HYDERABAD: Entrepreneurship is no cakewalk, and to beat the pandemic to rise from the ashes is an even bigger challenge. Here’s how three young people are changing and inspiring business goals — one idea at a time
Hyderabad has honed and celebrated the young leading from the front. The city boasts of some of the best in every field and these three businesses have flourished, more so, for the right thought, calculation, ideation and execution. They speak to CE about their journey, trials, errors, successes and more.
Passion for the planet
Bakhita Francis, whose heart beats for fashion and the planet, founded Blief — an environment-conscious clothing brand soon after the pandemic struck us down. “I always wanted to make handcrafted clothing. We come from a country where we have so many karigars, tailors and artisans and I was inspired by that. I worked with a fashion brand for a year and a half and fell in love with the process. There was a certain warmth in handcrafted clothing and that deepened my love for fashion — from choosing the thread to the colours — I was fascinated by everything,” she tells CE. The 27-year-old names her grandmother as her inspiration who made her own clothes and for Bakhita and her family. She lists the pandemic as one of the biggest challenges but social media helped her trump that. She is slowly foraying into men’s wear as well, and will move into formal wear and hand embroidery, soon.
If you’re a fashion enthusiast, you have definitely bought shoes from the brand Monrow which has been making waves for the past few months. For founder Veena Ashiya, unlike most others, shoes have always been an ‘inspiration’. “When I look back, I remember when someone asked me what I wanted to become, I said I wanted to become a fashion businessman!” she laughs to continue, “I went to the National Institute of Fashion Designing and I was one of the first members of the Tommy Hilfiger India team. Later, I moved to New York and was with Versace and which taught me a lot of things.”
After that, she came back to India, did her research and understood how the lifestyle of Indian women has evolved — especially post the pandemic. “One of the things we learnt is that the shape and size of Indian feet are different. We wanted to cater to that need,” says she. Her recent collection is inspired by the versatility of a saree. “A single shoe of ours can be worn in five different ways — like a saree,” she explains, and adds, “My passion today led me to the creation of Monrow, there is a tribe of extremely passionate people who are building it and I am proud to say that 70 per cent of our senior leadership is women.”
Crafting better skin
Sangram Simha began experimenting with different skin-related products and has finally researched enough to create a brand that understands not just the extremes but the entire spectrum of issues and differences in skin problems. He then moved to research hair problems and Vedix was born.
“My journey started 10 years ago when I worked with media promotions of other brands and then quit to start my own e-commerce brand, with most of our research from ayurveda. While trying to understand customer satisfaction, I figured that people’s biggest problem was the lack of products being customised for a particular use — everyone got the same product. That’s why our core value preposition is that the product is customised — how do we do that? People come to our website and answer the questionnaire and then the product is delivered to them — fitting their personal needs,” says the 36-year-old. He mentions that educating customers was a primary motive and marketing was one of the biggest challenges but “we wade through it all,” he smiles.