Amar Nagaram, the former CEO of Myntra, created the promising startup Virgio, which has undergone a transformational journey, in a strategic move that highlights the changing fashion market landscape. This article explores the latest goings-on at Virgio, emphasizing the company’s transition from fast fashion to sustainable fashion, its reorganization of the staff, important changes in the leadership, and the possible consequences of these consequential choices.
From Fast to Sustainable Fashion
Virgio’s journey began in 2022 with aspirations akin to Chinese fast fashion giant Shein. At its inception, the company set its sights on the fast fashion sector, catering to the dynamic and trend-driven desires of India’s youth. However, the winds of change have swept through Virgio, prompting a strategic shift in its business model. The pivot from fast fashion to sustainable fashion underscores a growing awareness of the environmental and ethical concerns associated with the fashion industry.
Amar Nagaram, who had previously been a senior figure at Myntra, recognized the need for a change. He explained, “While fast fashion is agile, trendy, and caters to the growing needs of the young blood in India, it also promotes overproduction, overconsumption. Fast fashion companies use harmful fabrics and exploit labor to cut corners on pricing and quality, fueling the market with what will be sent to landfills. It’s a global crisis, and we all are witnessing it.”
This conscious choice to shift towards sustainability indicates Virgio’s commitment to addressing these issues, marking a significant transition in its vision and operations.
One of the difficulties Virgio has faced in its transition to sustainable fashion is reorganizing its personnel. Recently, the company let go of twenty workers, or thirty-three percent of its total employment. This reflects the wider change as the business realigns its resources and personnel to align with its new priorities.
Notably, senior employees were the ones most affected by the layoffs, suggesting a change in the roles and skill sets needed to be successful in the sustainable fashion industry. Even though these layoffs are never pleasant, businesses frequently implement them in order to adjust to shifting market conditions. Here, the objective is to create a more agile workforce and streamline processes so that it can lead the sustainable fashion agenda.
In addition to the workforce restructuring, Virgio has undertaken significant changes in its top leadership positions. The company’s commitment to sustainability and innovation is exemplified by its new leadership team. Let’s take a closer look at the key appointments:
1. Hansa Nigam – Head of Marketing: Hansa Nigam, the former marketing lead for OnePlus Nord in India, has taken the reins as the Head of Marketing at Virgio, replacing Sachin Tandon. With experience in a high-profile tech brand, Nigam brings a fresh perspective to Virgio’s marketing strategies, which will be vital in promoting sustainable fashion.
2. Prachi Sharma – Sourcing and Design: Prachi Sharma, with a distinguished background at brands like Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, now leads Virgio’s sourcing and design department, taking over from Rajesh Narkar. Her extensive experience in renowned fashion brands positions Virgio to make impactful strides in the sustainable design sector.
3. Suyash Motarwar – Technology Division: Suyash Motarwar, who has previously worked at Flipkart and PharmEasy, is now at the helm of Virgio’s tech division, replacing Nishant Khurana. This move showcases Virgio’s commitment to harnessing technology for sustainable fashion practices.
4. Ashish Ranka – Head of Product: Ashish Ranka, previously associated with Flipkart and CoinSwitch, has joined as the new head of product, taking over from Neelesh Soni. His experience in e-commerce and product development is poised to enhance Virgio’s offerings in the sustainable fashion space.
Notably, all four departing executives—Narkar, Tandon, Khurana, and Soni—had previously worked at Myntra during Amar Nagaram’s tenure as CEO of the Walmart-owned company, reflecting a continuity of leadership style.