Gauri Khan, the founder and chief executive of Gauri Khan Designs, who has established herself as a celebrated interior designer known for high-end projects, is all set to go online. Khan currently has a flagship store in Juhu, Mumbai, and has been associated with projects ranging from designing a nursery for film director and producer Karan Johar’s twins to a flagship store for Ralph Lauren, and creating a party room for Nita and Mukesh Ambani’s Antilia. Though she has mostly done high-end luxury products and projects so far, the 47-year-old designer now wants to expand her clientele and believes going online would be a step towards it.
“I think today online is the new luxury and I want to keep that option open to design for people all over India,” Khan said in an exclusive chat with Fortune India editor Sourav Majumdar at the magazine’s fourth Most Powerful Women (MPW) summit in Mumbai on Monday. “I would eventually like to reach out to everyone in India and internationally and keep my prices down. I would like to design for whole of India not just luxury brands,” she said.
Fortune India’s MPW list celebrates 50 top business women in India for their success. Khan, a National Institute of Fashion Technology alumna, made her debut on the list this year.
Khan says she will be mindful about her expansion plans as online is very different from what she is doing currently. “Every project I do should be timeless, effortless, and most importantly, it should be comfortable,” she said.
According to Khan, budget, timelines and designs are the three most important aspects of a project. “The most important things for us is to see a smile on the client’s face at the end of the project. We don’t impose our designs on the clients but try and show them the path,” she said.
Khan says she has been able to strike a work-life balance as her husband, film star Shah Rukh Khan, actively shares the responsibility of raising AbRam, their youngest child, who is five years old. Not just at home, the actor is also involved in what Khan is doing and often shares his feedback on her designs and projects.
“Shah Rukh has a fantastic design sense. I show him my designs and want him to approve them right away. He is very involved in my projects,” she said.
So has it been easy for her since she is a star wife? Khan doesn’t agree. “There is no substitute for hard work,” she says. Being focused on her work and enjoying what she does is her mantra.