How Cloud Tailor is using ML to deliver Personalized Fashion Styling

Jeenal Jain Jeenal Jain
Oct 5, 2021 13 min read
How Cloud Tailor is using ML to deliver Personalized Fashion Styling

Company Profile is an initiative by StartupTalky to publish verified information on different startups and organizations. The content in this post has been approved by Cloud Tailor.

Cloud Tailor is a D2C mobile app that enables Personalized fashion styling, fashion visualization, recommendations, order placement, tracking, and fulfillment. It is the only tech-enabled personalized fashion brand in India - Serving global women customers from India. StartupTalky interviewed Susmitha Lakkakula (Founder, Cloud Tailor) to get insights on the startup story and roadmap of the organization. In this article, you'll discover how Cloud Tailor was started, its journey to date, marketing strategies, revenue model, and more.

Cloud Tailor - Company Highlights

Startup Name Cloud Tailor
Founding Team Susmitha Lakkakula, Rudra Pratap, Mahesh Patel
Headquarters Hyderabad
Industry D2C Fashion
Website cloudtailor.in

Cloud Tailor - About and Vision
Cloud Tailor - Industry Details
Cloud Tailor - Idea & Inspiration
Cloud Tailor - Product and USP
Cloud Tailor - Founders and Team
Cloud Tailor - Name, Tagline and Logo
Cloud Tailor - Business Model & Revenue Model
Cloud Tailor - Launch and Marketing Strategies
Cloud Tailor - Challenges Faced
Cloud Tailor - Achievements & Milestones
Cloud Tailor - Funding
Cloud Tailor - Advisors & Mentors
Cloud Tailor - Competitors
Cloud Tailor - Tools used to run startup
Cloud Tailor - Future Plans
Cloud Tailor - FAQs

Cloud Tailor - About and Vision

Cloud Tailor is a D2C mobile app that enables Personalized fashion styling, fashion visualization, recommendations, order placement, tracking, and fulfillment. Cloud Tailor’s unique asset-light ‘Online + Offline’ global fulfillment business model ensures the best quality and price outcome for personalized fashion in guaranteed timelines.

Vision: To be the ‘One Stop Shop’ for all personalized fashion choices for global women.

Mission: To simplify and enhance personalized fashion choices for global women.

"We as founders believe that we have the right mix of technology skills, marketing focus, idea intensity talent, prior startup experience to make Cloud Tailor the No. 1 ‘top of the mind’ brand for personalized fashion across the globe" says Susmitha Lakkakula, Founder, Cloud Tailor

Cloud Tailor - Industry Details

Cloud Tailor Industry
Ladieswear Fashion - Market Size

The Women’s wear industry is a 185 Billion USD valued business per annum globally. The correct estimates of the Personalized fashion industry are not available since it is a completely fragmented market and there are no organized players in the market now.

As per the founder's discussions with multiple fashion experts and market leaders in this domain, the team has estimated the market in India to be a minimum of INR 8000 Crores per annum driven primarily by domestic consumption. The overseas market order fulfillment in India is an extremely under-served market accounting for only 2% of all organized personalized fashion orders. There is a huge scope to present a brand and offer timely dispatches in the best possible price points to overseas customers for their personalized fashion requirements.


Also Read: How is AI being used in Fashion Industry


Cloud Tailor - Idea & Inspiration

The primary inspiration was the founders' constant lookout for market segment gaps and under-served requirements. They excel at building an organized online solution to cater to offline requirements in society. The founding team saw a huge gap in the ‘Professional Services’ for personalized fashion, as Susmitha Lakkakula, and her husband, Rudra Pratap, faced a lot of issues trying to place orders to tailors, following up, and trying to reach them over the phone and in-person for updates and progress. The duo decided that it was time for someone to simplify this workflow and accept the challenge. Thus Cloud Tailor was born.

The first set of validators of Cloud Tailor were Industry veterans such as Mr. M C Cariappa (President, Marketing and Sales, Jockey India) and 10 boutique owners with whom the team did the idea-bounce back. All of them immediately suggested that they get started on the startup. Since they conceptualized the initial business plan and structure in Covid times in March 2020, Susmitha had to take police permission for vehicle pass to go around to meet fabric and sewing machine traders, talk to cutting masters, tailors, and other intermediaries to understand how the personalized fashion industry functions and the crucial cogs in the machinery. Susmitha went about doing online courses on fashion on Udemy and other portals. Rudra went about bringing the first UX and UI mobile app screens to life by personally sketching them. He then digitized them and hired a Flutter developer – Tarun Dak from Ahmedabad to bring them to life on Google Cloud, Firebase DB, and Flutter.

