Nothing makes a woman look more beautiful like a saree does. Your wardrobe collection might be replete with latest western outfits but without an intriguing saree, it shall always remain incomplete. The search for an impeccable saree becomes much more intricate when you have a highly anticipated occasion around the corner. You ought to look the best at such events but sometimes your efforts to find the saree of your dreams turn out to be abortive and you have to compromise with something less than what was initially expected!
I’m certain all Indian women will be able to relate to this problem but surprisingly men aren’t oblivious to our plight as well. To break the conundrum and help women wear the idyllic saree of their dreams, Karan Chhabra has come up with Couture Masala, a platform that provides customized designs and aims at introducing every age group to the beauty and panache of sarees. They also provide personal styling tips with each saree. Couture Masala is here to ‘bring sexy back’!
We connected with Karan for a rendezvous and here is a sneak peek into his journey with Couture Masala so far:
Tell us a bit about your background and how it all started – where did your vision for Couture Masala come from?
In school I wanted (read: My parents wanted me to) to become an engineer since I was an above average student. After studying science for a week in class 11 I knew this wasn’t my cup of tea. But since ‘I’ wanted to be an engineer so badly I completed my schooling in science anyway. Finally, I bid goodbye to science and went to college at CBS where I specialized in finance. In college, like my peers, I wanted the ‘nine to five corporate life’ and I got placed at one of the best companies on campus.
Post that life was good. I worked for 8-10 hours a day and got a fat paycheck at the end of every month. But then I realized that this is not what I see myself doing in the long run. By now, I had realized entrepreneurship is where I had to go! Since I belong to a family of ‘Saree-wallas’, I saw a huge opportunity in the online market and that’s how I came up with the idea for Couture Masala.
What do you wish you’d known when you started Couture Masala?
When we entered this industry we did not really know about the industry benchmarks. We ended up over-paying for a few things, but well, we know how to learn from our mistakes. Now, every time, before entering into any transaction we make sure we have researched about it thoroughly.
Has Couture Masala got the feedback and growth you expected since launch?
Surprisingly the feedback has been better than what we expected. We’ve got 1500+ likes on Facebook and we have received numerous orders already. Given the research that we did before launch by going up to other entrepreneurs we were not expecting such a huge response in such less time.
What is the biggest hurdle you have faced or are still facing?
The biggest hurdle I have ever faced is leaving my job. It provided me with a good income stream and leaving that income stream was slightly difficult given that all of my savings were now invested in Couture Masala. And as per the current hurdles, well they involve our supply stream. The ratio between the amount of orders we are getting and the amount of sarees we have in the stock is kind of imbalanced. It makes me simply happy to think that our main hurdle now is that we have too many orders.
What’s next on the radar for Couture Masala?
Our site will soon offer you the liberty to design your own saree. You could draw down a design for us or you could send us a picture of a saree that Sonam Kapoor strut down the red carpet in and we will make that fantasy of you wearing that saree come true.
What do you think about the scope of online retailing in India?
India has a HUGE potential to become one of the biggest online markets. Even though the internet penetration rate is extremely low in India, the ecommerce industry is valued at approximately $14 Billion. I think in the next 5-7 years, the ecommerce industry should expect exponential growth.
What one piece of advice would you give to soon to be startup founders?
Do not think about it, just jump right in. If you keep thinking about all the things that could go wrong, the turmoil in your head will never stop, it’ll just keep on growing. Even if you are not sure the idea will work, give it shot. It will be more satisfying to think that you tried and failed rather than think that you should have tried.
Thanks Karan! Wishing the team of Couture Masala a successful journey with a destination that is as grandeur as its sarees!
If you have a wedding, family together or any other special occasion coming up or if you simply want to complete your collection of exotic sarees, do give Couture Masala a try and leave us your feedback!