Decoding iconic brand Archies’ survival strategies to survive COVID-19 and other top stories of the week

This week, SMBStory covered the offline-to-online journey of iconic brand Archies along with the stories of couples Daisy Tanwani-Mashhood Beg, who launched lifestyle brand Pinklay, and Dr Anshu Jalora-Vijeta Soni, whose strong sense of purpose drove them to explore entrepreneurship.
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For every special occasion, a trip to a nearby Archies retail store was a must.

On the days preceding Raksha Bandhan, Christmas, or other festive occasions in India, Archies stores were usually filled with excited shoppers buying greeting cards and gifts for their near and dear ones.

But in the last year, the cheer has disappeared from the retail stores with their iconic red-and-white banners. They have remained largely empty, or shut.

Anil Moolchandani, Founder, Chairman and MD, Archies

Like it did for most businesses, the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing lockdowns hit Archies hard. In FY21, the New Delhi-headquartered brand’s net sales turnover dropped to Rs 55.29 crore from Rs 139.32 crore in the previous year - a 60.31 percent decline.

Confident the difficult times will pass, the NSE and BSE-listed firm recently forayed into the beauty segment by launching a new website - where it sells gift packs by 45+ skincare, haircare, cosmetic and fragrance brands such as Skinn by Titan, Mamaearth, Beardo, The Man Company, and Ajmal Perfumes.

The new website for beauty products is separate from Archies’ larger ecommerce website for its regular gifting products, and Android and iOS apps are expected by the end of the year.

In an interview with SMBStory, Hanisha Kapoor, COO of Archies Beauty, spoke about how the company has been faring and why online is the way forward for all companies.

Read the full story here 

 

Other top stories of the week:

Pinklay

Daisy Tanwani, Co-founder, Pinklay, with an artisan

Daisy Tanwani and her husband Mashhood Beg were avid travellers who also loved to shop local while on the move. 

During their travels to different countries, Daisy always found some or the other exquisite items to add to her wardrobe or accessories collection, but what surprised her was that all these products had the label, ‘Made in India’. 

On one such trip to the US, where she found some beautiful handprinted apparels, her first question was, "Why aren't these available in India?"

this prompted Daisy to make concerted efforts to try and figure out why there were such few brands for handcrafted items In India. 

“We found that the artisanal products market was extremely unexplored in India. But the love we saw for handmade products abroad convinced me to start my own brand of handcrafted designs,” Daisy tells SMBStory.

In 2015, Daisy and Mashhood founded Pinklay from Mumbai. Today, it designs, manufactures, and sells over 750 unique products in over 30 countries. 

Sciative

Dr Anshu Jalora and Vijeta Soni, Co-founders, Sciative

In the modern world, technology is a game-changer for businesses. Be it artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, or machine learning, new-age technologies have been helping small and medium businesses (SMBs) address several business challenges, including margins, stock assortment, and pricing. 

One of the companies in India addressing this is Sciative.

Started in 2015 by entrepreneur couple Dr Anshu Jalora and Vijeta Soni, the Mumbai-based company is a price optimisation solutions provider. Its clientele cuts across different sectors, including retail, ecommerce, manufacturing, travel, and more.

The products offered by Sciative are Viaje.ai and Brio. The former is an AI pricing product used by SMBs operating in the travel space whereas Brio helps retailers and ecommerce platforms make intelligent decisions with respect to inventory management, discounts, promotional campaigns, and more. 

In an interview with SMBStory, the couple tells us more about the platform, how they convinced traditional SMBs to adopt it, and what’s in the future. 

Read the full story here 


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Edited by Teja Lele