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Aranyani: Kirana in luxury market

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Haresh Mirpuri

Founded by Haresh Mirpuri, Aranyani has adopted the original Indian concept of the kirana (‘Atelier’ in the European parlance) in the luxury market. Here, the focus is not just profiteering, but creating a positive impact at every touch point. In the initial days, the brand utilized its atelier to create beautiful hand-painted bags which were released as “Finding Your Roots”. While the collection was well received by the media, art lovers and end users alike, the designs were too unique for the product to be used as an ‘everyday bag’.

Give a view of the brand’s journey since inception.
The brand is inspired by the founder, Haresh Mirpuri’s firm belief in the philosophy, principles and values of Vedic India or Bharat. He aspired to showcase to the world the true meaning of luxury as understood by the oldest civilization on the planet. Thus, Aranyani has adopted the original Indian concept of the Kirana (‘Atelier’ in the European parlance) in the luxury market. Here, the focus is not just profiteering, but creating a positive impact at every touch point. In the initial days, the brand utilized its atelier to create beautiful hand painted bags which were released as “Finding Your Roots”. While the collection was well received by the media, art lovers and end users alike, the designs were too unique for the product to be used as an ‘everyday bag’. Learning from that insight but not giving up its original inspiration, Aranyani redesigned its luxury leather bags to be bespoke (instead of haute couture) with Indian artisanship to cater to a wider audience and also bring in versatility in their usage.

What major challenges you faced in the initial stage? Kindly share them.
The biggest challenge Aranyani faced was to gain acceptability that a bag ‘made in India’ can be a luxury brand. The other challenge was on the supply side to get out of the ‘MOQ’ culture of the fashion industry which emphasizes efficiency alone. For Aranyani, efficiency is important but not at the cost of harmony and creating ‘a positive impact at every touch point’. It was our belief in what we did and the sheer determination of our team that we overcame these challenges.

What elements define the brand’s identity?
The flaps of most of our bags are designed as the inverted form of the royal palaces of Rajasthan and Gujarat. We are also the only brand to have a rim filled with semi precious stones in our classic timeless pieces.

24-carat pure gold-gilding art on leather bags.

The ‘Kesuda’ flower (flame of the forest), designed in a unique and contemporary style which maintains the heritage of handwork of our artisans and craftsmen, as the motif in the signature collection.

Who are your target audience? Give us a profile of an ideal customer.
The discerning customer of Aranyani is a woman who loves the classic but has a very contemporary approach. She is fearless in her choices and has a sense of purpose beyond mere self-gratification when she purchases a product. The Aranyani woman believes in the romanticism of Luxury especially when combined with graceful art.

What product portfolio are you catering at present? Give us an elaborate view.
Our Mini Top Handles, Clutches and Mini Baguettes are great evening bags but also come with an add-on shoulder strap which provides them the versatility of a day-wear too. Our Baguettes, Top Handles and Small Bucket Bags are great day bags but also come with smaller handles making them versatile for use in the evenings as well. The Totes and the Bucket Bags are great for both day and evening and provide the ladies with ample storage room. The Tote is also a great travel bag. The Mini Crossbody is beautifully designed for day or night and fits all size phones along with the usual basic things. Hence, our collection gives that versatility that the discerning customer looks for.

How do you manage the design and production process? Share with us some of the challenges in integrating them.
We have been extremely successful with the atelier style of manufacturing because we train our team for three years. The challenge of course is patience and perseverance to achieve the goal. We have even bought products from Hermes and other top French and Italian brands to share with our people the standards that we want them to achieve. For a period of one year, each member of the atelier has touched and seen the Hermes product twice a day, every single day. It is to accustom them, even at a subconscious level, of the quality that we aim to achieve.

What retail format have you employed? In what region is the brand growing?
As a brand we make great designs and products. We seek to specialise in this and be the best at it. As a strategy, we work with multi-retail brands through our sales agent in the USA and our sales team in India. We have seen positive growth in the USA and are now looking to do the same in India.

How do you see the brand in the next 5 years?
We aim to be in the 50 top multi-brand retail outlets in the USA, India and hopefully the UK too. The brand is investing in the wedding bag category and will be one of the best players in the world in that category in the next five years. We are clearly focused on the making of timeless pieces that are inspired by Nature, informed by India, and crafted by Tradition. These values make the proud owner ‘Live in the Exquisite’ along with all the other stakeholders. This is the essence of Luxury of Vedic India.