Trend-Tech-Trade’s mission is to redefine fashion retail operations by developing a seamless in-store concept that transforms consumer buying behavior and trends in physical stores. To this end, the company has designed virtual reality booths to collect data and improve assortment, advertising and production. The company is backed by co-founder and CEO Devina Popat.
Devina has 10 years of experience working across fashion e-commerce & real-estate with specialisation in a bachelor’s degree in retail management. She has a passion to redefine the way fashion retail stores operate & the determination to learn how to combine seamless concepts that will change the behaviour of consumer purchasing in-store.
In March 2020, whilst being stuck in Spain during the pandemic, She built on her vision to bring virtual reality booths in fashion stores with patent-pending choices that will bring a new revenue stream, education & entertainment to build the bridge offline for fashion stores on a global scale. Their mission is to bring back fashion stores with the use of wearable technology.
After gaining experience in her study of Fashion Retail Management and working in tech start-ups, Devina Popat moved from England to Germany to start her own business. The mission of Trend-Tech-Trade is to redefine the way fashion retailing works by combining a seamless in-store concept that will change the behaviour of consumer purchasing. The company offers Virtual Reality booths for fashion stores that will measure assortment, advertising, and production. We asked Devina to tell us a bit more about the company‘s strategies.
Devina Popat on her new company Trend-Tech-Trade – a concept that aims to redefine fashion retailing
Throughout my professional career, I’ve specialized in being a personal assistant to CEOs and I’ve always had an affinity for the fashion industry.
In 2017 I knew that I wanted to start my own company in the near future, so I decided to move to Berlin, gain first-hand experience with technology start-up hubs and expand my knowledge of running a company . I gained extensive experience and finally took the initiative to pay full attention to my business model.
Among other things, I completed a degree in Fashion Retail Management, which gave me insights into industry knowledge about the future of retail stores and research forecasts. I am an extremely passionate and motivated person and I believe this concept will change the movement of the fashion and technology industries.
Devina’s Trend Tech Trade is a member of the Fashion Council Germany e.V. FCG recently interviewed Devina about her start-up journey. We are reproducing below the excerpts of this interview through the courtesy of the Fashion Council Germany.
Why did you move from England to Germany? And what are the differences between the countries (mindsets) so far?
I moved from England to Germany on my last salary on a one-way ticket to Berlin in order to gain firsthand experience in tech start-up hubs. I was determined to live in another country since I was born and raised in London. At the time, I had come from corporate companies working as mainly a personal assistant to managing directors. I was inspired by the drive, motivation, and determination of my previous colleagues; and with this in mind, I knew that England had served me well in terms of gaining the experience I required to take the step to move on.
I found that in England the mindset to provide opportunities was quite limited when it comes to starting a business, particularly in the fashion industry. An old saying in London is that ‘It’s not what you know, it is who you know”. I was passionate about living in Berlin for a while and spontaneously woke up one morning, booked my one-way ticket, handed in my notice, and landed on the soil of Germany with no direction of knowing where to get a job. After one month, I had found myself being offered a position as an Intern in an interior design start-up where I was able to learn the fundamental routes of various department operations and strategies.
Four years on, I had gained experience in working in both real estate and fashion, having had the opportunity to work at one of the largest online retailers Zalando. I found that the opportunities, lessons that I have learned living in Germany were far greater. The difference was that in Germany, you are given the chance to learn, grow and be who you want to be without limitations. I think I learned the lesson that it is not ‘who you know, but what you know’.
Could you tell us a bit more about Trend-Tech-Trade, about the mission and the concept? Do you have an example of what it will look like?
Trend-Tech-Trade is a brand new B2B retail solution for fashion stores, providing a patent-pending technology software to fashion buyers across the industry to bring their trends to the forefront to customers in-stores in which they can purchase limited-edition assortment inside this VR booth. In addition, fashion brands can upload preview campaigns and their choice of fashion models. The customer in-store will be part of the decision process. We then record this data back to the brands in order for them to measure assortment, advertising, and production costs. The booth is luxuriously designed and operated by my team. I do have an example of what it looks like, but you will have to wait until our launch in-store with our secret fashion brand that we will reveal soon.
Why do you think retail has been waiting for this concept?
I had this vision for the past 10 years and had been monitoring the trends across the fashion industry when it came to physical stores. I knew that the closure of stores was happening for many years and now more than ever, stores are closing on a global scale due to the coronavirus pandemic. I do think that retailers require this concept in order to bring a different digital solution in-store and drive a completely new sales revenue stream that will differentiate to online, increase foot traffic and bring back physical stores on a global scale.
What do you think is the key for success?
I think the key to success is determination, passion and resilience. We find ourselves working in various environments that influence how we think or who we want to be. We are shaped by our given positions in the society like we have to prove ourselves to the world. However, the only person you need to prove yourself to is you. I believe that when someone tells you that you ‘can not’, that you must think that ‘I will’. I had taken the chance during the start of the coronavirus pandemic whilst being stuck in the mountains of Spain, in a country where the strictest rules applied. I was unable to go anywhere but remain between four walls. I spent my time doing home workouts, meditation, and reading. This is where Trend-Tech-Trade was born. So, I would say that people hold the key to their success.
This is what Devina Popat says about her start-up:
A global interactive technology company offering the retail format of the future, representing all brands in a cross-functional stream between fashion and technology. Seeking partnerships and investors to upscale our B2B software on a global scale to offer a solid solution for physical stores offline by optimizing space, design & customer experience. We want to re-define the way fashion retailing works by combining a seamless in-store concept that will change the future of consumer purchasing & behavior.
This is what Devina Popat says about herself:
A competent conscientious executive with 10 years experience across various fields from fashion ecommerce to real-estate. Skilled in dealing with problems in a resourceful manner, and negotiating constructively to achieve an agreement, having generated profits for businesses up to the amount of £10m+. Very good communication skills particularly face to face, with an ethical and honest approach. Has the ability to work under pressure and to negotiate with people at all levels. Self-motivated with the necessary selling skills to achieve and exceed challenging targets.
Interestingly, as per her profile, Devina Popat has proficiency in four languages: English, German. Hindi, Swahili.