This is the interview of Priyanka Shetye – Founder of Prayas – A mom and Indian Women Entrepreneur. We hope you find the inspiring interview useful and inspiring through your entrepreneurial journey and will keep you motivated.
Tell us a little about yourself
A mom and entrepreneur, born and raised in Mumbai Priyanka is Alumni of D.G.Ruparel College, Mumbai for her Bachelors In Chemistry, did her PG in Management from Welingkar Institute of Management, Mumbai worked with leading Pharma & FMCG Companies.
And while she does not have a background in the fashion industry, her time working in corporates and keen observation skills have familiarized her with wardrobe choices of new-age women.
Also, having worked in sourcing, contract manufacturing and supply chain, she is well versed with the attributes required to run a manufacturing firm.
How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
Priyanka Shetye, the founder of Prayas, when searching for some fusion wear in breathable fabrics realized that the Indian market has fewer brands in this segment.
And the prices are not affordable for everyday women. Indian women now are becoming more conscious about their fashion choices and are leaning towards sustainability.
They love to wear modern or western outfits in pure cotton or hand loom fabrics which are comfortable all day long and give an effortlessly chic look, whether it is college going girls or working women of any industry or position.
Hence Prayas which means ‘attempt’ was born and the main motto is ‘For Women, By Women’.
The goal is to work on the upliftment of women. The brand works with 70% women entrepreneurs and artisans.
The silhouettes are curated by the local artisans as they purely support ‘vocal for local’. The brand focuses majorly on the B2C market currently.
What service(s) or product(s) do you offer?
Prayas includes a wide range of tops, Kurta sets, Kurtis,Kurtas tunics, fusion wear and handpainted jewelry among many other things. The exceptional feature of Prayas is that it gives all this under a price range of Rs. 499-1599.
Along with clothes, Prayas also provides unisex printed face masks that would go with your outfits. Indeed, we all want to look elegant and stylish even during the pandemic so you can mix and match with a fine range of Prayas’ face masks to make yourself safe and stylish at the same time. You can get a minimum of 3 printed unisex washable face masks at only Rs 99.
What is unique about your business?
We are not just Sustainable brand but Affordable as well. Our intricate designs are in breathable fabric and the price is comparatively lower than other Sustainable Brands.
We usually see that when we look out for Sustainable fashion it is either very highly priced or the designs and colors are somewhat common and dull.
But you can find swanky colors and fresh patterns in Prayas. for eg. We have a Cold shoulder Dress which is curated in Handloom Material but surprisingly the price is about Rs. 800 🙂
What made you choose this type of business?
As I am turning myself towards Sustainability I ws unable to find any brands which offered pocket friendly apparels for Work wear or for Casual outings..And just this thought to have an affordable daily wear for the women of today gave birth to Prayas
What was your mission at the outset?
My Mission was to have affordable sustainable fashion plus working towards Women empowerment hence we work with 70% women.
And I am working towards more and more benefits for the women of today and in line with Mental health of Women as well.
How many employees in your organization?
My Contract Manufacturing has around 25 employees, corporate employees around 5
What’s your company’s goals?
To be on the top brand list in Sustainable women Fashion.
How do you build a successful customer base?
We are offering great customer services with one to one conversation with clients on their queries, we treat them as a family and listen to them.
We thoroughly make use of our social media platforms for more and more engagements with our existing & new customers.
What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?
yes we did faced failures as it is a learning phase for all and we learned that we need to focussly work towards our targets and not to repeat what went wrong..but yes there will be failures in future which is inevitable
Who has been your greatest inspiration?
Shoutout to all Entrepreneurs out there in India who went out of their ways and contributed to the society. All are my inspirations but to be specific SUTA Bombay Sisters are my inspiration
What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?
initially I made a mistake of relying on a Friend cum partner who turned out to be ‘Not so interested’ in the venture and did nothing on the given targets which led to slow down of our targets and overshooting timelines.
If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Start early….Research a lot in the segment where you want to do something. Make analysis Business plans since start..do not wait for someone. Chalk out a 5 year plan and set targets.
Does your company help the community or society?
Yes, as we work with Women artisans and entrepreneurs we want to contribute more and more towards Women.
We hope you find the inspiring interview of Indian Women Entrepreneur, Priyanka Shetye – Founder of Prayas – A mom and entrepreneur useful and inspiring through your entrepreneurial journey and will keep you inspired.
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