How did the label Poonam Kasera started? What was the inspiration behind launching the brand? Kindly share your entrepreneurial journey so far?
I started this brand as a hobby in 1993. Men’s fashion was not given enough recognition at that time. There were hardly any designers working with ethnic men’s fashion. This made me realize there was a huge potential in this line.
Initially, I designed clothes for my close ones and the amazing responses I received from them served as a source of inspiration to me. The constant support and encouragement from family and friends was a major boosting factor in my career. This combined with my passion for designing is the driving force behind the brand ‘Poonam Kasera’.
How do you see the avenues of men luxury fashion is evolving in India?
In the last few years there has been a drastic change in the market for men luxury fashion. Nowadays men are experimenting with their clothing and getting more fashion conscious. People are especially keen on wearing ethnic wear for special occasions. The audience has become very dynamic, who diligently follow the current trend in fashion. Men, young or old, pay special attention to the patterns, cuts, drapes, buttons and the fabrics used.
This trend is gradually picking up pace in the tier 2 and tier 3 as well. With an increase in demand and the ever changing fashion scenario, we are going to see a lot of growth in this sector.
What kind of channels are being used in online and offline space to sell Poonam Kasera? Also, going forward what are the plans to expand the distribution?
Currently, we retail from our flagship store in Kolkata. We have also collaborated with Telon and Telon fashions, Mumbai. In terms of online space, we have our presence with Aza Online and even take orders through our Instagram and Facebook page. We are planning to showcase our collection in few stores in Mumbai, Delhi and Hyderabad this year.
According to you, what are the major retailing challenges when it comes to men’s luxury fashion in India?
The in-store shopping environment and customization are the major retailing challenges in men’s luxury fashion. The in-store shopping environment plays a major role in converting a potential customer. Friendly staff, warm and inviting environment with hassel free services, all contribute to improving the store environment. Customization, along with smooth after sale services also play a major role and even encourage men to shop.
Kindly shed light on your best selling lines?
The kurtas with Kashmiri embroidery and gota patti work is one of our best selling lines, as the kind of quality and the embroidery is indigenous to our brand.
Moreover, our other festive kurtas also do well throughout the year. Band galas and Jacket sets are also being preferred by many of our customers.
Who do you see as your potential competition within the same space?
I always strive to make my brand bigger and better. I consider myself as my biggest competition and try to push the boundaries to create designs that are creative and unique. Some of the designers whose work I admire are- Antar agni and Khanijo.
What would be your piece of advice to fellow entrepreneurs who are looking start similar business?
It’s a growing industry with immense opportunities. The industry’s growth has inspired lot of young designers to enter this field. I think every designer entering this field should acquire his own style to stand out in this competitive and dynamic field.
Are you boot strap or have raised any funds so far?
We are boot strapped.
At last, kindly highlight your growth plans?
We are targeting all the major cities in India, including the two tier cities.We want to position our brand with all the major designers of the country and are also trying to get into the export market in ethnic menswear. Expanding our online presence through various websites is also included in our agenda for growth.