The first MVP app version in flutter was made live in the Play Store and iOS store in January 2021. To scale it to the next level, the team sought to onboard Mahesh Patel, who was then the National Head for eCommerce and online sales at Jockey India. He introduced Susmitha to M C Cariappa who was his boss. Mahesh loved the idea and scale possible and joined Cloud Tailor as Co-founder. M C Cariappa was the 1st full-time advisor to join Cloud Tailor.

The team decided to fire on all cylinders and put their personal savings together to get the professionally designed app UX and UI did by Lollypop.design. When Anil Reddy (Founder, Lollypop) listened to their vision and idea, he immediately agreed to help them build the best UI app for Cloud Tailor and also offered to personally design the ‘Cloud Tailor’ logo. The current app in development at its App and Cloud Development center in Hyderabad is being built around the researched UX and UI designs made by the same team at Lollypop.design, who had made Myntra, Paytm money, housing.com, Swiggy, Vodafone idea, and the Aditya Birla app among many others.


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Cloud Tailor - Product and USP

USP and innovation:

  1. Only tech-enabled personalized fashion brand in India - Serving global women customers from India
  2. Cloud Tailor app (Beta is live on Android and iOS) is the only mobile app that has a full fashion styling, learning, social sharing, order placement, tracking, and rewards program
  3. It fulfills global orders for 'Any Style - Any Design' - Exclusively for women's wear
  4. The entire backend fulfillment and stitching/shipping also happens through the 'Cloud Tailor Operations app' and browser applications at its dedicated Cloud Tailor Fulfillment Centers
  5. ML-based recommendation and upselling engine within the app
  6. VR visualization of dresses styled by the customer or by the fashion designer within the app
  7. Cloud Tailor has been running the Hyderabad Fulfilment Center for the last 5 months (as of Oct 2021) and is now scaling the Fulfilment center operations to Gurgaon, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, and Ludhiana in the next 4 months
  8. This gives a never-before option to Cloud Tailor's overseas customers to choose the city for the styling and stitching of their fashion
  9. It is currently serving customers in 4 countries (US, Australia, UK, and Singapore) apart from India
  10. The startup has a full-time team of app and cloud developers at its Hyderabad Software development office
  11. Cloud Tailor is guided by a well-accomplished team of advisors from Jockey, Amazon, Geodis, GATI, and TESCO Retail in this rapid scale-up process
  12. The Cloud Tailor customer app has been made by the lollypop.design team which has made the Myntra, Paytm money, Vodafone India mobile, housing.com, and Swiggy apps. bringing vast industry expertise into its app
Cloud Tailor

Key problems Cloud Tailor is solving:

  • One-Stop-Shop for all personalized fashion - No more boutique hopping for different categories of personalized fashion
  • Professional and Trained staff - Customer-centric app and offline interactions
  • Tech powered organized solution in the organized boutique market across the world
  • Overseas customers - One Stop Shop (aka mobile app) for all their personalized requirements
  • Customers can now select their home - city (for local styling cues and nuances) for all stitching orders while being based in any country globally
  • Guaranteed delivery dates - No more follow up with the tailor and No more repeated calls and anxiety
  • On app fabric options to select and tag to the orders
  • Huge opportunity for job creation for its on-app Fashion Designers (It limits to NIFT, NID, and Pearl Academy graduates and alumni for now)
  • Dedicated 'Fashion Designer' for Cloud Tailor Gold club members
  • ML-based recommendations of wardrobe shortlisting of styles - Shorten order decision cycles
  • Save all measurements on the app and tag them to the profile - Checkouts will now be a breeze
  • Doorstep measurements option in serviced pin codes for that exact fit as required
  • Lifetime free alterations for its orders - No more hunting for alteration tailors
  • Social Styling options - Share your designs and images on the Cloud Tailor app - Tag them on social as well - Let someone else order your style - Earn redeemable buttons
  • On app 'Loyalty Program' - Cloud Tailor Buttons - Redeemable on order value
  • Offer a professional work environment with good benefits to its staff

Cloud Tailor - Founders and Team

Susmitha Lakkakula, Rudra Pratap and Mahesh Patel are the co-founders of Cloud Tailor.

Susmitha is leading the company formation, strategy, USP, and product features. Rudra handles the mobile app and cloud part of the work and also the offline expansion and the details. Rudra and Mahesh Patel are friends and have known each other for the last 14 years Mahesh has a sharp business acumen has come from a business family in Gujarat. He is an expert at going to market, branding, online sales, and business partnerships at a global level. He immediately liked the idea to join as a co-founder when Susmitha and Rudra both had gone for his housewarming in Bengaluru in January 2021.

