A young, energetic inspirational designer & fashionpreneur, Nidhi Yadav started AKS in 2014 with a seed capital of Rs. 3.5 lakhs and a small warehouse of less than a thousand units. Under her leadership role, AKS with the brand Yuvdhi Apparels under its fold has become one of the biggest fashion e-tailing firms in India shipping products pan India, Singapore, and Malaysia in a very short span of time.
Here are a few excerpts from the interview where Nidhi unfolded her entrepreneurial journey with HelloPost Team:
Tell us something about yourself.
Born and brought up in a middle-class family of Indore (MP), and after doing graduation in Computer Science, I have worked for Deloitte, and later moved to Italy to pursue a one-year course in Fashion Buying and Merchandising at the Polimoda Fashion School in Florence. Soon I got a job at Italian fashion brand Emilio Pucci, but I preferred to rejoin my family in India.
What motivated you to start your own venture?
The idea of starting my own venture in the fashion world ruling over my mind since I was studying Zara and H&M as a part course curriculum in Italy. Hereby, with the support of my husband, the idea got developed into AKS Clothings, an ethnic fusion brand of Yuvdhi Apparels in May 2014.
What were the challenges that you’ve faced while starting your own venture?
In particular, there isn’t any major challenge in my journey that is in any way different from those faced by the women entrepreneurs of the older age group. But yes, starting off on an entrepreneurial journey while nursing a few months old baby brought some tough times that my older counterparts tend to not face as by the time they started their business their kids have grown old enough to understand the situation. During the initial months after setting up AKS, my husband and I would travel from Gurugram to Jaipur every weekend with our infant daughter in tow - to source materials. Apart from these, limited finances and small warehouse were the other major challenges before us. Hence, reaching an agreement with the manufacturers was a bit difficult. As we wanted to get 25 pieces of each design, manufacturers wouldn’t take any orders for less than 200 pieces.
Which was the moment in your journey when you felt that it's not working but still you didn’t lose your hope and kept it going?
By the grace of God, I have never encountered any formidable challenge where I couldn't succeed in overcoming it. Whenever I came across a big problem my family and their moral support were always with me.
What was the biggest achievement during your entrepreneurship journey?
I did nothing extraordinary in my life, although AKS is performing tremendously, the best is yet to come.
How do you maintain a good work-life balance and mental health?
I am good at managing the time, so, every weekend, I spare some time for the family to enjoy some quality moments with them. Besides, when I feel overstressed, music relaxes my senses.
Who is your role model?
Indra Nooyi is my role model as of how beautifully she has juggled between her family and work and has managed to set milestones for working mothers like us.
What is your secret to success?
For me, success is not limited to accomplishing business goals or achieving high growth. Inner happiness and satisfaction are the biggest ingredients of success for me that I subtly feel in my relationship with work and family.
What’s one leadership lesson that you’ve learned in your career?
Having confidence in the self is the first step of leadership. Those who stumble hardly reach the targets.
What are your future plans?
We want to be the market leader in women fusion wear and to accomplish this mission the entire team of AKS is working day and night. High market penetration via MBOs and e-portals is our top strategy in this direction and we expect some really good results.
Any advice to aspiring women entrepreneurs?
From government policies to technological advancements, the present business ecosystem is full of entrepreneurial opportunities for women. So, it is the best time to materialize your plans and ideas very today because you can wait, but the market cannot.
Anything else that you would like to add.
Life is not short as long as you are moving in the right direction.
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