Paani Puri Clothing is simply an out-of-box creation and has plans to add a new flavour to clothing. Rish Oberoi, Founder and CEO of Paani Puri Clothing, in an exclusive interview shares the story of his company.
Neha Malhotra (NM): Can you brief us about the inception of Paani Puri clothing?
Rish Oberoi (RO): Paani Puri Clothing started on April 20, 2009. It started off as a joke late at night, when all I could think about was food and how funny it would honestly look if "The Joker" would be eating Paani Puri. This whole thing was big fun till the time I started figuring out ways to incorporate Paani Puri into fictional/non fictional situations. I named it Paani Puri and it is my child.
NM: You have very unique packaging. Can you throw shed light on that aspect?
RO: The packaging had to be different and fun. There are millions of companies which sell t-shirts but very few have fun with the concept. My inspiration came from my childhood days while growing up in the United States. I remembered how cereal boxes would have a new toy/ t-shirt etc in them. I wanted to recreate that for Paani Puri. The box represents the influence of American branding on me and the excitement that it creates. I want to relive that feeling and hope people will feel the same with Paani Puri.
NM: Where all will the merchandise be available for customers?
RO: Currently Attic is our first store that we are stocking in. We are in talks with few stores in town and one major retail outlet in Mumbai. We will also have worldwide sales which will take off soon as the line of clothing is launched on our website.
NM: Who is the target clientele for Paani Puri clothing?
RO: Paani Puri line of clothing is not restricted to a limited clientele but it’s for a broad spectrum of consumers. We hope that people will love the art, story and the feeling of what we are doing. I love my t-shirts. I want people to love the brand and share the same passion about their Paani Puri shirts.
NM: How do you come up with the unique ideas for the designing of the t-shirts? Do you have an in house team of designers who take care of the designing?
RO: We have something called as a “think tank”. We brainstorm ideas before coming up with any concept. Some ideas just click, they are thought of in dreams, or while taking a walk, but there are some which we sit and think about. I want to keep the company small to begin with because I feel that will help us grow creatively and will hire more people at later stages.
NM: What were the challenges faced by you for setting up the brand?
RO: One of the biggest challenges that I feel is the launch of the brand name. People would associate the clothing range with the food but how they would perceive the name is the matter of concern. But on the other hand I enjoy the reaction of the people when I say I own a company called Paani Puri. When I see that confused look on their faces, I feel I have done my job.
NM: What kind of marketing strategies are you adopting to market your brand?
RO: We want to do something very different. We are currently brain storming new ideas for offline marketing. The marketing has to reflect what we stand for, which is fun and passionate.
NM: Is movie merchandising an option you are looking at?
RO: Yes, we are hoping to make few contracts. These are pending right now and are looking forward to it.
NM: What are your future plans in terms of expansion?
RO: My goal is to make Paani Puri an international clothing brand. We are also starting other apparel like jeans, shorts, hats, hoodies etc. We have plans to start the next phase within six months. I am most curious to see how we start with t-shirts and hope to do well.