08 December 2019

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Srishti: The 'Intimate' Boutique for Ladies

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Tall, fair and elegance personified, that is Radha Muralidharan for you. Seated in her exclusive lingerie boutique, Srishty, on the first floor of Fathima Plaza in T nagar , Chennai, she conceded to share her entrepreneurial experience with Small Enterprise India.

Radha Muralidharan,  born and brought up in Madhuranthagam, in Chengal pet district of Tamil Nadu, she is a graduate in Economics. Right from her youth, she discovered that she had everything in her to strike out on her own. She was more of a family person until she discovered her business acumen in the year 1987. On the advice of a friend, she contacted manufacturers and stockists of saris like, Bombay and Bengal cotton, Arani Pattu , etc,. and she started her business  by selling saris on installments to family and friends. With her successful business and fluency in Hindi, she could woo many manufacturers and stockists from all over  the North IndiaShe rallied her business successfully seven years, until personal issues intervened and she had to take a temporary break .

Her husband, Muralidharan, vice president of an American firm, offered his unstinting support to her entrepreneurial ventures,. He personally financed her first boutique at Fathima Plaza in Chennai, in the year 2002. It had collection of salwars, churidhars and dress materials and a tailoring unit attached to it. But the area being the commercial hub of Chennai , and with so many ready made textile outlets, Radha could not withstand the competition. At the brink of despair, her business partner advised her to specialize in lingerie. Thus, the year 2003, saw the inception of Srishty, an exclusive boutique in imported innerwear and lingerie.

 Radha’s friend introduced her to contacts  from Thailand, Bangkok, and China, who are regular suppliers of imported lingerie to Srishty, ever since its inception.Radha Muralidharan is blessed with three daughters, of whom the eldest has graduated from NIFT and is currently settled in the States. The other two daughters, are into investment banking based at Bangalore. All three of them are supportive and encouraging, constantly providing tips and advice on the latest trends and brands in the lingerie industry. The daughters in the investment banking sector, advice their mom on financial aspects and have even offered financial assistance and support for all plausible expansion plans.

She opts to remain a sole proprietor in her venture and is not willing to take any partner. “ I  do not want to indulge in ego clashes with a partner It would adversely affect my clients”, she says. Her customers are mainly young girls from the city colleges.
Excellent service and great selections always brings the customers back.She also offers tips to young minds on the right kind of inner wear for each attire and for each occasion. “Most women are unaware of the importance of wearing the correct inner garments”, she quips. That personal touch, rapport, quality and the wide variety of products, ranging from imported to branded ones from India, like Angel form, Lovable, Daisy dee etc , makes her the most popular and much sought after lady entrepreneur in the industry. Customers from even the suburbs of Chennai throng to her outlet. Her sales record reaches an astounding peak in the summer months and on all holidays.

Srishty boasts of different types of lingerie for different attire_special ones for saris , chudidhars, seamless ones for T shirts, silicon transparent ones for people in the modeling and film industry .Disposable underwear are fast moving, especially among those who travel frequently. Halter neck lingerie is very popular among college girls. Compared to the earlier generation, women are more aware of the necessity of appropriate inner wear as well as outer garments. “The trend is fast catching on”, opines Radha.

“It’s the proper selection of the right inner wear that adds to the class and style of the outer attire”,she affirms confidently. Each day, she opens her boutique by 11 a.m., holds forth till 1:30 p.m.. At 4:30 p.m., she is back to business till 9:30 p.m., sometimes even late. She closes the shop during the afternoons as she dissents from having a sales girl in her absence. Pilferage and gossip are the main factors which force her to abide by this decision. Her friend pitches in to help when customers turn up during afternoons. “Past experiences have taught me important lessons”, she states thoughtfully.

Being a lady entrepreneur, she has to face various challenges from different quarters. She works out against all odds to run this exclusive lingere shop successfully at Fathima Plaza. She gives her business cards, with her contact number, to all her clients, and insists that them to call her, if they find the outlet closed.

An astute business woman, Radha has huge plans for expansion. She wants to open branches in Adyar, Besant Nagar,and Anna Nagar. Also, she dreams to own an exclusive show room in the heart of the city. She ascribes her success to her supportive family and her ex-boutique-patner, who takes care of her shop when she is away on some personal mission. ” It is truly Divine Grace”, she believes firmly.




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