This Kurnool-based garment designer is empowering workers in innovative ways
Sirisha Reddy Garment Works is a leading garments venture with roots in Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh and a retail outlet in Hyderabad. Run by a sister-brother duo, Sirisha Reddy and Sanjay Kumar Reddy Mula, the brand ticks all the rights boxes when it comes to being a local label with a global outreach. But its unique strength lies in the empowerment of its employees and their families. The business has been one of the few labels in the hand-made garments segment that continues to pay salaries to its employees in full, despite the overall upheaval due to COVID-19 pandemic.
Individual garments are made with painstaking attention to quality and detail that makes them stand out in the hand-made garments space. The brand’s clients, many of whom come back with repeat business, are willing to wait up to three months for their garments, which is proof of the superior quality associated with their designs
Their retail outlet, located near the landmark Road No. 36 in the posh Jubilee Hills locality of the pearl city, is a testament to the commitment shown by the brand’s trail-blazing fashion designer, Sirisha, who has nurtured her love for creative designs in clothing ever since she was a child growing up in Kurnool.
Sustainable and socially responsible business practices form the ethos of the Sirisha Reddy brand. This is largely due to the influence of Sirisha and Sanjay’s family. Their father, MV Rajasekhar Reddy, is a successful businessman with multiple ventures. Their mother, Bhagya Lakshmi, is an MBA graduate who has been working shoulder-to-shoulder with her husband towards the growth of these ventures. Thus, it came as no surprise to anyone in the family when their children wanted to prove their mettle on the same path.
For Sirisha, the journey as a designer began after she pursued an Engineering degree in Computer Sciences. She first began designing garments for her family members and friends for many occasions, especially weddings. Soon after, she felt the need to pursue Fashion Designing and acquired Graphic Designing skills, which allowed her to conceptualise, sketch and create designs on her own. Before it all came together as the Sirisha Reddy label, she gathered a team of craftsmen who would understand and help implement her vision. After which, on July 2016, they set up their production facility in Kurnool, where it was easy for them to ensure quality control — a cornerstone of the duo’s business model.
The brand’s offerings are exclusively hand-made, right from designing to stitching and finishing. This has allowed them not only to preserve and promote the traditional embroidery techniques of Andhra Pradesh, but it also means that they are able to provide employment to many more people, given the dearth of employment opportunities in the state.
To ensure the economic empowerment of their employees’ families, and to deter alcoholism, the unique pay model of the Sirisha Reddy label consist of handing over the base salaries directly to the families. The employees also have an option of working overtime, for which they are paid directly.
This not only ensures financial health of the families, but helps in the preservation of the social fabric of the society. Such steps, along with initiatives to improve financial literacy and training, create an ideal work environment for the label’s employees. As a result, there is a sense of camaraderie and compassion that is felt among the members of this unique brand.
Aside from caring for the human aspect of business, the brand also makes a conscious effort to use the highest quality fabrics, vegetable dyes and traditional methods to bring to life completely bespoke and eco-friendly outfits. There is no use of any chemicals or polyester threads in their products. The end product creates a strong connect with the wearer and that is what one of key aspects that all members of the Sirisha Reddy brand strive to achieve.
By combining traditional aesthetics and constant innovation with granular attention to detail to create superior designs, the clients of Sirisha Reddy creations don’t mind waiting for months for their order to be delivered. Speaking about this aspect of work, Sanjay Reddy, who handles the business aspect of the label, says, “In addition to the signature exuberance and intricate designs of our creations, we are constantly pioneering creative advancements in fashion. When we create wedding wear, we design matching sets for both the bride and the groom. We have also curated the entire wardrobe for the groomsmen, bridesmaids and the important family members, keeping in mind the theme and aesthetic of the respective ceremonies.” In fact, while creating designs for clients belonging to different parts of the country, the designer keeps in mind the regional styles and sensibilities so that the final design is a homage to the client’s cultural milieu.
The next step for Sirisha Reddy is a pan-India expansion along multiple verticals. These expansion plans will be executed along both design elements as well as business requirements. For now, they are focused on expanding their customer base into cities like Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai, Jaipur and Delhi. Their next outlets are coming up in Bengaluru and Chennai. However, their international expansion plans include countries like the US, UK and Dubai, where there is a large presence of the Indian diaspora.