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Dressing men with panache

Vasari started as a small player in the whole-sale business in New Delhi. Today it is a brand with outlets in six major cities in India and many more outlets are slated to come up by the end of this financial year. In conversation with Franchise India Med

Tags: retail

BY Shambhavi Anand | July 07, 2010 | COMMENTS ( 2 ) |

Dressing men with panache
Mr. Mahesh Mohnani Director, Vasari India Pvt Ltd.

Vasari started as a small player in the whole-sale business in New Delhi. Today it is a brand with outlets in six major cities in India and many more outlets are slated to come up by the end of this financial year. In conversation with Franchise India Media, Mr Mahesh Mohnani, Director, Vasari India Pvt Ltd, the man behind the success, talks about his entrepreneurial journey.


Shambhavi Anand (SA):What prompted you to ventu re in this business?

Mahesh Mohnani (MM): The time we thought of starting up with our brand ROD, there were very few players in the Men’s Ethnic wear industry. This was a field which was not explored. We wanted something challenging to start with. Men’s wear was something which drew us to it like a magnet because it was challenging and exciting. We wanted to do something which not everyone does.


SA: What was your prior occupation before getting on with business? Tell us about your family background and what kind of support did you receive for your venture? 

MM: Before joining the business, I was completing my graduation (B. Com Hons.). Then, slowly started saving money to set up a small one room factory in Khanpur. The family had very little money to start the business with but ample moral support and unity made the growth of the brand possible. 


SA: What kind of initial capital did you start with and how did you source your seed fund?

MM: We started our business in the month of December, 1990 with no capital. Initially the business started as proprietorship and gradually became a partnership firm known as Sundri Apparels and was limited to whole-sale business at Delhi but later on we extended it to all over India in majors stores like Shoppers Stop, Paul Garments, Bindals, Madhuram, New Meena Bazar, Kala Nikaten, SKC, Options, Standard, Ritu wears, Chunmum, Telon, Hi Style, Moksha, Kapsons, Mens Avenue, Etc and many more. 


SA: What major challenges did you face as an entrepreneur? 

MM: Paucity of funds and lack of name in the market were the major challenges that we had to face when we started the business.


SA:  Vasari has showrooms in many cities. How do you ensure, the set standard is maintained across the outlets?

MM: We have a retail marketing team and accounts team at corporate office to 
control the retails through ERP Software and also have a designing team 
who surveys the markets, time-to-time.  


SA: Who has been your business mentor? Who do you look up to for advice in tough situations? 

MM: My father Shri. Bhagwan Das Mohnani, brothers Mr. Suresh and Mr. Manoj Mohnani and Mr. Ranjit Kundra are my mentors and pillars of strength.


SA: What is the USP of Vasari?

MM: In the next five years, we see ourselves, like today, the top player in the ethnic wear industry. Our USP i.e. the embroidery with its apt colours and placement is what makes us stand out in the market. The icing on the cake is that the garments are made available to the customers at a comparatively reasonable price.


SA: What are your expansion plans?

MM: On the 21st of April’10, Vasari entered Ahmedabad with an outlet spread over 10,000 sq. ft. on the main high street i.e C. G. Road. The outlet creates an ambience of luxury and elegance with 65 per cent of it dedicated exclusively to men's wear and the rest is designed keeping the elite women in mind. It even has a tailoring lounge spread over 1000 sq. ft area to cater to the customised need of customers and an exclusive wedding room. On the 12th of June’10, Vasari entered Jalandhar with a two storey outlet (3500 sq. ft) for both Men’s and Women’s ethnic and designer wear garments dedicating a floor to each.

By October mid, we would even be seen in Surat with a three-storey outlet (with every floor of around 3100 sq’ ft). The concept for the outlet is again to be a complete garment shopping destination for special occasions for both men and women where two floors would be dedicated to men and one exclusively to ladies. The men’s section would even have a huge tailoring lounge to satisfy the corporate needs of men. 

We would also be venturing areas like Amritsar, Chandigarh, Ambala, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Bangalore, Lucknow and Pune in the current financial year.


SA: What is the most important trait that helps an entrepreneur survive the rough and tumble of a business?

MM: Patience, leadership, and the attentive and positive attitude. These are the qualities according to me that are necessary for an entrepreneur to survive the rough and tumble of his business. 
Patience: One needs to be patient because nothing is certain in the rough times. 

Leadership: One should have the capability to lead his team affectively and keep on motivating them from time to time, make them feel like a part of a big family so that everyone is wanting to fight together to get out of the difficult times.

Attentive: One should keep his eyes and ears open 24 X 7 so that no opportunity is lost


Team work:Uunited we stand and divided we fall... something we all know but forget to follow... this is something which builds up the organisation and makes sure that if some partner falls weak, the other is ready to support.


Family Support: Even the entrepreneur needs a boost from his / her family when they come back after a tough day... like fuel is important for the cars to keep moving, family support and affection are important for the entrepreneur to keep moving and face the day with a smile.


Please add your comment


July 22, 2010 at 1:33 am

Fantastic! This is what true entrepreneurs are made of. They have patience, intelligence & extra sensory cells in their grey cells and finally the humility of acknowledging the team work/support of family, friends.. Best of Luck Mr Mohnani.

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July 22, 2010 at 1:33 am

Fantastic! This is what true entreprenuers are made of. They have the steel of patience, intelligence & extra sensory cells in their grey cells and finally the humility of acknowledging the team work/support of family, friends.. Best of Luck Mr Mohnani.

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