When most brands suffered and withered under COVID -19 impact and when people were sulking or cribbing over the business losses and crisis. There were a few who did not choose to be a mere spectator and sit idle, they rather opted to bounce back with more thrust and incorporated the changes in their business strategies and approach.
Divya Saluja, Co-founder and Creative Director, Saundh proved to be a true personification of Resilience and set a positive example, She not only kept the profit and loss margins at bay at a time when the loss is toppling the profits of markets in general. But also hit an equilibrium of profit and benevolence. Divya through her ethnic retail brand ‘Saundh’ has pushed the concept of providing luxury fashion in the modest estimate while refraining from passing on the burden onto her customers or employees. With spot-on business management, vigilant initial responses to the gradual shift to online selling, she remains unbothered of circumstantial hurdles caused by the pandemic. However, as she confesses that online shopping will be the next big thing, She also confidently opines that the need to feel and touch the clothing before you buy will never die because every store has a story to convey, On asking about how she visualizes a complete set up of online marketing she exclaims, “E-commerce can never be an answer for the real brick and mortar store where the customer can have a personal point of contact and they can physically touch & feel the product. Plus we strongly believe every store has a story to communicate which makes the consumer relate to the product”.
During the same time, she amplified her altruistic side through her NGO IKJOT she has continued to help many with infrastructure support, distributing education kits, etc. Divya is an entrepreneur who poses as an inspiration to many aspiring entrepreneurs and is determined to make it big into Men’s Fashion segment soon. From Dubai to India, From Local to Global, From Mumbai to Delhi, Divya has come along way and plans to ravel the unraveled path through her goal of making SAUNDH a global ethnic retail brand in coming five years. Now that there’s time to sit back and ponder, customers are switching to ethical shopping which drives manufacturers to produce goods with a sustainable manner as the prime focus which is why “We’ll be moving towards the sustainability, so all the fibers and printing inks we use which 100% natural. All the products which we do are based on natural and purr fabrics” remarks Divya.
There are chances that a pandemic as Covid-19 will surely shape and change the wardrobe habits of masses, to which Divya explains “Focus in fashion would surely be more on relaxed dressing but that wouldn’t stop our women from purchasing celebratory attires considering the forthcoming festive season”
HIGH ON PERSONA spoke to Divya Saluja about changing dynamics for the fashion retail segment, upcoming fashion trends, and how she has been able to mitigate the crisis marked by the pandemic.
ON EFFECT OF PANDEMIC
Unlike any other brand, our market did see an unavoidable dip in its demand. All of a sudden “comfort” became the keyword
ON CONCEPT OF ‘Vocal For Local’?
This has been our mantra since day one is to propagate Indian textiles which form the inspiration for many of our collections or be it the beauty of our transitional which is captured in the most aesthetic way in our garment. For that even our skilled craftsman whose art makes designs metaphorical reminder of subtleties of nature that evoke a sense of authenticity.
ON CHANGE IN STRATEGY
There has been a paradigm shift towards the digital media platform in terms of marketing which is also helping the brand to increase its reach to pan India clients. We’ refocusing more on digital platforms to build brand awareness and also collaborating with many luxury online portals to increase the reach and sales.
ON PLANS TO BOUNCE BACK
As they say, after every recession comes celebration and we have to hope the same for fashion. The focus would surely be more on relaxed dressing but that wouldn’t stop our women from purchasing celebratory attires considering the forthcoming festive season. People would surely want to dress up for more intimate functions.
LEARNINGS FROM PANDEMIC
We all are going through with hard times together where the end customer is being very smart and wise in picking fashion which has made a way for us to gradually convert into a fast-fashion ethnic wear brand.
ON TREND OF PUSHING DESIGNER MASKS
Face masks have been steadily gaining popularity, primarily for the purpose of protection. If one must now wear a mask out in public by law, then why not wear a mask that one feels both protected and good in? As the face mask becomes a necessary part of our daily attire, why not express ourselves through it as we do with the rest of our outfit. Although fabric masks can never replace the surgical masks but we are ensuring at our end that all safety measures are taken. we are using most fine breathable cotton fabrics to construct a three-ply mask which will keep the wearer from spreading the virus to others.
IDEAL SAUNDH WOMEN
Saundh resonates with every woman who is successful in her own right and comfortable in her own skin.
CONCEPT OF SUSTAINABILITY
We’ll be moving towards sustainability so all the fibers and printing inks we use which 100% natural. All the products which we do are based on natural and purr fabrics
ON PUSHING E-COMMERCE
Although e-commerce is the demand of the time right now and it won’t be a surprise if it would be the next biggest retail channel. however, we believe it can never be an answer for the real brick andmortar store where the customer can have a personal point of contact and they can physically touch and feel the product. Plus we strongly believe every store has a story to communicate which makes the consumer relate to the product more.
ON SAFETY MEASURES
We have taken all the necessary steps to ensure the safety of our customers and employees. We’ll be doing regular sanitization of our units and retail store along with the regular checkup of people coming to our stores.
ON MUSE FOR THE BRAND
Deepika Padukone is the perfect blend of style and grace. For us at Saundh, our muse is a woman who is feminine yet fierce. She is someone who is free-spirited yet well versed with her roots and Deepika testimonies this beautifully.