She is headstrong. She is brave. She believes in hardworking and in taking risks to pave a path for her success. As was her calling. she jumped from being a Computer Science graduate to a Master's degree holder in Fashion studies, and then she kickstarted her own venture. Now; her label is running excellent on the major e-commerce platforms, including Myntra. Not just this, her label now has its presence felt across the country with its offline stores. Presenting, the brave and hardworking, Nidhi Yadavi, Founder AKS Clothings.
With a seed capital of Rs. 3.5 lacks, the inception of AKS happened in 2014 Form a small warehouse of less than a thousand units to today; where AKS is headquartered is located in the Millennium City of India, Gurugram, and has an integrated network of printing, dyeing, stitching and manufacturing units in the Pink Cith, Jaipur and a network of more than 250 tailors and workers. The Brand has grown to 100cr revenue without any external funding and they are serving more than a lakh customer in a month. Tapping the potential of the northeast region of India is in her bucket list, which has already begun. Get to know more about this young lady, who has set on exemplary example of courage.
Tell us about yourself.
I am a Computer Science Graduate and have worked for Deloitte before pursuing Masters in Fashion Studies from Italy. During this Master’s programme, I studied many fashion apparel brands like Zara and H&M,and they influenced me a lot and to an extent that I went on to start my own label. Besides my creative instincts, my foresightedness has helped me to envisage untapped business opportunities in the fashion e-commerce. And, when my determination is backed the family support, in May 2014, I decided to embark on the fashion world with an ethnic fusion brand – AKS. With a seed capital of only 3.5 lakhs, a small warehouse of less than a thousand units, I incorporated this dream organisation and never looked back.
What led you to make a foray into the entrepreneurship world? And, why clothing?
As I mentioned above, there are a number of factors that have influenced me to wear the hat of an entrepreneur, and the foremost among them are the inspirational success of many apparel brands that has immensely motivated me to use my creative skills and aesthetic sense for a lucrative business venture. By the grace of God, I strived for my dreams and the hard work I have vested in to this, has never disappointed me.
Tell us about AKS Clothings.
AKS is a brand of Yuvdhi Apparels, and it is co-founded by me. It is headquartered in the Millennium City of India, Gurgaon. AKS has an integrated network of printing, dyeing, stitching and manufacturing units in the Pink City, Jaipur. With a team of highly professional management, AKS is in the process of continuous expansion and incorporating the latest business practice to serve customers. In a very short span of time, “AKS” has emerged as one of the biggest fashion e-tailing brands in India and also shipping its products to many Asian countries like Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Singapore and Malaysia. AKS is all about confident attitude; it's a complete fusion dressing. AKS is the recipient of Myntra’s Best Emerging Brand 2017.
What are the different kinds of products or services that AKS Clothings offer?
All young ladies or girls between 18 to 35 years of age, students and working women are our target audience. The brand AKS Clothings offers a vast range of ethnic women's wear, including range Kurta or Kurtis, Palazzos, Ethnic Sets, Anarkalis, Leggings, and Mojri (traditional footwear).
What the USPs of AKS?
Capsules Collections, quick replenishment models and price affordability for end customers are the three top USPs of brand AKS.
How did you start this business? What kind of challenges did you face that time? Were there any apprehensions from your friends and family or your self?
AKS embarked its journey as an ethnic fusion brand in May 2014. Amongst all the obstacles faced, it was the responsibility of handling a 7-month-old baby and the budget & resource constraint became the toughest challenges in the path of setting up the brand. But, all thanks to the very supportive family and the timely decision of tapping the business opportunities in the e-commerce sector that AKS was able to become a success and reach the heights of glory within a short span of time. Since, the family was quite supportive of my venture; hence, there were no apprehensions from them.
Has ever being a woman been a problem in making a progress in your business plans?
No, Never. AKS is a women-centric organisation, and women empowerment is the part of organisation’s value system. Women entrepreneurs run nearly 50 percent outsourcing firms, which work for AKS. It has already developed a special unit for women so they can get better employment.
