Building a cool image of the brand and connecting with people is something that Being Human stands out for. The brand has carved its niche in the space of respectable brands in the world with humanitarian cause promoted by Salman Khan. Taking this cause forward with maintaining ethical business practices Mandhana Industries has imbibed certain values in its creative workplace culture, designing studio and stores to prominently justify the tagline of the brand. Therefore to understand the practices followed by the brand behind the curtain Indianretailer.com spoke to Manish Mandhana, Jt MD, Mandhana Industries.
What is your thought behind Being Human?
Being Human word itself is a big statement and it means a lot. Brand business is all about evolving and putting something new on the table, for example new ideas and new products. If we are not creative, we will be out of business, so to stand out you have to think out of the box. I have been fortunate enough to work with some of the best brands in the world. My biggest teacher has been my travel to 60 countries across the globe. I have worked with all sorts of people and the leading international brands. I have learnt good things from everyone and I have put all those learnings to create Being Human. I thought if I combine celebrity, concept of charity and a great fashionable product, it can be the most vital combination.
What are the cool features of the brand?
Being Human is about expressing the message and not the product. We have created certain values around the brand which is love, care, joy, share, help and hope. And we have created symbols out of these values and we ensure that we use these symbols in the form of artwork and graphics on t-shirts and other products. We put them on the labels, metal buttons.
The product we keep is very positive in terms of color, graphics and quotes. We have created that environment around the brand which goes with the name. In t-shirts, unlike other brands, we deliberately make a point that we don’t use frivolous words like fuck or skull printing. For consumers, Being Human is the most sophisticated brand in the form of simplicity, quality of the material, no big logos, no hammering approach with loud and bold printing, and they still feel nice about it. Our target group loves logo t-shirts with Being Human words. Every tag of our product conveys the message that you as a consumer should support the cause of education and healthcare.
How could you develop people connect in such a short span of time?
Being Human itself is a big statement and the brand logo, the heart, conveys love for human beings. People connect with Being human as a big humanitarian cause promoted by Salman Khan and he has all kinds of fans. In other brands what is missing is connect and the message. Other brands try to look cool, but people can’t relate to it. Indian teenagers are in exact in sync with Europe and US trends. In the short span we have covered a long distance. The humanitarian cause involved in the brand is somewhere paid off as people give a lot of support. Also we have got tremendous support from all our partners who supported the cause and idea.
How do you create cool yet creative office and store culture?
We have a very modern vintage kind of set up in the Being Human offices, cafeteria and showrooms where we use old things, repurpose them, put them to reuse and recycle as it is also one of the attributes of Being Human. We have lot of graphitise with great human beings like Mother Teressa, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, who have made a difference to the society.
At the same time it’s a lot of fun in the office where we have key inspirational quotes and stuff like that for people who work with the brand. People need an environment in which they would like to spend most of their time to be in a certain way. There is a sense of calmness, but at the same time there is a sense of class and modern quotient to the whole set up.
Also, in all our stores there is a lot of design and thought exhausted to come up with the whole story of what the brand basically stands for. We want to give the message in terms of social accountability and cause behind the brand. In our stores whenever we offered the fashion forward articles, they were the best sellers. People consider us as fashion brand and Being Human is something they want to flaunt.
How do you imbibe the respectful values in employees?
We have developed a culture in the company where everybody is welcomed. We are all on the same page in terms of thinking and being a part of the brand. Every activity we carry out around a brand sticks to the DNA of the brand, which is purity, respecting the nature and respecting the values. We imbibe these values in the working of 600 employees of Being Human. They get the brand orientation when they join in. For encouraging employees we have internal chronicle called Doodle that comes out every month. It is about people who work in Being Human we feature them.
Keeping up with the constant innovation how do designers remain creative?
The designers are clear that they have to position us and the design in a way that we can compete in the global market. They follow good design aesthetics which works all across. They think global and act local and tweak the merchandise according to the local needs. Our designers follow international trends. They do what they feel is right for the brand. They travel across the globe to attend various shows related to fashion to see what other brands are doing and keep with the pace. They keep doing research and analyse various fashion portals.
Justifying the tagline how are you maintaining the ethical business practices?
When the brand is called Being Human, the business practice that we carry out has to be in line with that. We have various vendors with various products, so we make sure that we do factory audits to ensure that there is no child labor. We do ratings to ensure that the work conditions are suitable for the people who are working there and they are getting wages on time. We give justice to the brand with our manufacturing abilities and expertise developed in textile and apparels over the years.
In every store of Being Human we employ at least one physically challenged person whom we call as 100 percent able person. Also, we manufacture the apparel line made from organic cotton to support the nature.
I feel it should be win-win situation for everybody involved in the business. We ensure that every person involved in our company grows with us. Decent amount of percentage of our profit goes to the Being Human foundation which spends this money on education and healthcare for needy.