Clovia is using cloud to optimize for business outcomes, including speed, resilience, agility and lower costs: Pankaj Vermani

Clovia reinforce their competitive differentiators and value-adds such as friendly shipping and return policies, customer service.

Aanchal Ghatak
New Update

It's more crucial than ever to remain on top of trends and incorporate them if you want to succeed in the e-commerce industry today. The rapid expansion increases rivalry among e-commerce businesses, and many of them invest in technology, logistics, and marketing to stand out from the competitors and draw in clients.

For all businesses to remain competitive, the availability of better items and an easier buying experience will be necessary. Businesses are attempting to design a seamless shopping experience that is customised to each customer's needs and tastes. We must first examine the past in order to comprehend the e-commerce trends that will dominate in 2023.


In an interview, Pankaj Vermani, Founder and CEO of Clovia elaborates his journey in 2022 and how he is integrating customer experience into IT deliverables. Excerpts:

DQ: How has your company been performing over 2022? Elaborate.

Pankaj: Last year, Clovia became one of the biggest exits in the Indian-apparel-space thereby raising Clovia’s profile globally. Reliance Retail purchased an 89% equity stake in Clovia, for $125 million. Through this partnership, Clovia benefits from Reliance's scale and retail expertise, extending the presence of the brand and bringing together stronger value proposition through world-class quality, design and fashion in the intimate wear category. 


As part of our aggressive expansion plans, Clovia had expanded its retail footprint to 47 EBOs by 2022 end. 

Clovia also unveiled- Skivia, a product designed to give customers naturally infused and chemical-free products in skincare and haircare from the House of Clovia.

The most significant impact created by Clovia stands to be the social impact to normalize the conversations surrounding lingerie. Clovia as a brand has led the effort to make women and men comfortable with this previously taboo topic. Our biggest initiative in this regard has been to partner with Shraddha Kapoor to endorse lingerie for the first time on national television. In India, cricket and cinema are the biggest reach drivers for any brand and here we have partnered with one of the most followed Bollywood actresses to normalize conversations around lingerie and reach the living rooms of all Indian households. 


Clovia also launched Whatsapp as a service provider for customers to trigger purchase, offer and service updates on Whatsapp. The 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. The BOT also drives the sales process by understanding what customers are looking for and making product suggestions.

Today, there are more than 3 million clients of Clovia both online and offline, spread throughout 2500+ cities and 19000 pincodes. 

DQ: How are you keeping up with the ever increasing demands for digital transformation?


Pankaj: Our brand is based on an amalgamation of fashion and technology. 

Clovia Curve Fit Test, the first of its kind in India  is a patent-pending algorithm that recommends the right size and more importantly, the right fit for each body type. Built over inputs from nearly half a million Indian women, it has been successful in recommending the right bra to women across 900+ cities in India. Users buying using this tool have significantly higher repeat purchase rates.

Overall Clovia crunches 140 mn first-party data points across 3 mn women users to keep iterating on product fits and recommending to users.


We have built a proprietary technology engine known as ReX (or ReqS, i.e. Short for Requirement Simulator).We have patent-pending algorithms that help us gauge the customer purchase pattern through our sales channels and track their feedback fast. It helps us know which product, design, color are being purchased more and also more importantly, which products have high satisfaction score. This helps us provide better products and also plan our inventory accordingly. We also use smart technology and big data analytics for smart management of our inventory ensuring we have the industry best inventory holding, one of the most critical parameters for scaling an apparel business. 

In the lingerie industry, standard production runs are of few thousand units and therefore a brand could not offer more than 100 styles in a year. We started with launching 100+ styles every month while keeping a tight control on inventory. We had to, therefore, convince our production partners to work on this seemingly crazy production plans. However, we could show them on how by using technology, we could come up with optimum production plans. 

DQ: How are you  integrating customer experience into IT deliverables? How is it helping in advanced customer experience?

Pankaj: Clovia is a 100% data driven brand. Early in 2021, we launched Bra-Bot - an online AI-based chatbot curated to help one buy the right inner-wear and other categories. This is part of Clovia’s continued effort to bring its online shopping experience closer to an assisted offline Clovia store experience and provide its customers technology-driven help for making the right purchase decisions in the product category which boasts of high customer engagement.


Clovia’s customer engagement on social platforms has been extremely strong through the years. The bra-bot, as it’s internally called by the team, is capable of understanding the customer’s needs, and guide her/ him to the correct product while advising on the sizing using Clovia’s proprietary tool CloviaCurve ™Fit Test. This leads to a frictionless purchase experience while ensuring the customer is not blocked by surges in call traffic or site footfalls.  

The bot can handle varied issues from helping to make a purchase to updating one on their order & delivery status or pointing one to policies, FAQs, or sizing suggestions. The response to the Bra-Bot has been exceptional so far. The Bot is currently handling over 35% of customer queries automatically and the rest being seamlessly passed to a support executive. We have seen a strong inclination of customers towards preferring WhatsApp for interaction over connecting via call, often seen as a trend among millennials these days. 

An interesting insight to note is Clovia has seen a great inclination of customers from Tier 2, 3 towns over Tier 1 when it comes to the adoption of the tool.


Soon we are planning to come up with updates where the bra-bot will be seen speaking/suggesting to individual customers based on their past purchase and browsing patterns leading to a much more targeted experience at an individual level.

Recently, Clovia launched Whatsapp as a service provider for customers to trigger purchase, offer and service updates on Whatsapp. The 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. The BOT also drives the sales process by understanding what customer is looking for and making product suggestions.

We have other user-friendly tools also.

DQ: How are you managing growing cybersecurity, and data privacy threats?

Pankaj: Our tech infrastructure runs on the AWS(amazon web service) which helps our Web/APPs and other tech applications to run smoothly.  Also, we are using cloudflare as a firewall system to filter out unwanted traffic and cyber attacks. We use AES encryption/decryption technologies to secure data transfer. We use a dual user authentication policy to secure the user credentials.

Data Backup policy : Machines backups are scheduled as AMI backups and DB backups are incremental and stored on disc as well as on S3 bucket. 

DQ: How are CTOs and CIOs seeing advancing organizational use of data as key to reaching enterprise objectives?

Pankaj: To make any decision, everyone in the company consumes and analyzes a lot of user data like what users are purchasing, what users are browsing & searching and where the users are dropping. Also we do constant user research and user behavior analysis to meet the user needs and to increase the user experience. 

DQ: How are you maturing the enterprise cloud strategy?

Pankaj: Clovia is using cloud to optimize for business outcomes, including speed, resilience, agility and lower costs. This helps in better software development production methodology as it is pretty organized and streamlined. Clovia will take advantage of software as a service (SaaS), niche infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) implementations whenever possible, and we are building an cloud serverless application. Moving towards in developing and deploying application as a microservices with the help of cloud native infrastructure like EKS and ECS.

DQ: How is the digital adoption and employee training in your company?

Pankaj: Clovia boasts of 70% women staff and 50% women in the leadership team. We encourage employees to upskill at all levels from the ground retail staff to the corporate level, from basic Ms Office training to suave digital marketing courses. Inter-department training and movements are often as the culture is open for team-members to try different things at work. This has resulted in low attrition rates at senior and middle management teams.

DQ: What will be the trends in 2023?

Pankaj: An increase in impatient impulsive retail customers with demands of same-day/ within 10 mins delivery/service time, getting the consumers’ eyeballs for your ads/marketing etc.  Although post-pandemic people are gradually getting back to offline shopping, there is no denying that consumers have got used to shopping from home. In 2023,brands need to find the consumer's mindspace and then deliver.

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