THE SHE FACTOR: Shoe-Biz Success

By Sandhya D'Mello Khaleej Times, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) "Hanox" is a homegrown footwear brand from the UAE, for the UAE. Founder Revathi Menon says she has found a supportive community of fellow entrepreneurs who are helping her realize her dream of creating a world class company.

DUBAI

Revathi Menon is the director of Hanox Fashion. She is the daughter of Sobha Group founder and chairman P.N.C. Menon and a mother of two children

Menon says that organizations such as Startup Hub, an initiative of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, strongly supports startup businesses in the UAE by creating an interactive platform for budding entrepreneurs.

She says the initiative provides access to many workshops where entrepreneurs can take part in various competitions that help hone their skills.

The platform connects entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, developers and students providing complete community support, in turn creating many opportunities for businesses to thrive.

"Many ideas for startups, unfortunately, never take flight because of lack of support or funding. However, this sort of encouragement from the UAE government to innovate and succeed contributes to a lucrative startup ecosystem," she says.

While pursuing a degree at American University in Dubai, Revathi came across opportunities to participate in the various design exhibitions taking place in UAE, which gave her the much-required confidence and encouragement as a student to make the foray into business paving the way for Hanox.

"For those living in the UAE there is ample access to fashion from around the world with the presence of international brands that are franchised into multiple outlets within the many malls of the region. To penetrate the market, my initial thought was to follow through and bring some well-known international brands together under one roof," she says.

"However, as we moved forward on the concept, I realized I was very keen on creating our own line of fashionable footwear that would stand out in terms of our offering of unparalleled quality at a fair price.

This is where the idea of Hanox conceptualized. Our mission is to reach out to the huge mid segment as an aspirational brand of footwear.

Hanox is a homegrown brand from the UAE, for the UAE. We work closely with designers and factories globally to create the Hanox line of products.

A considerable amount of detailing goes into our range building, right from the selection of raw materials to the process of manufacturing. This ensures a product of superior quality."

"At Hanox, currently we are a small corporate team that is all set to grow along with the business. We have a technically strong core team where all the members bring on board about 20 or more years of experience in footwear retail and in-depth factory and floor experience," she added. Hanox opened stores in both City Centre Sharjah and Abu Dhabi's Dalma Mall in November 2018. The stores, roughly 5,000sqft each, carries footwear for men, women and children along with handbags and other accessories.

"As a business we had been quite particular from the beginning that this concept needs to expand as we are absolutely determined to reach out to all. We are currently on the lookout for apt locations for Hanox Stores in Dubai," said Revathi.

The Hanox founder attributes her success to her parents and husband. "Right from my childhood, both my parents have been my constant source encouragement to help me realize all my dreams. My husband is my biggest supporter and has strongly encouraged to bring out the best in me. Being the youngest of three siblings I guess there was quite a bit of learning through example and lecturing that came my way from my older sister and brother. As a woman entrepreneur with two children, getting into business or even working with a clear sense of focus depends on the support system at home. I fully owe it to my entire family as I am quite lucky to have their strong backing with most of them living here in the UAE."

Revathi sees social media is a strong platform for boosting businesses. "In order, for a business to expand it is imperative to be accessible to everyone. I believe technology has a vital role to play in the growth of any business making the world a smaller place where everyone is given the opportunity to network and stay connected.

Although we are brand new on the fashion scene, we have ensured that we create a niche for ourselves on the social media front. Updating our new styles of the season and interacting with our customers keeps us well-connected on all social platforms," she concludes.

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