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How Neha Kant is Championing Fashion Empowerment at Clovia

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R S Roy
R S Roy
R S Roy is the editorial advisor at IMAGES Group

How a small town girl builds a business that gets acquired by India’s retail conglomerate Reliance – valued at Rs 950 crore?

Neha Kant, the Founder & Chief Revenue Officer of Clovia, originally from Delhi, spent her formative years in Haridwar, where her father worked at BHEL. Despite her family’s engineering background and their preference for her to pursue engineering, Neha charted her own path. Though she initially studied science in school, she pursued mathematics, graduating from Delhi University’s Miranda House, followed by a Masters in Management from the FORE School of Management.

Her professional journey led her through corporate giants like FCB Ulka and the India Today Group. However, it was Neha’s profound desire to address the gap in India’s lingerie market that ignited her entrepreneurial journey. Alongside her husband Pankaj Vermani and a tech-savvy co-founder, she embarked on the creation of Clovia in September 2012, driven by a vision to revolutionize the lingerie industry.

Despite facing funding constraints, their unwavering determination propelled Clovia to disrupt India’s lingerie market, challenging established players like Zivame. Clovia’s meteoric rise captured the attention of Reliance, culminating in a significant acquisition valued at Rs 950 crore.

Clovia’s trajectory from inception to acquisition serves as a testament to Neha’s indomitable spirit and innovative prowess. As the brand continues to redefine India’s lingerie industry, Neha Kant’s legacy shines as a beacon of empowerment and transformation.

Revolutionizing the Lingerie Landscape

Under Neha’s visionary stewardship, Clovia transcends the realms of conventional lingerie, championing inclusivity and innovation. Beyond the confines of standard cuts and colors, Neha envisions a world where every woman finds her perfect fit, tailored to her unique size and style preferences. Last year, Neha orchestrated Clovia’s triumphant ascent, orchestrating one of the most significant exits in India’s apparel landscape, elevating the brand’s global stature.

Bridging Fashion and Technology: Clovia’s Unique Approach

Clovia’s ethos seamlessly integrates fashion with technology, boasting patent-pending algorithms that analyze customer preferences and feedback. With a workforce of nearly 600, Clovia generates indirect employment for over 10,000 individuals. The brand’s expansive footprint includes 70 Exclusive Brand Outlets (EBOs), 250 retail touchpoints, and 140 factories, manufacturing different product lines in India. Clovia ships close to 1.5 million pieces a month, selling a piece every 2 seconds, with a customer base of 4 million. Clovia aims to fit 50 million women in the next 4 years.

Clovia offers a wide range of lingerie, sleepwear, activewear, shapewear, and personal care products. Additionally, Clovia has a personal and hygiene care range called Skivia, which offers haircare, body care, and skincare products for women. Clovia’s product lineup includes more than 6,000 styles, with 250 new styles introduced each month, available in 75+ sizes. Notably, 75% of Clovia’s user base comprises women aged 18-35 years.

Championing Diversity through Unique Campaigns

Clovia’s marketing initiatives, epitomized by its ‘Nothing But Real’ campaign, aimed to promote body positivity and inclusivity. Featuring the brand’s leadership and team members in loungewear, nightwear, and athleisure wear, Clovia’s campaigns challenged societal beauty standards and celebrated diversity in body types. Neha emphasizes the brand’s commitment to designing for all body types, supported by extensive data on Indian body shapes.

The campaign, exclusively launched on digital platforms, targeted women across tier-two and tier-three cities, aligning with Clovia’s mission to cater to diverse sensibilities. Clovia brand campaigns also included a film highlighting real-life situations faced by women during physical activities. By showcasing real women like Anmol Rodriguez, an acid attack victim, Clovia reinforced its message of empowerment and inclusivity. While similar campaigns existed in the industry, Clovia’s bold approach and genuine messaging resonated with women seeking authenticity and representation.

Vision, Recognition, and Personal Passions

Since its inception, Neha’s steadfast belief remains that lingerie is not merely a wardrobe essential but a medium for self-expression. Her philosophy of ‘Joy’ at Clovia extends beyond customers, fostering a vibrant work culture that nurtures fulfillment and satisfaction amidst the startup’s high-pressure environment. She aims to occupy the “most-favorite brand” space in the minds of her consumers.

Neha’s entrepreneurial prowess has garnered widespread acclaim, earning her prestigious accolades such as the Best Woman Entrepreneur at RBL Bank’s SME Business Excellence Awards 2017 and the D2C Icon of India 2022 by the Images Group.

Beyond her professional endeavors, Neha finds solace in the realm of sports, having honed her skills on the basketball court during her formative years. Today, she seeks refuge in cerebral pursuits like chess and the Rubik’s Cube, recognizing the importance of a balanced and fulfilling life.

Neha at the Phygital Retail Convention

Neha takes the helm at the Phygital Retail Convention, spearheading the session titled “RETAIL ON FAST TRACK – Mantras of New Age Business Creators.” She joins forces with the creators of India’s most dynamic retail concepts, exchanging insights, strategies, and best practices to propel retail business growth in the rapidly evolving landscape of commerce

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