Indochino’s Drew Green on Surviving a “Success Diaster” and Building Meaningful Partnerships

(Drew on stage in China at the 40th Anniversary celebration of the Dayang Group October 2019)

In this episode, Scott sits down with Drew Green, the CEO of Indochino, a made to measure men’s clothier based in Vancouver, BC. Indochino has 50 storefronts where style experts measure and customers can feel and see the fabrics. The company started with suiting and has been adding casual clothing over the last couple of years with an outerwear line that launched this fall. Additionally, Indochino has teamed up with the Yankees, Red Sox – and most recently with RJ Barrett, a Canadian basketball player who just signed with the Knicks to promote Indochino’s menswear.

Drew joined Indochino in what investor Scott Jacobson described as the company entering a near death experience. Why did he do it? Drew recounts the story of the decision to move his family from Toronto to Vancouver BC which revolved around a conversation with Scott during half time of a football game.

Startups have a hard time partnering with larger companies. A partnership was crucial for the success of Indochino. Drew talks about how a great partnership is not hard to understand but is sometimes difficult to execute. For it to be a partnership, each party has to benefit from the relationship. When Scott and Drew traveled to China in 2014, to set up the partnership with the leading suit maker in China, the Dayang Group, they translated a deck (and hoped it made sense in Mandarin) and relied on an interpreter to communicate a deal that would save the start-up and put it on the road to success.

Drew, Scott and the Dayang Family, Fall 2019 at the 40th Anniversary celebration of Dayang Group

In Fall of 2019, Scott and Drew returned for the 40th anniversary of this company and Drew shared the stage with Warren Buffett (Drew was in person, Warren by simulcast) and it was clear that Indochino has become an incredibly important part of Dayang’s business over the last five years. A real partnership had been forged.

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