An Ace Up on their Sleeve
Piyali, Poulami & Udita, started their journey as entrepreneurs in the year 2018. They named it “Aryika – A Calcutta Couturier”. In this article we present the Aryika Girls – the young millepreneurs (millennial entrepreneurs) who really have an ace up their sleeve and show a great deal of promise for the future.
(The photos included in this article show the Aryika Girls Piyali, Poulami and Udita wearing the brand ‘Aryika’)
We used to design our own clothes which brought us a lot of compliments from our friends and relatives, many of them were eager to know our source of fabrics, designs and tailor as well. It was when we decided to begin the startup, we allowed our passion to reality and thus Aryika was formed.
Aryika is specialized in ‘Make to Order’. Make to order is a business process strategy that only manufactures the end product according to the choices and preferences of the customer once the order is placed.We deal with different kind of handmade dresses, tops etc. as per customer’s preferences from the fabrics available in our stock.
The uniqueness about our venture is that we offer customization. One can freely give their inputs about the dresses they want to order.
Entrepreneurial journey and Challenges
Our entrepreneurial journey till now has been like a roller coaster ride with ups and downs. We have received a lot of love from our customers. From the very beginning we have never thought of ‘Aryika’ as a business but only as our passion put into work. We believe that if you do what you love then automatically your success shows. So, our starting journey was quite smooth. We got 150+ orders in just four months. People trusted us. We operate Aryika from Instagram and Facebook. So, when new customers trusted us, placed their first order, it was a great happiness for us. In every business there are challenges, so we had our own share of those. During the initial stage we did not have any permanent tailor. As our orders started increasing suddenly, we faced a huge pressure in delivering orders on time because we had only one tailor in our hand and during peak times like Durga Puja he totally refused to take our orders. At that point we were totally shattered as we didn’t know how to find a new tailor in such a short notice. But then some miracle happened and our (Piyali-Poulami)’s father searched for a great tailor and our problem was solved. Thus, we were again back on the track. This was the very first challenge that we faced, we have faced many other small challenges on our way and have overcome them.
Millepreneur Versus Previous Generation Entrepreneurs
Being a millennial entrepreneur, honestly it is easier as compared to our previous generations as we are more into technology. We do not need face to face meetings, and a physical office-space to carry out our business. We don’t own any shop where we display our collection, everything is online. We carry out our business through Facebook and Instagram and someday hopefully will be able to own a website as well. Orders are also placed online, Payments are also made online, and deliveries are done through post. So, it is much easier to carry out a business along with our 9 to 5 job. But some hurdles are still there, for example we need to go to shops for buying the fabrics, visit our tailors for getting the orders stitched at times and go to the courier office to send the products to our customers. Hope in future we will be able to avail more options that will make it easier to run a hassle-free business.
Pandemic Impact and Road Ahead
Pandemic has hit hard every industry. It has its own pros and cons in our case too. The lockdown period was very difficult. Everything came to a stop. We didn’t have any orders, fabric shops were closed, tailors were not available. It was a difficult phase which we were going through. Not only us, most of the entrepreneurs of our industry were going through the same struggle. Post-pandemic things began to become smoother. People became more used to online purchases and transactions. Consumers started to prefer online shopping rather than going out to shops which worked as an advantage in our case. This led to increase in sales and helped our venture to get back to its course.
In future we have a plan to create a website of our own to take our business to next level and also open a store where we can store our products and stocks of raw materials.
Words of Wisdom for Aspiring Millennials
The most important advice is to follow your passion. That’s what we did. Things are much easier when you follow your heart. If you love what you do eventually everything will fall into place. This is what we have learnt from our experience. Get into entrepreneurship only if you genuinely want to, take up the profession you truly believe in. A startup is like a brainchild to those who are into it, thus it takes a lot of belief and a lot of care. We have to face our fears, overcome the challenges and keep going.
The perfect time is when you’re mentally prepared. As there will be a lot of ups and downs, but you’ll be able to overcome the challenges only when you are mentally prepared. You’ve got to be ready to face the worst with equal amount of energy, as you welcome the best. So, when you know you are ready for it, just take your move and get started.
About Aryika Girls
Piyali Samanta hails from the City of Joy Kolkata and a post-graduate from Calcutta University. Her hobbies include capturing moments which will make a lifetime of memories, cooking, dancing and gardening. Above all she loves to create unique designs for Aryika which will stand out from the rest.
Poulami Samanta is a post-graduate in commerce. She is passionate about dance, photography and exploring new places. She is an ardent lover of dress designing which eventually took her to start Aryika along with her sister and best friend, with common interests.
Udita Sengupta lives in Kolkata. She is a graduate in B.Com. honors. She is fond of dancing, traveling, art and craft since her childhood. She developed interest in fabric designing and became a fashion enthusiast post college life.
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About the Millepreneur Edition
Millepreneur edition puts a spotlight on the millennial entrepreneurs. Millennial entrepreneurs are a set of new generation entrepreneurs, brave and visionary. Armed with quality professional education and new-age technology tools, they are here to change the world and make it a better place to live.
Edition curated by – Dr. Debashish Sengupta, Asia Editor of Future of Earth