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Announcing FAST42: Discovering India’s Fastest-Growing D2C Brands

Announcing FAST42: Discovering India’s Fastest-Growing D2C Brands

Inc42, in partnership with Trell, is seeking to identify & recognise India’s fastest-growing D2C brands with its inaugural list, FAST42 - D2C Edition 2022

With FAST42, Inc42 will recognise 42 of India’s fastest-growing D2C brands and help increase visibility, brand recognition and growth opportunities

The last date to apply for FAST42 is November 15th

The D2C revolution in India, triggered mainly by the pandemic-induced lockdowns in 2020, is far from over. In fact, it is picking up the pace this year. With the rise of creators, social commerce and Thrasio-like models, the country is now home to more than 50,000 digital-first brands and 15 Mn+ active online sellers challenging the traditional Indian retail market.

Being at the forefront of India’s D2C revolution and having observed the brands and their growth closely, Inc42 has been actively working to support and promote the growth of this sector through several initiatives, including reports, playbooks, The D2C Tracker, The D2C Summit and more.

Since 2015, we have been the definitive source for recognising Indian startups transforming industries and shaping society. This is the first time that Inc42, in partnership with Trell, is seeking to identify and recognise India’s fastest-growing D2C brands with its inaugural list, FAST42 – D2C Edition 2022.

The FAST42 list is our attempt to foster, identify and recognise India’s fastest-growing D2C brands and help them scale efficiently.

“Fast42 is a significant step in recognising the next $100 Bn industry. Initiatives like this help drive the industry’s growth and also give opportunities to emerging businesses to connect with established ones,” said Pulkit Agrawal, CEO and cofounder of Trell.

Explore FAST42 Now

FAST42 – D2C Edition 2022

The Indian internet user base is massive (776 Mn as of 2020) and continues to grow at a fast clip. The country is home to 130 Mn online shoppers, out of which 80 Mn were added in the past three years. More than 800 new-age brands from India have taken the D2C route and reported 88% higher consumer demand in 2020 compared to the previous year.

Although there can be no argument regarding the relevance and scope of D2C brands in the Indian ecommerce space, the consumer base for such brands has grown beyond the metros and Tier 1 cities. As brands look to expand to smaller cities, sellers from Tier 2 and Tier 3 locations are also joining the D2C wave.

According to Inc42 Plus analysis, in the first seven months of 2021, Indian D2C startups raised $783.7 Mn across 66 funding deals — 251% higher than all of 2020. Our analysis further reveals that this market is estimated to reach $100 Bn by 2025.

Through FAST42, Inc42 and Trell will recognise 42 of India’s fastest-growing D2C brands, and by joining this distinguished group, each brand will gain increased visibility, greater recognition and better growth opportunities. Every submission for FAST42 will be individually evaluated by a team of Inc42 editors, reporters and analysts.

“We want to build a healthy ecosystem and recognise the pioneers with this endeavour. We aim to make a positive impact on the direct-to-consumer (D2C) sector by creating a platform for cross-functional idea exchange and collaboration. In the past six months, we have enabled more than 600 brands and new D2C players in the beauty and fashion segment to engage with their target audience and expand into new markets. This initiative reaffirms our commitment to support the D2C ecosystem in any way possible,” said Agrawal of Trell.

To participate in FAST42, brands must fill the application form. Only those who complete the entry form will be considered for the selection process.

Here’s Why Brands Should Participate

Apart from brand exposure, FAST42 will provide brands with benefits such as:

  • New Business Opportunities: Inclusion in FAST42 will be a visible and public acknowledgement of the brand’s performance, helping generate attention in the form of potential partners, customers and investors.
  • Employer Branding: Increases awareness of the brands as employers and highlights their potential.
  • Visibility: Not only do you get visibility through the list, but Inc42 reporters will also focus on exciting brands and trends highlighted by the list.
  • Credibility: Gain the Inc42 stamp of approval for creating a genuinely breakthrough D2C brand in India.

Submit Your FAST42 Application Now

Application Categories And Eligibility Criteria

Growth Category

This category focusses on India’s fastest-growing D2C brands that have successfully demonstrated significant traction and growth. The brands will be selected and ranked based on the highest revenue growth rates between 2019 and 2021.

The brand should:

  • have generated at least INR 1 Cr revenue in FY2019
  • have generated at least INR 7 Cr revenue in FY2021
  • not have revenue exceeding INR 100 Cr in any financial year
  • be a privately held, for-profit and India-based independent entity (not a subsidiary or division of another company)
  • sell its own products via its own website as a key sales channel

Emerging Category

This category is for India’s emerging D2C brands that have successfully demonstrated innovation or have the potential to disrupt a category.

The Inc42 team will shortlist 30 startups for this category, and these selected startups will then pitch before a panel of esteemed jury members, including some of the leading stakeholders from the startup ecosystem in December. Based on the pitches, the top brands will be selected for the list.

The brand should:

  • be founded on or after April 1, 2019
  • have generated minimum revenue of INR 50 Lakh in any financial year/since incorporation
  • not have revenue exceeding INR 7.5 Cr in any financial year
  • be a privately held, for-profit and India-based independent entity (not a subsidiary or division of another company)
  • should sell its own products via its own website as a key sales channel

With the FAST42 list, we not only want to bestow on the brands their due honour and recognition but also celebrate their unique journeys from starting up to scaling up and bring them into the public limelight!

The list will consist of 42 brands, and the fully interactive ranking will be announced in January 2022, with a launch event and an exclusive coffee table book.

The last date to apply for FAST42 is November 15th. So hurry up!

Apply For FAST42

Note: We at Inc42 take our ethics very seriously. More information about it can be found here.