In a freewheeling interview with G20, Sheetal Kapoor, Joint Managing Director, SHR Lifestyles Pvt Ltd, talks about the brand Shree, and how it combines the idea of fashion with the ideals of Make in India.
Q. Would you please enlighten our readers about the brand ‘Shree—The Indian Avatar’?
A. Shree is an ode to Indian women. We are inspired by the woman of today; a woman who maintains a life balance between her corporate world and her household. We respect her, and want to provide her with the best every day wear. Our brand takes inspiration from women who are deeply rooted in India’s rich cultural heritage but also holds close her global outlook. She has a perspective that speaks in the outfit she wears or the actions she undertakes. They nurture, love, accept themselves and others while facing life’s challenges with equal grace.
Ours is a Made-in-India brand that is highly inspired by our respected Prime Minister’s ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ ideal. We work upon the same and aspire to create apparel that is inspired by India, sourced in India, and Made in India for Indians. From fiber to fashion, we operate domestically with the goal of promoting the employment of home-grown factories, small job workers, and tailor masters. We stand for a truly Indian product.
Shree makes all its products in India with Indian consumers as its target consumer base. We begin our value chain upstream with textile fiber sourcing and yarn procurement. Our value chain processes involve sourcing of textile, procurement of related processing, designing the apparel, and procuring apparel. All of these steps are rooted within India and each step takes place solely with Indian partners.
According to the latest estimates, 95% of the fabric that is used to develop garments at Shree is manufactured in India. We plan to take this figure to 100% because we inadvertently support ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’. Despite the increase in competition due to availability of cheaper services and goods in Vietnam and Bangladesh, we have decided to build upon the Indian supply chain. We’ve been complying with our vision to make our brand a ‘made in India’ brand even before our country was hit by Covid-19. Quite fortunately, our decision has now paid off as imports had been hampered and the country is on its path to become ‘aatmanirbhar’ or self-reliant.
We have been aspiring, since the brand’s inception, to become a consumer-centric, transparent, process-driven, and accountable organisation. We’ve strived to become more than just a fashion brand; a brand that Indian women truly hold close to their hearts. We’re happy to say that we’ve been able to come closer to achieving our mission and are on our way to hit our goals.
Q. Could you please elaborate on the brand’s beginnings and its journey to success?
A. Well, the brand Shree has been like a child to me. I’ve raised it like a baby; it’s extremely close to my heart. Before Shree came into operation, Mr Kapoor and I were involved in selling ethnic wear as an e-commerce platform on E-bay. Soon, we identified a huge gap in the industry for everyday, ethnic fashion brand. Together, we researched the market thoroughly studying key points like Indian body types, colors that complement Indian women and are loved by them, fabrics that favor Indian weather conditions, and key functional requirements of an Indian women. That’s when we came up with ‘Shree—The Indian Avatar’. Shree, as a brand, celebrates our Indian-ness and take pride in our Indian culture.
If I talk about how I ended up in the industry after 20 years of marriage, then I’d say that it was a rather an intuitive call. But it was also the support that Mr Kapoor lent me. Together, we came up with the name of the brand ‘Shree’, which has been inspired by the Indian Goddess ‘devi’. It means divine. I believe that ‘devi’ is the core of every Indian woman, and that’s from where we draw our inspiration.
The brand has gone through its share of ups and downs, but we’ve been rather fortunate that the ups have been a lot and the downs have been a few. Over the years, we’ve built a team of diligent professionals, who join hands each day to form something great for the brand as well the consumers. Altogether, we’ve achieved success each day. And today, we have more than 95 stores pan India, and we’re on our way to open up more stores. We’ve also developed a well-functional website encompassing our virtual store, where consumers can shop endlessly and get their garments delivered to their doorstep. Our hard work has paid off, and we’re quite happy that together we are building a better future both for our brand as well as our employees.
Q. Tell us about your newest Spring Summer 21 Collection.
A. We’re delighted to launch our Spring Summer 21 Collection. With the last year being a little out-of-sorts, we’re really excited to be launching our first collection after the lockdown. It’s a combination of everything that you can think of in the summer season. It brings out a fresh breeze of new colors like teal, mint green, aqua blue, baby pink, and more. Pastels and florals will adorn our new collection. Although we’ve bring forth a simplistic collection this time on, we’re more than proud of what our designers have come out with. It’s simple yet intricate. And what’s better than that in today’s world!
The intricate detailing in the form of sequins, hand-woven buttons, beadwork, and embroidery has enhanced the entire assortment, especially because the tones of the garments are complementing. Some of the popular themes that I can recall from the new collection are Pastel Floral, Foliage, Bandhani, Vasant, and Privie. As usual, we’ve used natural and breathable fabrics and different forms of pure cotton like cotton dobby, structured, jacquard, and LIVA fabric. This time, you’ll find A-line, straight, and fit and flared silhouettes.
If you ask me about highlight of the new Spring Summer Collection, I’d say that it is a combination of fashion, quality and price.