WOMEN’S DAY Candyskin filled gaps in Indian intimate apparel market, says Richa Kalra

 WOMEN’S DAY Candyskin filled gaps in Indian intimate apparel market, says Richa Kalra

Richa (left) & Riya Kalra, Founders, Candykin

This Women’s Day we profile some women entrepreneurs who started small but have nevertheless carved a niche for themselves

Rajkumari Sharma Tankha

With an aim to create affordable products using high-quality fabrics keeping Indian weather conditions and comfort of women in mind, sister duo Richa & Riya Kalra founded intimate apparel brand Candyskin in 2017. “Candyskin is the perfect combination of trend and comfort, that not only gives you the oomph factor, but also make you feel comfortable in your own skin,” says Riya, the younger of the two.
Born into a family of entrepreneurs, Richa holds a Masters in Fashion Brand Management from Istituto Marangoni Milan (Italy) while Riya has a Masters in Brand Management from Istituto Marangoni, London. Richa tells us more about the business and the brand:

How and when did you think of starting this company?
We thought about starting a lingerie brand thinking there was a huge gap in the market and it was a really interesting stream for us, and for us to enter the segment. I took my passion for starting a lingerie brand to Riya, and she shared the passion for it, too, so we started working on it together at the same time. Initially, we started off as a very premium luxury brand where our price points were ₹2000-2500. We invested around Rs 5.5 crores in this business.
Currently, we manufacture all kinds of lingerie, nightwear, swimwear and sportswear. We are a woman-owned brand and we understand what a woman really requires, so we do a lot of research and we do a lot of trials and we try to keep on making our products better and better. That’s our USP.

How do you divide time between work and family?
We have fixed working hours where we work 9-5, 9-6, but when you own a business by yourself, you have to always be attentive to your work. We manage to give equal amount of time to family back home.

How do you divide responsibilities when it comes to your work?
Riya looks into all the operations of the company while I look into the sales and production area.

Are there any arguments ever? How do you handle disagreements?
Yes, there are arguments and disagreements, but, we always talk it out and figure it out in terms of what’s right, what’s working and what’s not working, because it is not about her winning the conversation or me winning the conversation. At the end of the day it is about what works for us.

How did you manage the covid lockdown period?
It was really tough because we had a lot of staff. We made sure we were not letting go of our staff, but we did have pay cuts, we did do a lot of things but we managed to survive it, and guess what, we are out of it! So yay! Thank god! In fact, during the lockdown, we managed to put our own factory and started our own production, and we are now self-manufacturing nightwear, sportswear and lingerie

What are your future plans?
Our future plans are pretty simple, we haven’t really worked on anything in the last two years because of covid, but this year is looking really bright for us, especially because we have put our own manufacturing, and especially because we have entered into really good, bigger categories and bigger price point categories, like nightwear and sportswear so it looks very bright this year and further on.


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