What will be a tentative ratio or percentage of women workforce working with you?
More than 50 percent of our employees are women.
What made you make your presence felt in Pan India?
Like I have said that capsules collections, quick replenishment models and price affordability for end customers are our top USPs. We create our apparels as per the needs and aspirations of our target audience. Hence, AKS becomes the perfect fit of fashion for everyone. That’s why we are able to carve a distinct position in the market, which further led us to expand and make our presence felt across the country. Not just this, we also offer free worldwide delivery services (conditions apply).
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that making people in the world experience the flavour of Indian ethnic wear, be it in fusion or traditional forms, isn’t at all difficult now with AKS’s Worldwide delivery services, and that too the free options come in like cherry on top. Its good for those Indians living outside of the country as well as non-Indians who are immensely fond of these attires. Access and availability has become easier and economical. They can now stay Indian without crashing on budgets with heavy shipping fee.
Do you have a store in any city of the North-eastern India? If yes, what products or services are offered there?
The demands for ethnic and indo-western dresses are growing at a healthy rate in the emerging markets of North-east India. In fact, we saw a steep rise in both the consistent demands and loyal customers from Nagaland from a past couple of years.
The consumer buying power and internet penetration are on a continual rise, creating a myriad of growth opportunities for fashion and lifestyle brand. This is the reason we recently set up our physical (brick and mortar) stores in the prime locations of Nagaland that would enable us to set a strong foothold in the emerging market. And, we are looking forward to it.
Where are the stores in Nagaland located?
We have two flagship stores at the prime locations of Dimapur and Kohima City in Nagaland.
Share a bit about this journey.
I started this journey keeping the destination in mind and from the very first day, I was aware that challenges are obvious and I will have to cope with them smartly. This is how I moved on towards my goals. Now, AKS is running on a smooth track and all of the stakeholders are cherishing its growth. Being the pilot of the ship, I am the most elated one, but cautious as well.
Who are your clients now?
Women in the age group 18 to 35 years.
If we want to browse through the products of AKS, online, where can we get to see them?
AKS is available on all the top online fashion stores like Myntra, Jabong, and Flipkart. Also, on company’s 4th anniversary, www.aksclothings.com was launched to meet up with the growing online customer base.
Tell us about your achievements.
I am the recipient of Young Women Entrepreneur Award at Indian Women Convention 2018 & Women Leadership. And, AKS has bee conferred with the Myntra’s Best Emerging Brand 2017.
Are you planning to set up more offline stores in the northeastern states? If yes, then which city?
Talking about the future plans, we are looking forward to making AKS a complete women apparel brand in contemporary styles and putting in efforts to turn the same into reality.We are all set to enhance brand’s market penetration via MBOs and Franchisees. In-house manufacturing is also a top priority amongst our future strategies. And yes, this will gradually translate into the market foray and penetration in various cities.
Your remarks on girl child education and women empowerment.
Education means liberty, opportunity, and growth. The 21st century seems pretty unbiased and supportive to all: a beginning of equality in the business world from where the new age of women entrepreneurship starts. Now, they can also convert ideas into enterprises because the traditional infrastructure is no more an obstacle to an entrepreneur if s/he is ambitious, innovative, and insightful.
- Your favourite holiday destination: Maldives
- Favourite food: Rawa Dosa
- Favourite book: “What I Know For Sure” by Oprah Winfrey
- What do you do in your leisure time? Sketching
Where do you see yourself 5 years down the lane?
I am quite sure that AKS will be counted among the top 10 apparel brands of India in five years from now. That is where see myself in the coming years.
If you’re given a magical wand, three wishes you would like to fulfil would be.
Well, I will not use it because I really believe that passion and hard work bring out the real magic, in this real world.
Three hacks for those women aspiring to become entrepreneur.
- First explore yourself than your world.
- Never trust on your limitations.
- Keep patience, but don’t compromise with your passion.