Deepa Kumar, Founder, Yashram Lifestyle

By Team YS|17th May 2010
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Utility Clothing for women

Clothing means much more to women than mere style and fashion. This is a fact that has found utterance in the business ideas of Deepa Kumar. The Young Entrepreneur is the founder of Yashram Lifestyle, that provides retail, services and products. Deepa spoke to Yourstory voicing her opinion on utility clothing and her business ideas for Yashram Lifestyle.

Please tell us more about what Yashram Lifestyle entails

Yashram Lifestyle is in the business of retail, services and products currently focusing on women. The company is founded by Deepa Kumar, in July 2007 and is head quartered in Bangalore. The brands of Yashram Lifestyle are:

Morph Maternity: It is a maternity wear brand that offers ethnic as well as western wear.

Adira: It is a ladies undergarment brand with the patent pending. The period panty ensures women a stress free period. It is leak-proof, hygienic, breathable and skin friendly.

MOMING: One of a kind retail and services place for moms and moms-to-be.

How do your products help women to pursue a more active and stress free life?

Yashram Lifestyle is extending its reach to women via its offerings and helping them make their lives easy, fun and stress free. Brands from Yashram Lifestyle are:

Morph Maternity – The first maternity wear brand in India to provide both ethnic and western wear for pregnant and nursing mothers. Morph has a product which is patent pending – it is the leak proof layer provided on nursing garments that ensures that the mother does not have to feel embarrassed due to breast-milk leakage. The Morph Maternity Salwar is also patent pending. Morph also has the anti – electromagnetic radiation belt which protects the unborn from the electromagnetic rays from devices like mobiles, laptops, microwaves.

Adira is a lingerie brand which has launched a Period Panty which has truly brought in a sense of freedom from stains for women during her periods. She no longer has the fear and embarrassment of staining herself. Adira Period Panty is made of cotton, a breathable fabric which locks in the stain in case of leaking despite wearing the physical protection.

MOMING is a welcoming space where mothers can bring their toddlers while they relax in the café, salon, or work-out in the gym while their children are looked after by trained supervisors.

Yashram Lifestyle reaches out to women of different age groups. MOMING is targeted towards mothers of toddlers. Morph Maternity wear is for the pregnant women and nursing mothers and Adira is targeted to young girls as well.

How are your concepts and brands unique in the clothing sector?

Morph Maternity is the only brand to offer ethnic maternity wear. The nursing garments have a leak proof layer to prevent embarrassment from breast milk leaks which is awaiting patent approval.

Fabric technology has always intrigued me. Web is the best tool ever built, my interest in knowing more about fabrics and what can be done with them lead me to get into what I have. I realized along the way that despite having international maternity brands in the country no one was targeting the Indian woman – her choice of clothes are ethnic and that she will like to wear bright colors and will like to look good in her pregnancy. The requirements of soon-to-be-mothers and nursing mothers were not met or were given limited choices and that lead to the birth of Morph maternity wear.

Adira’s period panty is uniquely designed panty to arrest staining and prevent embarrassment to women during their periods. It is a one of its kind garment and is awaiting patent approval.

The MOMING outlet was again keeping the mothers in mind. We do know bringing up a toddler is a full time job despite support from extra hands and it does leave the woman tired and does get her to ignore herself as she may not have a resource to pamper herself while her children are being looked after under her vision. MOMING allows all of that, mothers can come, relax in the café, exchange ideas with other women, and enjoy the gym facility or the salon without worrying about their children as they are getting pampered.

What is the business model that you are employing?

The business model for our products Morph and Adira is to be available to our target customers through retail partners. We currently retail the brands with retail chains such as Lifestyle, Big Bazaar, Health and Glow, Spar, Total and multiple stand alone retailers. We have also signed on retailers such as Apollo Pharmacy and Religare. We have a big pipeline of retail partners that we are already in talks with.

How do you see the business growing in the coming years?

It has been a very interesting journey since we were founded and have come a long way, though we have miles to go. Currently our brands are sold in most metros. We will further extend our reach nationwide and also plan to have a global foot-print. We are confident that when a woman hears about brands from Yashram Lifestyle she will surely be loyal to it. Our challenge however is to make the woman aware for which we need to work out compelling marketing ideas as well as have a strong distribution network set-up in place.

What made you become an entrepreneur? How has the journey been so far?

I don’t think I ever chose to be an entrepreneur. I just became one when I started working on my idea. It has been an exciting journey and I have been blessed with an awesome team. We still work 9 to 5 on some days, but most days it is a lot longer.

For the past 3 years, we have grown year on year. We have grown from a one person company to a 40 member team now. We have only one branch in Bangalore and we have our sales executives in some of the metros and growing.

I think the biggest challenge for any company is its team and I guess I have been blessed with an awesome team.

What is your aspiration for Yashram Lifestyle?

For Morph maternity, it is to be the preferred brand of maternity wear for the Indian moms. And for Adira, to be able to reach out to as many women across the country and show them the way of stress-free period.

What would you say to aspiring entrepreneurs to prepare them for the real world?

There are no free meals and don’t expect one. There are going to be falls, get up each time, dust yourself and go ahead. Just stick with it.

Yourstory thanks Deepa for her time and responses. We are sure that her novel ideas and first mover status in the world of women's utility wear will bring her success and well as the gratitude of women all over India.

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