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From Bazaars to Boutiques: The Rise of Kapten Batik’s 8-Figure Business

Farhan Omar, Co-Founder, Kapten Batik | Ekram Faiz, Co-Founder, Kapten Batik

05-Jun-24 10:00

From Bazaars to Boutiques: The Rise of Kapten Batik’s 8-Figure Business

From selling 20 shirts at a free night bazaar to hitting 8-figures in revenue in 2022 with aims to hit RM50 million in 3 years time, on this edition of Open for Business, we explore the rise of Kapten Batik with Co-Founders Farhan Omar and Ekram Faiz.

Pulling all their savings together, these engineering students-turned-batik fashion entrepreneurs started this venture in 2017 with RM40,000 in capital with the aim of modernising and reinvigorating batik in Malaysia. From weekend bazaars, Kapten Batik took a big step forward in December 2019 opening its first flagship store in Publika Shopping Gallery. Today it has 7 stores, a warehouse HQ in Puchong, and another 7 consignment boutiques in select resorts and hotels.

Farhan and Ekram share their journey from selling at bazaars to opening multiple stores, their product development process, and the challenges they faced. Additionally, they delve into their marketing strategies, sustainability goals, and future plans for expansion, including potential international markets and exploring new business verticals like cafes and boutique resorts, as well as potential fundraising plans to grow and what they’re potentially looking for in investors.

In case you don’t have the time, here are 7 AI-Generated key takeaways from the interview:

Origin and Motivation: Kapten Batik was founded in 2017 by Farhan Omar and Ekram Faiz. They identified a gap in the market as young people were not wearing batik. They aimed to modernize traditional batik to make it suitable for everyday wear.

Business Development: The business started small, selling at social media and weekend bazaars, eventually opening their first flagship store in Publika Shopping Gallery in December 2019. Today, they have seven stores, a warehouse HQ in Puchong, and seven consignment boutiques in select resorts and hotels.

Product Innovation: Initially, they focused on batik-inspired, printed designs to offer a more affordable price point. They researched materials and designs, often traveling to Indonesia for inspiration. Their product line has since expanded to include various materials, such as European linen and sustainable fabrics like recycled plastic for activewear.

Market Acceptance: The brand quickly gained traction, with their products selling well at bazaars. Their first major validation came from a successful bazaar at Trec KL. This early success gave them the confidence to invest more into the business.

Pandemic Response: During the pandemic, Kapten Batik already had an online store, which helped them pivot quickly. They launched aggressive marketing campaigns to clear seasonal stock and opened their second store in Bangsar Shopping Center in December 2021, despite the challenges posed by the pandemic.

Growth and Expansion: Kapten Batik has grown significantly, achieving eight figures in revenue by 2022. They aim for 30% annual growth and plan to expand their physical stores and penetrate international markets like Singapore and London. They also plan to open a store in KLIA to attract tourists.

Fundraising Plans: Although Kapten Batik has been self-funded and has taken bank loans, the founders are now considering equity funding for future expansion. They are looking for strategic partners who can provide business expertise and support their growth in regional and international markets. They have started entertaining conversations with potential investors to explore these opportunities.

Future Vision: The founders envision Kapten Batik becoming a luxury brand with a strong international presence. They also plan to diversify beyond fashion into areas like cafes and boutique resorts, potentially starting in destinations like Bali.

Produced by: Roshan Kanesan

Presented by: Roshan Kanesan

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Categories:  marketsfashioncultureSME

Tags:  kapten batikbatikfashionsme

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