If you thought NIFTians were all about high couture, nose rings and the aspiration to desisgn clothes for supermodels setting the ramp on fire, well, you have another think coming! When NearFox started digging for information, little did we know we will face the problem of plenty. The best part: Not only have these NIFTians donned the entrepreneurial cap, but also ventured into fields beyond fashion, running many a successful startup. Take a look!
Pankhuri Joshi, Nysa Health
With 400+ million women in India between puberty and menopause, menstrual and maternal health is a very important area that requires immediate attention. NIFT alumna Pankhuri Joshi created two tech platforms to facilitate efficient purchases in the maternity and reproductive health care market, employing data, knowledge and transparency.
The FLO+ app tracks menstrual pattern and related symptoms, and generates a predictive model for each user. Their system detects health anomalies early, giving users warning signs to look out for. Pankhuri also launched the Bestofthebump app as a platform for expecting mothers, with a week by week pregnancy guide and pregnancy tools like Kick Tracker, schedulers, milestones, logs tests and scans.
Sidhant Chandra, Luxurazi
As a teenager, Sidhant was always interested in staying abreast with the latest trends in fashion. After graduating from NIFT Delhi in Fashion Technology, he found that most designer labels and boutiques catered only to women, leaving men with hardly any options. He then decided to start an online store catering exclusively to men. Luxurazi is a bespoke store, where users can punch in their measurements, pick from a range of fabrics and get a garment delivered at their doorstep. Luxurazi also has a unique concierge system where their expert-fit analysts also take customers’ measurements from the comforts of their homes.
Nidhi Pawa, WizClik
In 2015, NIFT alumna Nidhi Pawa and her husband Rahul started WizClik to cater to consumer rentals across verticals. As a stay-at-home mum, Nidhi felt she needed to put her creativity to use. The app allows users to list and rent gadgets, clothes, books and other items at affordable rates. WizClik also ensures that every transaction is smooth and hassle-free for both the lessor and the lessee. Nidhi is a perfectionist and uses her experiences at NIFT as stepping stones towards bigger milestones.
You can download the WizClik app here.
Sharon Borgoyary, Animal
An award-winning art director, this NIFT alumna has over nine years of experience working in advertising, graphic design, illustration and branding. In 2014, she and a group of friends met with the Salaam Balak Trust and invented a light bag for them powered by solar energy, which would help homeless children study at night. The initiative won several accolades not just in India, but around the world.
As the co-founder of creative agency Animal, Sharon is responsible for design and advertising for brands like adidas Originals, Google, Microsoft, Housing and NDTV Gadgets, amongst others. She and her team constantly experiment with technology in most of their projects. Recently, they used virtual reality to help launch and showcase the Pharrell Williams collection in India for adidas Originals. Currently, she’s working on revamping the visual look for Keventers, a legendary 100-year-old Indian brand of flavoured milkshakes.
She’s also an Instagram artist documenting self-portraits through a series of photographs dressed as Frida Kahlo (@feralfrida) and illustrator going by an alias (@pervertist) – a tongue-in-cheek commentary on cynicism and censorship.
Aditi Tandon, Maroon Oak
After graduating from NIFT in 99 as part of the Knitwear Design Technology batch, Aditi started her career as a Merchandiser. But the entrepreneurial bug soon caught on, so she started a Design Consultancy company called I-Design, that focused on baby gifts & furnishings in New Delhi, with her best friend and fellow Niftian, Aarti Bhargava. After motherhood, and moving to the USA, she took a few years off to devote her days to being at home with her kids, eventually also launching Two Dotts – a Design Consultancy Company inspired by her two daughters.
Over the years, she met numerous women who had given up their careers or taken a setback in order to balance the demands of work and family life. This prompted her to partner with a long time friend-
Pooja Krishna, to start Maroon Oak. Maroon Oak is a free platform for every career-oriented woman to connect, and more importantly, showcase her current skills, passion and aspiration – whether she seeks to restart or reinvent her career, make meaningful connections, find a job, promote her business, study
again or acquire a skill. Maroon Oak also provides Resources, Q & A forums and Mentors
to enable career comebacks.
Tanveen Ratti, Organic Connect
Organic Connect was established in 2009 by NIFT alumna Tanveen Ratti, after he had gained considerable experience working with craft skills. She has worked with papier mache in Kashmir, Bamboo in Manipur, Leather in Kutch, painted wood in Jodhpur etc. Working alongside business partner and national award winner Block carver Arshad Kafeel, the objective is to connect traditional hand skills with market places to enable fair trade and sustainable livelihoods. Their product range includes everything from utility to decor items. We especially loved their trays, boxes, coasters, wall decor and lighting accessories. You can also check them out on Instagram
Prasun Mazumdar, PMD
After graduating in fashion communication from NIFT Delhi, Prasun worked with a graphic design studio, where he learnt the insights of the industry and gained an in-depth knowledge of graphic design. After a year, he started Prasun Mazumdar Design, or PMD as it is better known, in 2012. He has worked on projects for childrens museums, branding and art related projects. Prasun has illustrated books for Ruskin Bond, designed murals for Carrefour India and offered brand solutions to the likes of Lee Cooper, Mahindra and Samsung. More recently, PMD initiated a new venture The Sparrows, aimed at creating art and installations for keeping art isotopes alive.
Sanchitaa Gupta, Fashenable
NIFT Delhi graduate Sanchitaa Gupta worked in the garment industry for a few years before teaching at her Alma Mater and then starting FashEnable in 2007. The company works in costume design and styling within the media industry, TV channels, films and documentaries. It also focuses on Pashmina in Ladakh by training local artisans and nomads along with discovering unexplored India and promoting Ladakh crafts, culture and tourism. At the studio, they have an in-house manufacturing unit for bespoke-pret couture clothing for clients. They also have a dedicated section for handloom and handicrafts from various clusters.
Aniket Krishna, COD Studio
Aniket Krishna specialised in Fashion Communication from NIFT Delhi, and has since earned a reputation as a well-known photographer, graphic artist and art director. With three years’ experience in teaching photography at Desizn Circle, he started COD Studio, a full-service agency with a special focus on interactive media, earlier this year. The agency also focuses on advertising works that build a connect between the brand and the consumer.
Aniket has also worked on various projects with NIFT Delhi and the Ministry of Textile, apart from designing and supervising creative works for various restaurants and bars of Delhi.
Urmila Rana, Akaya
After graduating from NIFT Delhi in 2005, Urmila worked various 9-5 jobs, but she was constantly on the lookout for an opportunity where she could express her creativity and focus on areas of her choice. During a stint in the US, she came in contact with several NRI families at social and religious events. During her interactions, she realised there was a market for designer ethnic wear. This sparked the idea of developing her own brand to cater to this niche market and its clients. On her return to India, she completed her Masters in Fashion Retail Management and simultaneously launched her custom designs and clothing for wedding and events. In 2014, along with a friend, Nupur, she started Akaya, which works with Banarasi silk. While their primary audience remains NRIs, they also have a good presence in the Delhi-NCR region.
Check out Akaya’s Facebook page here.
Know any more startups from NIFT Delhi? Write in to us at [email protected]
The main image for this article was sourced from BrainyBatch