Beating Cancer This Woman Entrepreneur Launched a Dedicated Kaftan Brand

While battling Cancer, Hyderabad based Prakurti Gupta Rao got the idea of starting her own kaftan brand. In 2016, she launched The Kaftan Company

Hyderabad based Prakurti Gupta Rao says that she always wanted to be an entrepreneur. After finishing schooling in Hyderabad, she moved to Canada for further studies and completed her undergraduate studies in Business at the University of Windsor, Canada in 2001. She then completed her MBA from York University’s Schulich School of Business in 2008.

Prakruti started working at Chrysler Financial and then moved to Mercedes-Benz Financial in Canada as a Project Lead before she moved to Dubai to join the Fiat-Chrysler Group. However, soon after her marriage, in 2010, and during her Dubai stint, she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma cancer.

While most people would lose hope, Prakurti found purpose in life during her fight with Cancer. She thought that this was the right time to stop the corporate jobs and shift into her entrepreneur dreams. Prakruti went through three months of chemotherapy and two months of radiation therapy to complete her treatment. After a brief stint with home furnishing, Prakruti diverted into the garment business. She started her research into the kind of product she wanted to make – something different from what’s already available in the market.

“I wanted to venture into an affordable premium branch of garments and realised that the market is flooded with garments which are very similar to one another. I noticed there was no brand that was only doing kaftans. I realised that it is such a beautiful and comfortable silhouette and wanted to do something really different with it. That’s when I came up with the idea of launching a brand which focused on kaftans but not just for sleep – I wanted to include it for daywear as well,” Prakurti says. 

Prakruti started The Kaftan Company in 2016 from her home in Hyderabad. She began selling via their D2C online platform as well as other e-commerce websites such as Myntra, Jabong, Flipkart and Amazon. “We have since added many additional e-commerce channel partners including Ogaan, Zivame, Shoppers Stop, Ajio and Tata Cliq Luxury,” she adds.

Prakruti finds Kaftans the most comfortable outfit. “There are no restrictions to our body while wearing a kaftan. The other part is the sustainable nature of a kaftan. There is virtually no fabric wastage in its production cycle. The third thing is, it’s one of my favourite garments and when you believe in something so strongly then it becomes very easy to sell it to other people,” she shares.

The pandemic took its toll on the brand as well, but it was a good problem to have. With the sale of Kaftans and loungewear increasing during the period, The Kaftan Company had its task cut out, and had to increase production to meet the hiked-up demand. Prakruti claims the company’s annual revenue growth rate is 3x to 4x at The Kaftan Company. Prakruti is now considering opening physical stores as well. 

Credits: HerStory

Read the full story here.

-Staff Reporter

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