Ethnic wear retailer Neeru’s organized a magnificent photo shoot at the Taj Falaknuma Palace, Hyderabad last month. The theme was ‘family’ and the shoot centered around Neeru’s brand ambassador, Bollywood star Karisma Kapoor. Apart from Karisma Kapoor, other brand ambassadors – also a part of the shoot – included actor Neil Nitin Mukesh, actor Randhir Kapoor, actress Jaya Prada, child star Harshali Malhotra and Jason.
The highlight of the shoot – aside from Neeru’s signature ethnic and wedding wear – was the mom & child collection, featuring Karisma Kapoor and Harshali Malhotra wearing identical clothes. While Jaya Prada looked resplendent in classic handwoven silk, Kanjeevaram and Banarsi sarees, Neil Nitin Mukesh kept it traditional yet cool with a colorful palette of royal sherwanis.
The Neeru’s Story
From a humble beginning of supplying raw material to fashion retailers to being reckoned as a fashion brand that is today synonymous with ethnic fashion, Neeru’s has indeed come a long way. The brand kindles fashion with its active participation in fashion weeks and close engagement with celebrity fashion influencers.
The journey of Harish Kumar, CMD – Neeru’s, along with his mother Basant Kaur, the founder of Neeru’s, began in 1971 with tailoring and embroidery of superior and intricate designs in Hyderabad. In 1983, Harish started manufacturing and wholesale supplying of fabric to over 1,000 retailers across India.
Spotting a potential for handloom, he was quick to introduce handloom and other natural fabrics. This not only came as a fresh boon to the fabric market, which was till then saturated with man-made fibers and fabric, but this also gave a respite to weavers from south India helping them generate due economic benefits from their skills of weaving natural fibers.
It would be no exaggeration to say that Harish Kumar worked towards making handloom look fashionable and trendy thus giving it a facelift from its earlier avatar of being considered a choice for people who could not afford expensive fabric. The turning point came in 1991 when he realised that there was dearth for a good ethnic wear brand in the country, specially so when ethnic wear had a strong underlying demand. This is when Neeru’s journey started as a brand.
Today, with 52 EBO and MBO stores (including the one in Dubai) and approx 4.5 lakh sq.ft. of retail space, Neeru’s is redefining designer ethnic wear in India, making it available to patrons who are connoisseurs of fine design but shy away from buying due to expensive designer tags.
Director Neeru’s Avnish Kumar says about the brand’s USP, “Selling the latest and the best of Indian ethnic wear at a reasonable price tag.”
The locations of Neeru’s exclusive stores include Hyderabad, Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru , Vijaywada, Tirupati, Nellore, Vizag, Guntur, Nizamabad and Dubai.
Neeru’s is also associated with large format retailers like Central and Lifestyle .
The product line includes lehengas, sarees, silks, suits, mix-and-match, accessories, men’s ethnic and kids’ wear. Women’s wear includes lehengas, ghagras, silks, sarees, half sarees, blouses, tunics, and mix and match in both ready-to-wear, and unstitched formats. Men’s wear includes kurta pyjamas, Indo western wear, sherwanis, suits, shirts and trousers.
Neeru’s is also going strong on a sub-brand expansion, with the most prominent being Neeru’s Mix & Match—an exclusive collection of tunics, kurtis and bottoms. This is led by the Signature Neeru Kumar collection. Then there is Neeru’s Menz which is an exclusive collection for men.
The other collections include Little Neeru’s which is dedicated to children up to 14 years of age and Yuva which includes fashion jewellery, clutches, bags and footwear. The brand also forayed into the world of prêt with the launch of their signature collection, Neeru Kumar Collection.
The Flagship Concept Store
Neeru’s Emporio, The Ethnic Palace of India, which recently opened in Banjara Hills, Hyderabad is a visual treat spread over a sprawling 40,000 sq.ft. area. The store is dedicated to men, women, and kids ethnic wear.
It is a one-stop destination for wedding shopping and the design aesthetics of the store is at par with international luxury stores with Italian marble inlays, a waterfall inside the store, one of its kind 3D history wall, a 15 foot LED screen wall display and a live handloom machine where customers can watch weavers creating sarees right in front of their eyes.
Today, apart from its own outlets, Neeru’s is looking torward expansion through both the franchise as well as the dealership route. According to Avnish Kumar, the franchise terms of Neeru’s require a space of about 1,500-4,500 sq.ft. The requirement for its sub-brands is 500-1,000 sq.ft
With an aim to spread the brand’s reach across the country, Harish Kumar and Avnish Kumar, envisage opening EBOs of the brand in the metro cities and are also looking forward to a presence in Tier II and III cities.
New EBOs are being planned in Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Tirupati, Hubli, Raipur, Nagpur , Pune many more to join along with all major Tier II and III cities in India. Neeru’s also plans to expand internationally by adding stores in the Middle East as well as the United States of America.
Currently, Neeru’s has a presence in 2 countries, 7 states and 12 cities.
Key Particulars for FY 2015-2016
Total number of sales points in India and Dubai: 52 EBOs & MBOs