In 2014, Nidhi Yadav, the CEO and co-founder of AKS, established the company with a modest investment of only Rs 3.5 lakh.
Nidhi Yadav, who holds a degree in computer engineering, was employed at Deloitte when she realized her dissatisfaction with office life. During a presentation, she was asked when was the last time she felt enthusiastic about going to work, and she responded with “Never.” This conversation became a turning point in her professional journey. Encouraged by her superiors, the native of Indore decided to pursue her true passion in life: fashion. However, in order to venture into this industry, she needed the appropriate education. Thus, she enrolled in a one-year course at the Polimoda Fashion School in Florence. Although she secured a job in Italy, she made the choice to return to India and be with her family.
In 2014, she founded a company named Aks, investing just Rs 3.5 lakh. The company aimed to cater to women aged 18-35 who desired to wear modern ethnic clothing at affordable prices. While it took some time for the company to gain traction, it achieved remarkable success within five years of its inception. By the fiscal year 2019-2020, Aks had surpassed Rs 100 crore in revenue.
Initially, her family was taken aback by her decision to start the company, but they eventually embraced and supported her. Prior to launching the company, she dedicated six months to researching Zara, one of the world’s top-selling brands. Her initial successful strategy involved releasing 20 new styles every two weeks.
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She and her husband faced numerous challenges in the early stages. Every weekend, they would travel from Gurugram to Jaipur with their infant daughter to source materials. However, as the company grew, it established a network of multiple units in Jaipur, each with distinct functions and responsibilities.
The company generated a revenue of Rs 1.60 crore in 2014, which increased to Rs 8.50 crore the following year. By 2018, the company’s revenue had reached Rs 48 crore.
According to an old interview with Indian Retailer, by late 2021, Aks had its headquarters in Gurgaon and achieved remarkable revenue growth of Rs 200 crore. Notably, this impressive milestone was accomplished without any external funding.
The pandemic presented both challenges and opportunities for the company. Due to the closure of production, they faced difficulties in providing salaries to their staff. In response, they began manufacturing masks and PPE kits to generate income and support their employees. Additionally, they utilized the surplus fabric to create a range of kidswear, minimizing waste and expanding their product offerings.
Furthermore, the company achieved success with the introduction of a sibling collection. As of now, their current revenue is unknown. However, during the interview, they expressed their goal of reaching a revenue milestone of Rs 500 crore in the fiscal year 2023-2024.