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    Interview with Ritu Oberoi

    Ritu Oberoi
    Ritu Oberoi
    Founder
    Foresarees
    Foresarees

    Aim to convert all products into natural dyed ones

    Established in 2018, Forsarees is a socially driven business enterprise, working with weavers and artisans in rural India. An initiative to promote the concept of sari wearing in an urban environment, it sells handwoven sarees curated by weavers from small villages and towns. Founder Ritu Oberoi shares how the brand fared during the? pandemic and its long-term sustainability goals.

    What was the inspiration that led to the formation/founding of the brand?

    I worked in the media and entertainment industry for 15 years. During a sabbatical from my last role at ABP News, I went travelling and exploring the country. During one such visit, and some interactive sessions with weavers, I realised the urgent need for a bridge that was needed to connect the weavers directly to urban consumers. Hence, the idea of Forsarees firmed up.

    What is the USP of your product line? What are your retail points?

    Our products are comfortable and contemporary, yet handmade and ethnic in their identity. We sell our saris online through our website.

    What is the USP of your product line? What are your retail points?

    Who is the target audience of your brand? Which category sells the most and what is the price point?

    Women are the key target audience. And the category that sells the most is the cotton sari within a price range that starts at Rs 2500.

    Which are your major markets in India and abroad?

    Our major markets are Southern India, Maharashtra, and the US.

    Which other product categories do you plan to move into future?

    We would like to get into rural handicrafts and utility décor.

    What is your market positioning like?

    Our brand talks about comfort over style in handloom category. Hence most of our products are cotton based. We position saris as a formal workwear too.

    What has been the impact of Covid in terms of sales, staff cutdown, rentals, stocks etc?

    Our sales saw a dip tremendously due to the pandemic. There were initially months with zero sales. We were sitting on huge inventory and had projects already invested in. We haven't still reached to the level of pre-Covid times. Since we operate with very little operational costs and a lean team, other issues like staff cutdown, rentals, stocks etc haven't impacted us.

    What has been the impact of Covid in terms of sales, staff cutdown, rentals, stocks etc?

    Sustainability and circularity are the buzz words today. How do you incorporate them into your product lines?

    Handloom by origin is quite sustainable and eco-friendly as compared to other products. We try and enhance these factors.? Our products are made on handloom and so carbon footprint is minimal. We use natural dyes in most products or Azo free dyes. They are eco-friendly and sustainable. There are very few products that don't use any of the above.

    What are your long-term sustainability goals?

    We aim to convert all our products into natural dyed ones and use handloom fabric for all our base fabrics where block printing is in use. To have each product sustainable and cost friendly is what we aim at. (PC)
    Published on: 03/03/2021

    DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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