Cloud Tailor Co-founders
Cloud Tailor - Founding Team

Susmitha Lakkakula | Founder & Full Time into Cloud Tailor

  • Masters in software engineering: BITS Pilani (Software Engineering)
  • EPBM - IIM Kolkata
  • MSc – Information Science: Osmania University
  • Work Experience: Wipro Technologies/ Quantum/ Dell/ Quest (Total 19 Yrs)

Rudra Pratap | Co-Founder, Cloud Tailor

  • Masters in software engineering: BITS Pilani (Software Engineering)
  • EPBM - IIM Kolkata
  • BCA – Utkal University
  • Diploma in Advertising and PR: NiA
  • Work Experience: Wipro Technologies/ Reliance / Aliens Real Estate/ Cosyn/ raksan (Over 19 years experience)

Mahesh Patel | Co-Founder, Cloud Tailor

  • Bachelors in Hotel Management, Sunway College University, Kuala Lumpur
  • Executive MBA, NIMT
  • Work Experience: Jockey (Page Industries), Shop CJ, Reliance, Spencers, Aditya Birla Retail

Cloud Tailor Team

Currently, Cloud Tailor has a total of 8 Full-time employees and 4 part-time employees. The founders are very selective in hiring as they need to be sure that the person will be able to don multiple hats when required, is flexible to adapt to a startup, and think like an entrepreneur when it comes to the customer.

The founding team had initially booked ‘bookmytailor’ as the name of the brand and also got it Trademarked. Eventually, they realized that it did not signify the Technology depth of the startup and also the aspect of workflow happening virtually and seamlessly. Hence they brainstormed for over 3 days and found that ‘Cloud Tailor’ was an apt depiction of what they intended to be perceived as by their customers. It also had a nice ‘Cloud’ connotation to it which signifies both the ‘Cloud virtual part’ as well as ‘the cloud nine’ significance which meant satisfaction and happiness.

When they approached Lollypop team, Anil himself volunteered to design the logo. There were multiple iterations and logo designs they ran through over 45-60 days and eventually zeroed in on the one. The founders went ahead and trademarked the ‘Cloud Tailor’ word mark and this has been registered to as well.

Cloud Tailor Logo

The tagline: ‘You Design, We Stitch’ also signifies the importance of the customer in the whole process and also that the customer is a part of the whole cycle. Mita, Rajesh, and Anil from the Lollypop team played a crucial role in sharing options and also shortlisting the logo options down to the last 3.

Illustration of various Cloud Tailor Designed 

Cloud Tailor - Business Model & Revenue Model

Cloud Tailor offers a simple and reliable tech-based solution for personalized fashion solutions for global women.

Cloud Tailor Business Model
Cloud Tailor Revenue Model

Cloud Tailor's revenue model is driven by 4 sources:

  • Hyper Personalized Fashion: Style - Order - Track - Socialize. Repeat. ML-based recommendation engine
  • Ready to Fit: The Tatkal version of 'Personalized Fashion'. Tag your saved measurements >> Select 'Ready to Fit' SKU >> Place Order (dispatch in 24 hours)
  • Accessories: Select from the hand-picked accessories to match your fashion: Clutches, Tote Bags, Belts, Handbags, and many more
  • B2B Clothing Line / Personalized Fashion Outsourcing: Dedicated styling/stitching unit setup to service other brands/boutiques anywhere in the globe

Since the startup operates across all styles and design segments in women’s wear, each order is unique and thus its prices depend on the order type, the accessories, the work and time required to complete the order.

Cloud Tailor - Launch and Marketing Strategies

The team at Cloud Tailor used WhatsApp marketing and created small flyers on Canva and posted them in the gated community Whatsapp groups. They had their first order on the 2nd day of the first post. After that, the startup had a constant stream of orders and also because the team generated a lot of goodwill with the experience of their first critical set of customers whom they took special care of.

They also did a small budget Google Analytics campaign for the US, Australia, and the Middle East to place its brand amongst the target group there. Apart from Whatsapp, they also used Facebook marketing with boost posts. Initially, the team also ran branding runs on the boosting on FB and Instagram.

"We will still attribute our earliest quick success to the importance of closed WhatsApp groups of residents/ladies for maximum impact" - Susmitha added.

Cloud Tailor hired a social media agency in July 2021 and like any online marketing hack, social media planning takes time and patience. The startup plans to do Customer Testimonial reels, Live comments, user stories, and process reels on how Cloud Tailor’s app enables easier and faster order design and placement. It Social calendar is also made and executed by the social team. Another important thing that the startup did, was to hire Social media interns from MBA colleges who would track the trends and act as growth hackers for the startup.

