After two failed businesses, NIFT textile designer Ritika rose like a phoenix from the ashes. She started the women’s ethnic wear brand Sanskritam in 2021 with just Rs. 50,000 in Chandigarh. In the last eight months, the brand has already crossed Rs 3 crore in revenue. Ritika, 27, narrated an inspiring entrepreneurial journey to Startup Pedia.
Ritika credited her husband, Gaurav, for the Sanskritam’s rapid growth over the last year. She said that ever since Gaurav took over the digital marketing vertical of the business, the sale that was Rs. 50 lakh annually burgeoned to Rs. 35-50 lakh per month. Gaurav is a marketing MBA grad and had worked with various renowned corporates before joining Sanskritam full time as a co-founder.
Ritika did her textile designing course at the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Mumbai 2018. After that, she worked with Skill India in the textile field, where she would train Tihar Jail prisoners they stitch school students’ dresses to earn money for their families. She trained artisans too, during her job. She did that job for one year and then tried her hands in what she was passionate about – entrepreneurship.
“Although I was earning good money, I did not want to do a job for the rest of my life. I often think of starting my own business. Maybe because my mother has been running a successful business for over 25 years,” said Ritika while talking to Startup Pedia.
Ritika started two businesses after her job with Skill India, but those resulted in failed businesses. First, she started manufacturing and selling men’s shirts. This did not work as planned because of two reasons. “The first reason was that no retailers wanted to do business with women running men’s brands. The second reason was that I did not leverage D2C e-commerce sales channels,” explained Ritika.
She invested about Rs. 4 lakh into a men’s shirt business, where she managed to make only Rs. 1.5 lakh.
Ritika and her now husband, Gaurav, started a handcrafted footwear business. However, this business also did not go as planned.
Since Ritika had no money left to invest in any other business, she took up a job with WhiteHat Jr as a mentor for about seven months during the coronavirus pandemic. She earned good money that she invested in her third business, which is women’s ethnic wear. She gave herself one last chance at entrepreneurship.
She bought a few women’s ethnic wear kurtas from Jaipur, investing about Rs. 50,000 and showcased them in a few exhibitions. She observed a good response. That is when she started manufacturing women’s ethnic wear kurtas under the brand name- Sanskritam. She began leveraging e-commerce and social media platforms to attract customers. Eventually, social media, especially Instagram, worked well for her business growth.
After about a month of testing the waters, Ritika could finally see the momentum in sales. She hired 4 to 5 tailors and started manufacturing Ritika sources fabrics from Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Chennai.
What started with just 10-12 SKUs, women’s ethnic wear brand Sanskritam has a wide range of products from long kurtas to short kurtas, co-ord sets, suit sets, palazzo and pants and bed sheets. Today, it has around 80 SKUs in just the long kurtas category, 15 SKUs in the kurta set category and a couple of SKUs in co-ord sets. Now, the brand has a total of 50 staff wherein 20 are tailors.
The brand also gives customers the flexibility to choose different sizes of kurtas and pants from XL to 6XL. “We are a proud size-inclusive brand. We sell from small to 6XL sizes. We do not charge fat-tax from the customers. You will get a plus-size kurta or pants at a small size price at Sanskritam,” told Ritika.
The set back
When Ritika thought her business was taking off gradually after the test and trial, she was hit by a huge setback. The manufacturing unit where women’s ethnic wear kurtas and pants would be manufactured caught fire at the end of December 2020.
All of her Sanskritam’s inventory was reduced to ashes. However, Ritika’s inspiration did not. She rose like a phoenix from the ashes.
In the first year of launching Sanskritam, the business made Rs. 50 lakh in revenue. “In the fiscal year 2022-23, we had revenue of Rs 1.4 crore. In the last eight months of fiscal year 2023-24, we have already crossed Rs 3 crore,” revealed woman entrepreneur Ritika while talking to Startup Pedia. She also said that women’s ethnic wear brand Sanskritam receives major sales from tier 1 and tier 2 cities aged above 30.
Sanskritam has been a bootstrapped brand relying solely on revenue.
1. What is Sanskritam?
Sanskritam is a sustainable, zero-waste women’s ethnic wear brand which was founded in 2021 during the time of the pandemic.
2. What products does Sanskritam offer?
Sanskritam offers various Indian fabrics like cotton, chanderi, mulmul, kota doria, and banarasi in ethnic wear and home furnishings. Customers can also select from various kurta and pants sizes ranging from XS to 6XL at the same price, making them a plus-size inclusive brand.
3. Who is the founder of Sanskritam?
Ritika Gupta, an NIFT graduate, launched the business Sanskritam in 2021 and was later joined as a co-founder by her husband, Gaurav Gupta.