An ethnic wear brand by celebs and other top picks of the week
Women ethnicwear market is winning the race in the apparel industry and many brands capitalising on this opportunity., a label led by celebrities Sushruthi Krishna and Samantha Prabhu, has catered to around 60,000 customers and is poised to expand internationally.
Here is their story.
Indian ethnicwear is popular across the world, with the Indian market expected to touch $24 billion by 2025.
While many entrepreneurs have tapped into the opportunity by introducing brands like BIBA, Meena Bazaar, Global Desi, Fabindia, and so on, celebrities too are capitalising on the opportunity to take ethnicwear brands from India to the world.
Bengaluru-based Saaki is one such label. Started in 2020 under the parent brand Merch by Femina Miss India 2016 first runner up Sushruthi Krishna and actress Samatha Prabhu, Saaki is an online D2C brand catering to women across the globe.
Recalling the days when she was looking for a business partner, Sushruthi says a mutual friend connected her to Samantha, who was also looking for business partnerships--not just for investing in an idea but building a brand together.
“Samantha and I both have similar understanding for business and we entered the ethnic wear market because we see potential in the category. The market is unorganised and the brands present in the space are at higher price points. We built Saaki to offer consumers premium quality ethnic wear at affordable prices,” Sushruthi adds.
The founder says that in two years Saaki has established itself as a multi-crore brand catering to customers pan India through its D2C website. However, she refuses to disclose the revenue.
Other top picks of the week:
Until 2009, Sridhar Thirunakara, a technical salesperson, sold computers, laptops, and other computer accessories at (now Outshiny India Pvt Ltd)—a 100 sq ft store on Bengaluru’s New BEL Road. With plans to become an entrepreneur, Sridhar quit his job and started a small business. At that time, little did he know that, in the following years, he would play a strong role in contributing to the Make in India initiative. Today, Outshiny, through its lifestyle brand—Arctic Fox—caters to customers in both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) domains with keyboards, computer mouse, gaming mouse, duffles, trolleys, etc. The homegrown company is an OEM/ODM of laptop bags for leading technology companies including HP, Lenovo, and Acer. It manufactures its products from four units located across Bengaluru. So, what propelled Sridhar to build this Rs 165-crore revenue company from scratch?
SMEs beyond startups
In post-pandemic India, small businesses and MSMEs are poised to play a vital role in the country’s growth journey by leveraging technological advancements and adopting to digital means.
At TechSparks 2022, YourStory’s flagship startup-tech summit held earlier this month, Sidhya Senani, Engagement Lead and COO, BAF Consultants; Chandu Reddy, Director, Sangeetha Mobiles; and Nikhil Ranjan, MD, William Penn, shared insights on the role played by small businesses in the modern world and what it will take to grow the sector.
Chandu spoke about the changing business dynamics in the post-COVID-19 world. Though the last two years were tough, Sangeetha Mobiles opened more than 100 stores in 2020 and 2021. He credits this to a planned approach and investing with the mindset that retail won’t fade.
“The pandemic was a wake-up call as most of the SMEs are family-run. The lockdown gave them time to strategically think the way ahead,” said Sidhya, adding that SMEs must understand that the journey to making Rs 500 crore revenue won’t be the same when it comes to doubling it. This is the change in mindset that is needed for SMEs to adapt, she emphasised.
Adding to the conversation, Nikhil highlighted that there is a cultural shift taking place among small and medium enterprises as they are moving away from the traditional ‘lala’ culture and progressing towards building a corporate culture.
Edited by Megha Reddy