Masaba’s Global Touch
Masaba Gupta,Founder, House of Masaba
Twelve years ago, Masaba Gupta started House of Masaba with a vision to create a brand of Indian wear that is neither bridal nor ethnic but global. The brand, launched with an investment of ₹25,000, operated from a one-bedroom apartment that she shared with her mother, actor Neena Gupta, during the launch year. It had four other people in addition to the mother and daughter. The first flagship store was launched in Juhu in the second year with a collection of sarees and fusion wear such as dhoti skirts and pants, palazzos, Angrakhas and deconstructed silhouettes.
“Harsh Goenka was one of my first customers who shopped for sarees,” says Masaba. The interesting variety of sarees with different drapes attracted many women CEOs, homemakers and the well-travelled who sought versatility and fell in love with the clothing as it let them make an original statement. “My clients were from all age groups,” says Masaba.
Word spread and brought more customers. Social media was new and it was easy to tap its freshness to reach customers and market the brand. After the first store launch in 2010, four more came up 2011, two each in Delhi and Mumbai. That was the time when Masaba started making plans to scale up from a boutique to a well-known retail brand. Instead of rubbing shoulders with others in multi-brand showrooms, House of Masaba decided to launch its own stores to capitalise on price point and customer interest. “Giving a 100% experience was our goal,” Masaba says. Coincidentally, Bollywood actor Sonam Kapoor wore a House of Masaba saree at Cannes. After this, word spread like wildfire. Many brand collaborations followed—with Nykaa, Amrapali and Titan Raga. House Of Masaba follows an omni-channel strategy. From only two franchise stores in Delhi initially, it has expanded to nine stores across metros.
What about a global foray? “International retail is full of challenges,” says Masaba. Because selling to NRIs and locals are different ballgames. “Our light-weight lehangas are our top-sellers while multi-brand presence is the name of our game abroad,” says Masaba.