Masaba Gupta is an Indian fashion designer with her own label called House of Masaba. She is the daughter of Indian actress Neena Gupta and West Indies cricketer Viv Richards. She grew up in Mumbai with her mom. Recently, she debuted in acting with “Masaba Masaba” on Netflix, which is a biographical drama streaming TV series based on her life.

 

The Journey of House of Masaba

House of Masaba started as a passion for Masaba. She did not have any plans of creating it into a commercial business during its inception. She adds, “I enjoyed designing for House of Masaba, it brought me the recognition that I desired, it helped me spend time with friends and family, and it helped me make money.” Three years after the inception, things changed within Masaba. She saw an opportunity and started taking decisions as a business. She loved what she did, and she believed that she could do it – and she has. Today, House of Masaba is one of the top-rated, luxury fashion brands in India with global recognition.

 

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The Opportunity Unveils!

She looked deep into the pain points of the customers. She added, “There was a gap in the ready-to-wear of the Indian fashion industry. Most of the shows I went to, cater to the bridal market. I knew that there is a lot of cool, young people out there who wanted something fresh and young, that they could wear anywhere in the world. And it doesn’t drill a hole in their pocket. That’s how the House of Masaba and its aesthetics came about.”

She talks about how the youngsters are Indian-proud and their strong need to be connected to their roots. She adds, “although they are global and wish to travel the world, their eyes were always on India. They are Indian-proud. I think that’s what the clothes became. So, the brand evolved grew into India-proud, young, affordable, luxury brand in India.”

The Emotion Behind the Collections

Masaba admits that during the initial phases, House of Masaba and its collections were more focused on her style, quirky design, and pretty much what she would love to wear. But soon she started hearing her customers and their preferences. She adds, “I had to let go of my creative ego and focus on creating a design that was commercially accepted.” This is a lesson to all fashion designers, do not let your creative ego or preference cloud your output. Listen to your customers and apply your creative touch to them.

Masaba explains an interesting formula to name the collections. She explains, “I get really bored if I call a collection ‘bridal wear’ because it has to have more depth. Masaba’s collections are more about problem-solving for people, telling where they can wear, how they can wear, and the emotion that I (Masaba) felt when creating the collection”.

 

The Very First Virtual Fashion Show… in 2015?!

House of Masaba hosted the first-ever virtual fashion show. Wait, you thought this happened recently, right? But this was back in 2015 when the “virtual” world was not as popular with low adoption rates. Crazy, right?! I’m as surprised as you are.

Masaba’s innovative and creative mindset pushed her to use the most powerful tool, the internet, to leverage her brand and revolutionize the fashion industry. She was way ahead of us in preparing for the pandemic. This idea was inspired by a photograph taken on a show. She explains, “it was a photo of the main area where everyone was sitting down, and I kid you not, everyone was on their phones. Everyone was either taking a photo, or taking a video, or instagraming. No one was really present there. I think that was only because there is so much information out there, nobody wants to miss it. There is so much that’s coming on your feed, and I was like guys, why are we putting us through this? And trust me, a physical show is near torture. It is tough, it is hard work, it is expensive, it is pointlessly expensive. Let’s just make the runaway digital. I have a million followers (the half at that time), they can watch it at the comfort of their home and it’s going to be there forever.”

She adds, “it was tough to execute because we had no reference as to how to do this, it wasn’t done before in the world at that time.”  But she pulled through with her team and executed it elegantly. She says, “ever since I did maybe 2 shows, but otherwise, whatever I do, I launch it on Instagram. Because we are a growing brand and it’s so important to be conscious of the costs.” The majority of their sales happen through WhatsApp. Masaba is a great example of a leader who uses technology at an early stage and leverages it in an easy way that is convenient and less complicated for the people.

 

4 Key Advice from Masaba on Leveraging the Tools Available to You!

There are so many different platforms that can be used to present your brand, promote it, and drive sales. Masaba gives four key pieces of advice to leverage the tools available to you in the digital sphere.

  1. “Use what you have in the most organic way possible.”
  2. “Have a benchmark to yourself when it comes to finances. You can’t just keep putting money after money just because you are getting it. That money has to come with a plan. The sooner you plan, the better. And I also think it is supercritical of you to say that if my business does not break even by this time. I will revisit my business model, or I will get help, or I will shut it down. There must be an unemotional attachment to the brand. It has to be a very objective way of seeing it.”
  3. “The world is your runway. We had just one show at 10 am and that was the only way to get our brand out there. Today you have so many platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, you all are so connected. It is easier to spread your wings. You don’t have to be restricted to a certain city, or country, or territory. You can be a global brand sitting at your house.”
  4. “All of this will not make sense if you are not an authentic brand because you’re only using the same tool that everyone else is. So, remember that everyone else is as connected as you are. They are probably making better clothes or better products. Your product must be superior, and it must be unique. And, then you can make ample use of the tools at your disposal.”

 

 

 

Editorial

The premier source for insight, advice and guides from Sri Lanka’s most influential entrepreneurs.

Clayton Durant

Editorial

The premier source for insight, advice and guides from Sri Lanka’s most influential entrepreneurs.