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Interview with Ritu Ajbani & Neha Agarwal

Ritu Ajbani & Neha Agarwal
Ritu Ajbani & Neha Agarwal
Petit Royal
Petit Royal

Want to go online for overseas customers

Petit Royal, co-founded by entrepreneurs Ritu Ajbani and Neha Agarwal, is a multi-designer fashion house for kids in Mumbai. The company offers apparel, shoes, accessories, personalised stationery, return gifts and gold and diamond jewellery exclusively designed for kids. The company caters to kids below 13. Both co-founders speak about the challenges and opportunities in the kidswear segment in India.

Why did you choose to get into kidswear? What is the scope for kids' designer wear in India?

The kids apparel industry is a booming industry. Fashion connoisseurs have always seen fashion as an extension of themselves into every aspect of their lives. Similarly, parents see their child as an extension of themselves. Hence, we feel that there is potential in terms of business scalability and actual sales for brands and designers. It is not just limited to it being a talking point or just a fad.

How many designers-Indian and international-do you house at your store?

We are currently housing 30-35 designers, all from within India.

Why do you think most designers do not get into kidswear? Is the trend changing?

Because it is a tough job; kids do not have any standard size, and so a high level of customisation is involved. A lot of importance is given to the product, in terms of using only pure fabric and the inside finishing.

So it is not economical to invest in most of the styles. Trend is definitely changing as a lot of mothers, who realise the vacuum in this industry, are getting into kidswear.

How many collections do you have at a time at the store? Do you offer customisation?

We offer four to six types of collection, ranging from casuals and semi-formals in Western and Indian wears, party wear in Western and Indo-Western and traditional wedding wear.

We offer complete customisation to ensure full customer satisfaction.

What are the challenges of being a multi-designer fashion house for kids?

It is a very big challenge as every mother now is well updated about the latest designs, brand launches, and trends. Therefore, we constantly strive to match the expectations.

What do Indian parents and kids look for while shopping for designer outfits?

They are looking for something different and trendy. The child needs to be comfortable wearing the outfit, which should ensure good quality and finish. Mothers definitely want value for money as well.

What are the latest trends in designer kidswear for girls and boys?

The latest trends currently for girls in traditional wear are Indo-Western outfits like crop-tops and skirts or draped or stitched sarees, which are fuss-free and versatile utility-wise as can be worn for a lot of events as they are not typically traditional wear. In terms of Western wear, currently neoprene fabric dresses are doing well along with organza gowns. As for boys, cowl neck kurtas are doing better than sherwanis as boys like to dress light for weddings. In Western, printed waistcoats are being preferred over suits.

Who is your target audience?

Petit Royal offers everything, including apparel, shoes, accessories, personalised stationary, return gifts, and exclusively designed gold and diamond jewellery, that a child requires. Our target audience are mothers who want their kids to look different and stylish. The company caters to kids below 13.

What are your price points and bestselling price points?

Our products range between ₹1,000-25,000. However, the best-selling price point is ₹5,000-15,000.

Where are the private labels being sourced from?

We source labels from across India.

What has the store experience been like-do kids take the decision? Is it strong pester power, or is it entirely the choice of the parent(s)?

The experience has been varied and depends totally on the age group of kids. For newborns and infants, it is obviously the parents who take the decision, for toddlers, it is a 50-50 depending on the child, and for pre-schoolers and above, the kids normally decide as they have cultivated a choice by then.

How have the last two fiscals fared and what expectations for the next two?

The last two years have been very tough. Demonetisation had its effect on every business. We have a lot of expectations from the coming years. Trending desings, high quality products, personalised service, notable after-sales support and riveting content are our main focus to make Petit Royal a strong and sustainable brand.

Do you plan to go online or expand your product offing?

We want to start an online portal to offer the much-needed convenience to our overseas customers. We are also adding more established designers to our store to offer variety to our clients. (HO)

Published on: 04/03/2019

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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