The D2C (direct-to-consumer) ecosystem in India has witnessed exponential growth in the past six years. From $6.6 Bn in 2015, the segment has reached $44.6 Bn in 2021, clocking a CAGR of 37.5%. Of course, tech-powered innovation in the ecommerce space has been a significant growth driver throughout these years. But with the Covid-19 pandemic, a black swan event that compelled large-scale digital adoption almost overnight, there came a tipping point. Businesses had only one option — transform or perish.
Given this scenario, India has witnessed a D2C revolution of sorts as more than 50,000 digital-first brands are working hard to do away with the market dominance of legacy players. As D2C brands continue to make retail history, Inc42 has also done its bit by monitoring, reporting and supporting this pioneering journey.
Another cornerstone of our commitment was in the limelight when we announced last month that Inc42, in partnership with Trell, would be hosting Fast42 – D2C Edition 2022. Fast42 is Inc42’s first-of-a-kind listing to identify and recognise India’s fastest-growing 42 D2C brands and narrate the tales of their digital disruption.
The initiative has already made waves.
Four weeks after opening the registration window, we have received 200 applications, showcasing the burgeoning D2C landscape. A cursory glance at the applications also reveals how the ecosystem has evolved during the Corona crisis.
Now, on popular demand, we have decided to extend the deadline for Fast42 applications until November 30 to help many more innovative businesses come on board.
Application Categories And Eligibility Criteria
There are two application categories — Growth & Emerging, and brands that sell their own products via their dedicated websites (these websites should operate as a key sales channel) can apply.
Most importantly, the company should privately held for-profit companies and India-based independent entities (not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies).
This category will focus 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. Key criteria include:
- Brands should have generated at least INR 1 Cr in revenue in FY19.
- They should have earned at least INR 7 Cr in revenue in FY21.
- Their revenue should not exceed INR 100 Cr in any financial year.
This category will focus on 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 the selected startups will pitch before our panel of jury members. Based on the pitches, the best performing brands will be selected for the final list. Key criteria include:
- Brands should be founded on or after April 1, 2019.
- They should have generated a minimum revenue of INR 50 Lakh in any financial year/since incorporation.
- Their revenue should not exceed INR 7.5 Cr in any financial year.
Meet The Jury
The emerging category startups will be shortlisted by some of the most well-known names in the D2C space. Members of this panel are stalwarts in their segments and will bring their industry experience and expertise to the table to ensure a fair and unbiased assessment of each startup.
Here is a look at the five-member panel:
- Bimal Kartheek Rebba, cofounder and COO, Trell
- Anjana Sasidharan, head, India and South-East Asia growth investments, L Catterton
- Prasun Agarwal, partner, A91 Partners
- Nikhil Vora, founder and CEO, Sixth Sense Ventures
- Sanil Sachar, founding partner, Huddle
Why D2C Brands Should Participate
Inc42 has been at the forefront of India’s D2C saga and covered the sector extensively to bring it to the nation’s mainstream attention. Apart from brand exposure from the association, Fast42 will provide brands with quite a few benefits such as:
- New Business Opportunities: Brands will have an acknowledgement of their performance, enabling them to generate opportunities in the form of potential partners, customers and investors.
- Visibility: Inc42 will publish the full interactive ranking both as a coffee table book and online features on its website.
- Credibility: Brands will have Inc42’s stamp of approval for creating genuinely breakthrough D2C companies in India.
- Engagement Opportunities: Speaking engagements and exclusive invitations to Inc42 events
- November 30: Deadline for the registration window
- December 2021: Application shortlisting phase; shortlisted brands will be contacted by the Inc42 team for the next steps.
- January 2022: Grand unveiling of the full interactive list both online and as a coffee table book.
Through the Fast42 initiative, we intend to acknowledge the growth of the D2C brands and celebrate their unique journeys, digital disruptions and milestones reached.
The last date to apply for FAST42 is November 30. So, hurry up!