By Muhammad Riaz Usman Khaleej Times, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Pritti Nanda is the founder and CEO of "SoPritti Events" SoPritti is a UAE-based initiative that brings customers the best in fashion and art through exclusive exhibitions.
Being raised in Mumbai and then living in Dubai for 35 years means Pritti Nanda, founder and CEO of SoPritti Events, had a good understanding of the fashion markets.
Although she wears only ethnic styles, she's aware of the marketability of designers from different cities and countries such as Mumbai, Delhi, Lucknow and Pakistan.
"With the right balance of knowledge of fashion trends and knowing the market demand in Dubai, I was interested in the idea of holding exclusive and private fashion exhibitions and an e-commerce fashion platform. The true inspiration was my family and friends who encouraged and continue to support me to make this idea a reality," says Nanda.
SoPritti is a UAE-based initiative that brings customers the best in fashion and art through exclusive exhibitions. "The UAE is already a well-established brand in terms of being a fashion destination across all categories.
The marketplace has become increasingly crowded with many exhibitors and shops showcasing their styles. SoPritti differentiates itself by offering every shopper with an exclusive shopping experience.
The key to success for SoPritti is to ensure that all the designers are in attendance personally to customise and provide one-on-one fashion advice to my friends and the market. The concept of an exclusive network of shoppers combined with the personalised experience is why the idea is a game-changer," Nanda claims.
After a successful 'Ramadan Souk' venture in May, SoPritti organised its 15th season on September 23 in Dubai, with the added draw of a maiden foray in Abu Dhabi on September 25.
This autumn's SoPritti edition saw 45 high-profile names gathered under one roof, with an impressive roster of designers travelling to the UAE after wowing crowds at India's most exclusive fashion event, India Couture Week.
Top Indian designers Rimple & Harpreet Narula, Reynu Taandon and Rina Dhaka were among the star players, while top-notch Pakistani designers Agha Noor, AFH by Ayesha Farook, Maheen Karim and Gul Ahmed also presented their ready-to-wear collections and couture and occasion wear to the city's discerning fashion followers.
"Today's shopper has a variety of options in the UAE. The key is to get a differentiated idea and implement it with the right contacts. I have been blessed with incredible friends, family and a big social circle.
The designers are hand-picked and well-established in the Indian and Pakistani markets. SoPritti mandates that the designers travel along with their teams to offer the shoppers an exclusive experience," Nanda elaborates. Living in the UAE is a blessing
Nanda considers herself blessed to be living in the UAE. "The UAE provides entrepreneurs with the perfect consumer and a highly diverse crowd. The environment is great and through my already established connections, I am able to leverage these contacts to help with my business. The UAE is a great marketplace which is constantly changing -- the market offers entrepreneurs with a challenging consumer base and it is very exciting," she says.
Nanda says the strongest points of the UAE start-up system is the well-established consumer base which is always growing.
"This allows for a high visibility and accessibility for businesses in the startup stage. However, since the consumer base is always changing, you have to be on top of changing trends. This can often be challenging," she explains.
As an entrepreneur, Nanda is always looking for the next big thing and to take SoPritti to the next level.
"The key areas we are currently venturing into is e-commerce which has seen tremendous growth with the likes of sites such as Namshi, Asos, Souq.com, etc. SoPritti will take its experience of providing the consumer with an exclusive shopping experience while providing them with a differentiated product," says Nanda.
She attributes the success of all her shows to exhibitors and friends. "And, of course, my family. I am blessed to have an incredible network that supports me through my journey," she says.
Having witnessed Dubai's amazing transformation, Nanda says His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, is her favourite leader. "I have seen all this development and progress. I admire His Highness Sheikh Mohammed for being a great leader," she says.
Nanda's favourite book is her own "notebook" in which she writes things to do for her business, family and friends. "I try and complete all tasks within my self-defined deadline." Her hometown, Mumbai, is one place she loves to visit over and over again.
Nanda encourages young entrepreneurs to follow their dreams, stay focused and success will automatically follow.
"Never give up, no matter what the obstacles are," she concludes.