She wanted to set up a furniture business, she wanted it to incorporate Indian handloom traditions, she wanted us to build it from scratch.
But going into build, operate and transfer mode, for this entrepreneur, we took the full immersion approach. And our studies brought us face to face with the consumers, products and markets of furniture in Mumbai, Delhi and Ahmedabad.
The markets selling the Indian fabric story were largely unorganised (read random and unsystematic). Even the online players were basically just aggregators of furniture. As a result, there was no organised system to offer folk the complete home curation experience.
Our interactions with consumers also introduced us to the rapidly emerging phenomena of Netflix homes, co-working offices and work-from-home professionals. The informal and relaxed environment at each of these situations whispered in our ears the opportunity to create a brand of lounging furniture.
After trend-mappping product, upholstery and space trends worldwide, we zeroed in on the Mid-century Modern Style. It was an aesthetic that allowed furniture to showcase fabric as equally as wood.
The fabrics reflected Indian handloom traditions like the Kutch Ajrakh, Assam Silk, Naga shawls and Banni patchwork in a contemporary manifestation of lounging furniture made in two-toned Sheesham wood.
Systems of furniture were created for rooms and corners. Our arrangements were such that consumers could buy a complete curation and not just disjointed pieces of furniture. Our servicing model would allow customers regular refurbishment of wood and fabric.
A nomenclature workshop later, the prototype was ready to be scaled up. From an idea in the head to a business on ground, the brand was born in nine months. Sihasn, from where the consumer could rule his or her world.