Taking our Real Women’s “Shakti” edition forward, we have a hearty conversation with Aanchal Saini - Chief Executive Officer of India’s biggest fashion rental company. We delve into a deep conversation about the relevance of rental fashion in India and how it is making a place for itself in the Indian market. Her work endeavours have a larger cause - a transformative step towards Green Fashion.
Aanchal Saini has been styled in Zariin’s Shakti collection. The colourful Navratna collection pops against a black outfit she uses as a canvas.
What inspired you to take traditional concepts and infuse them with a
modern twist in your entrepreneurial journey?
In India, tradition heavily influences clothing choices, especially during
weddings. A significant portion of the wedding budget is dedicated to
clothing for the entire family, including the bride and groom. Even wedding
guests dress elaborately in traditional Indian attire.
Yet, the excessive spending and limited use of these opulent outfits raised
concerns. Purchasing such garments not only strained finances but also
posed environmental sustainability issues due to their significant impact. This
prompted the birth of green fashion in response to these concerns.
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Could you share a bit about your personal background and cultural
influences that led you to explore this path?
I am the sole child raised by modern, working parents who have generously
granted me extensive exposure and the independence to make choices
freely. Growing up in a dynamic city like Delhi, I naturally encountered diverse
cultures. This upbringing instilled in me a deep respect for people from all
walks of life and a profound appreciation for the value of every profession.
With these strong fundamentals, excelling in any field seemed like a natural
What were some challenges you faced while adapting to a modern audience
and the new digital world? How did you overcome these challenges?
Technology plays a pivotal role in our strategy. Our primary objective was to
make our services accessible to a broad audience, and in a vast country like
India, digital platforms offer the most effective means of achieving this goal.
We initially established our presence online and have since transitioned into
an omni-channel approach, catering to the needs of users who prefer a
tactile experience before making their reservations. The brand and service
discovery predominantly occur online, while a significant portion of
transactions is completed at our physical stores.
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Can you share a particular instance or story where your innovative approach
led to a significant triumph or breakthrough?
Today, our target audience has evolved. It's no longer just the aspirational
class consumer; it's the millennials who possess the means to purchase
designer ethnic outfits but opt for the rental route. Moreover, the media has
consistently supported our innovative approach, garnering significant
appreciation for our unconventional methods.
What kind of impact do you hope to create in your community or industry?
Flyrobe isn't merely a business; it represents a transformative revolution—
altering habits and reshaping mindsets. The millennial generation holds a
distinct perspective, and it's an era where sustainable modern approaches
are poised to supplant traditional concepts.
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Have you received any memorable feedback or reactions from individuals
who have experienced your work?
Abundantly so, across diverse age groups. For some, the sustainability
aspect holds great importance. For others, it's about saving money, while for
everyone, the appeal lies in the convenience of not having to store or wear
the same attire repeatedly.
What moments or milestones do you consider as particularly emblematic of
your personal triumphs within this endeavor?
Shifting user mindsets, transitioning from traditional buying habits to
embracing the sustainable choice of renting.
Pioneering a business from the ground up, without any existing precedent in
the country. The journey has been an exciting endeavor in establishing all the
necessary processes and best practices from scratch.
What strategies or considerations do you keep in mind to strike a balance
between honoring tradition and catering to contemporary preferences?
Staying current is paramount to our approach. We prioritize user preferences,
and Flyrobe's continuous data influx provides valuable insights into the ever
changing world of fashion preferences.
Is there any advice you would give to women in business?
Embrace your uniqueness, persevere through challenges, and don’t be afraid
to seek support from your network or family. Mentors and networks. Don’t
be afraid to innovate and lead with empathy.
What are your future plans for your venture? How do you envision the
evolution of your modernized traditional concept over time?
I envision expanding our product range and leveraging technology to reach a
Over time, I hope to see our concept become a symbol of cultural pride and
In alignment with the principles of Flyrobe and rental fashion, I envision a
strategic expansion of our product range and leveraging technology to reach
a global audience. As time progresses, my aspiration is for our innovative
approach to become a symbol not only of cultural pride but also of
sustainability within the fashion industry.
Looking back on your journey so far, what legacy do you hope to leave
through your innovative approach?
I wish to be known as a climate warrior, pioneering the concept of Green Fashion. My hope is to be remembered as a trailblazer who successfully united the realms of tradition and modernity, leaving an indelible and positive mark on both fronts.