The startup is in talks to use popular apps with specific partnerships for coupons and branding. It is currently running a tight ship and is diligent in its spend for the agency and interns process. The startup would enhance the team strength and build more branded content in due course in a planned manner.

Cloud Tailor has grown mostly by customer word of mouth and repeat sales - since there is no other brand around who provides a similar service and a mobile app. Hence its best ROI was in spending time with its existing customers and nurturing their trust to be able to build credible support and core referral and brand ambassador group.


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Cloud Tailor - Challenges Faced

  1. Being Software Engineers by career and training: The founding team learned basics of fashion, garments, styling, sketching, fabrics, machinery, repairs, manpower requirements
  2. Learning the fashion domain intricacies and nuances during COVID time with an infant at home and pre-teen
  3. Placement and ROI of fulfillment centers
  4. Overseas cities where they can scale for orders
  5. Differentiation factor communication to customers
  6. Keep increasing repeat order comfort with existing customers

Cloud Tailor - Advisors & Mentors

Cloud Tailor
Cloud Tailor - Advisors

Cloud Tailor - Achievements & Milestones

Cloud Tailor's biggest achievement - Highest Order Value from Single customer so far in Sep 2021: Rs. 51000 (From a repeat customer in the US, Houston). This shows the potential and scale the startup can grow to.

Some of the Current Milestones achieved by Cloud Tailor are -

  1. Beta versions of Android and iOS apps LIVE
  2. Hyderabad Fulfillment Center Operationally break-even within 4 months of commencement
  3. M C Cariappa, President (Jockey - Page Industries) joined as a full-time advisor
  4. Abhishek Dwivedi, Head (TESCO - Soft Development) joined as a full-time advisor
  5. Harry Lagad, Regional Director (GEODIS) joined as a full-time advisor
  6. Chirag Bhuva, Leader - Asia Pac, Amazon Business Customer Services joined as a full-time advisor
  7. Started Software Development Office in Financial District, Hyderabad with 2 Full-Time Developers on payroll
  8. Full System Architecture on AWS with API interfaces and ML-based systems designed and approved by the team - Development in progress
  9. Achieved 70% customer repeat orders every month due to the convenience
  10. Average Order value in Aug 2021: Rs. 3000

Cloud Tailor - Funding

The team has bootstrapped Cloud Tailor through the current scaling stage and is currently raising funds to scale it faster, build the app and cloud development teams, set up 2 company-owned fulfillment centers and 6 partner-owned-operated fulfillment centers.

Cloud Tailor - Competitors

Cloud Tailor is an only tech-enabled personalized fashion brand in India - Serving global women customers from India.

Cloud Tailor - Tools used to run startup

Few tools which Cloud Tailor uses to run the startup -

  1. Zoho books - accounting
  2. Canva – posts design
  3. AWS – Stateless Architecture – Lambda, EC2, Cognito, Jitsu, Pinpoint, Postgres, API Gateway
  4. Knowlarity: IVRS
  5. Razorpay Payment Gateway
  6. Razorpay Payroll

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Cloud Tailor - Future Plans

Short term goals [end 2022]:

  1. 1 million MAU
  2. INR 2 Crores in ARR / GMV
  3. Stable Ver 3 of Cloud Tailor app and backend operations apps
  4. Fulfillment centers in 4 cities
  5. Brand Interaction Signature kiosks/centers in 4 cities
  6. 3 B2B partners for 'managed backend fulfillment'
Cloud Tailor Projected Growth

Long term goals [by 2025]:

  1. 10 million MAU
  2. INR 100 Crores in ARR
  3. VR View of fashion styled
  4. Fulfillment centers in 7 cities
  5. Aggregated Partner operations in 7 Tier 2 cities
  6. Brand Interaction Signature kiosks/centers in all 7 cities
  7. 10 B2B partners for 'managed backend fulfillment'

Cloud Tailor - FAQs

What is Cloud Tailor?

Cloud Tailor is a D2C mobile app that enables Personalized fashion styling, fashion visualization, recommendations, order placement, tracking, and fulfillment. Its unique asset-light ‘Online + Offline’ global fulfillment business model ensures the best quality and price outcome for personalized fashion in guaranteed timelines.

Who founded Cloud Tailor?

Susmitha Lakkakula, Rudra Pratap, and Mahesh Patel are the co-founders of Cloud Tailor.

Is Cloud Tailor funded?

No. Cloud Tailor is a bootstrapped startup.

What is the tagline of Cloud Tailor?

Cloud Tailor's tagline - ‘You Design, We Stitch’ signifies the importance of the customer in the whole process and also that the customer is a part of the whole cycle.

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