is solid, therefore we were able to get the right partners to invest in our business.

  • How does ReshaMandi promote sustainability?

We have been staunch advocates of sustainable fashion from the beginning of our journey. A popular saying in silk is that there is no wastage, only by-products. Reshamandi is working on multiple such initiatives (Mulberry twigs, Pupae) to move towards a zero-waste supply chain by recycling these by-products.

We are working closely with the farmers and reelers to reuse and recycle the waste generated in farmlands and reeling units. Mulberry twigs were burnt by farmers because they have no use for them. However now these twigs are being reused as essential raw materials in the cosmetics, medicinal, and FMCG industries.

The protein Sericin, which is a by-product of silk yarn manufacturing is a useful ingredient for skincare products but was being discarded by reelers, is used in silk protein-based skincare. Pupae, waste generated at reeling units, can be used in fish feeding and poultry feeding.

Silk Waste & waste cocoons (waste generated at reeling units & farmlands respectively) can be used to extract sericin that can be used in packaging (enhancing food shelf life) and pharma industries.

With the mission to bridge the gap between the creators and buyers of Indian fabrics, ReshaMandi functions on these basic principles – traceability, affordability, accessibility and profitability for all its stakeholders.

  • How do you coordinate with the locals? What is your action plan of ReshaMandi?
    We offer insights across the value chain for the entire ecosystem. These include updates to farmers on weather and soil quality and how it could impact cocoons, market linkages of both input procurement (cocoon) and output (yarns), maintaining ledgers, information on best practices and purchasing machine tools, etc., for weavers. We also have a huge network of procurement centres around the country where farmers can get in touch with our representatives, either through a phone call or by physically visiting the centre with a prior appointment. Farmers have the option to pick up inputs directly or order through the app with the representative’s help.. We also enable the logistics aspect of the supply chain and reduce the burden on the farmer, helping with trust-building in the process. By partnering with us, farmers have realised that they can get the right price and right value with convenience. With ReshaMandi establishing procurement centres in the silk belt of India, farmers can avoid long-distance travel and also tackle uncertainties associated with the business. We run 20 to 25 Mandis (big markets) across Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Maharashtra.
  • Are you planning on expanding to other natural fibres?
    In FY22, we have added other natural fibres such as cotton, coir, jute and banana to our portfolio apart from silk. We now manage the full eco-system for all natural fibres catering to a diverse set of stakeholders.
  •   What other unique solutions do you offer?

    Apart from connecting the various stakeholders of the natural fibre supply chain, ReshaMandi has also made a foray into micro-financing solutions via its Fintech arm- ReshaMudra. This is meant to assist all industry stakeholders by empowering them monetarily, beginning with farmers, reelers, weavers, and retailers by providing them with working capital and finances to strengthen their businesses.

Our ReshaMandi Super app connects different stakeholders across the supply chain. The platform is a single-stop solution providing linkages across verticals as well as integrations with fintech partners and marketplaces.  It also offers insights across the value chain including updates on weather and soil quality and how it could impact cocoons, market linkages of both input procurement (cocoon) and selling output (yarns), maintaining ledgers, information on best practices

Through our platform ReshaWeaves, we are catering to designers, trade, corporates & end consumers by making high-quality naturally sourced fabrics and products available to them at one platform at a price that is affordable. We offer pan India sourcing for yarns, natural fibres and fabrics. We have an in-house design studio with a talented team that co-creates designs and identifies the latest market & fashion trends and procures custom-designed fabrics from across India.
Our AI-enabled quality testing of cocoons is possible for reliable market pricing. By using AI-enabled crop tracking, and providing IoT-led advisories directly to app users, the risk of crop failure is reduced by 80%

  •  How is your market reach, in India and globally?

We have always envisioned placing indigenous natural fibres on the global pedestal since we believed in its potential and quality. ReshaMandi has recently forayed into the global markets, with an aim to become a one-stop sourcing solution for all natural and recycled fabrics. ReshaMandi has a strong presence in the southern states of India, but we plan to expand business across all major natural fibre-producing states across India while also establishing itself as a leader in weaving clusters like Varanasi, Salem, Kanchipuram, Maheshwar, and Dharmavaram. We also aim to extend our retail footprint further into Agra, Kota, Gorakhpur, Dhanbad, Ranchi, Bhopal, Indore, Jabalpur, Rajkot, Vadodara, Surat, Pune, Nagpur, Satara, Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Madurai, Coimbatore, Kochi, and Kannur. We have about 15 collection centres spread across Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra and are planning to expand even further. In addition to this we have 20+ procurement centres, as well as 7 business and sales centres across states like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Odisha to name a few.

We plan to become a one-stop natural and recycled fibre-sourcing platform in various countries including the Middle East, Europe, North and South America, and South East Asia to replicate the successful India model.

  • What is your projected/ expected growth in the coming years?

    Within a short span of two years, the revenue of ReshaMandi has increased from Rs 20 crore in the financial year (FY) 2021 Rs 450 crore in FY’22. Today we cater to the entire natural fibre ecosystem of farmers, reelers, weavers, retailers, mills, manufacturers, brands, exporters, and designers and are confident of achieving a revenue of Rs 2,000 crore in FY’23