Kalpané is a curated marketplace of designer luxury products conceptualized and produced by some of India’s best upcoming brands. The collection on their platform is hand-curated and in line with their own design aesthetics.
About Kalpané from the viewpoint of Nikita Sethi; Founder and Chief Creative:
Kalpané is a curated marketplace of designer luxury products conceptualized and produced by some of India’s best upcoming brands. The collection on our platform is hand-curated and in line with my own design aesthetics. We strive to provide unique products to the Indian consumers who want to experience products that are not run off the mill!!
I come from a design and fashion background, hence the curation and design aspect of Kalpané came naturally to me. The real challenge lay in setting up our platform as we decided to go ahead with an online solution rather than a brick and mortar store.
As I don’t come from a tech background, setting up Kalpané as a sole women entrepreneur came with its own set of challenges. To overcome this challenge, we did months of research, met with numerous developers, received some ridiculous quotes, spoke to fellow entrepreneurs and finally found a team who understood my vision and was able to deliver a product that I had been aiming for. We are still in the very nascent stages and have been live for a little over one year.
As a brand, we truly believe that there is a lot more to design in India than traditional embroideries and artifacts and our aim is to bring that to the consumer not just in India but globally. We have immense talent in our country and people making very interesting products, so it’s a very exciting space to be in.
The germination of Kalpané happened in Bengaluru. I have always admired the fine design and as a consumer, I am always looking out for interesting designs and products. While doing up our house in Bengaluru; I felt there were not many options for a consumer who was looking to experience luxury products that don’t have an exorbitant price tag attached to them and hence, Kalpané was born.
How do we define luxury:
Luxury as per our philosophy lies in the consumer experience of the product. Products that are meticulously hand-crafted using age-old artisanal techniques, made in small batches, using exquisite craftsmanship qualify as luxury products. We don’t define luxury as producing similar looking products and selling them at extremely high prices in fancy malls.
About the team
Nikita Sethi – Founder & Chief Creative
Karan Anand – Co-Founder
Mohan Neelakantan – Mentor
We are still in the very early stages of our journey. I run most of the operations myself and have a bunch of people (mostly freelancers) who take care of certain parts of the operations; especially the tech implementation and enhancements to improve user experience on our website.
My husband (Karan) has been mentoring us since the very beginning. Very recently, less than a month ago, he left his earlier job and is now helping us expand and scale.
Karan is a Chartered Accountant and Ex. Goldman Sachs Vice President with more than 10 years of experience. Having worked with clients in multiple sectors operating from multiple cities in India as well as globally, he brings in his immense understanding of the Indian as well as Global markets.
Prior to conceptualizing Kalpané, I used to work as a Freelance Fashion Stylist. I have more than 10 years of fashion styling experience and have worked with some of India’s biggest celebrities, sports stars, production houses, and designers. I have worked on some of India’s top fashion weeks, most popular TV and award shows as a stylist. I graduated from NIFT Delhi with a degree in Fashion Design.
How do we differentiate ourselves:
The collection on our website has been hand-picked by me to provide the consumer with unique products created using artisanal techniques. We have Mohan Neelakantan, one of India’s top fashion stylist as our mentor. He’s helped us hand pick an initial lot of designers that came on-board. I bounce off most of my creative ideas through Mohan to get his perspective.
We have selected each one of our designers after months of research and I can very confidently say that I stand behind each of their products that are being showcased on Kalpané. This is something we strive to achieve even once we get bigger.
Kalpané provides a unique luxury experience to the consumers that are looking for designer products.
We have completely bootstrapped Kalpané and don’t have any plans to source any external funding in the near future.
How does the platform work and our aim
At Kalpané we scout and curate brands that match our aesthetic and design sensibilities. We even handpick the collection that is showcased on Kalpané. We are not aiming to align to any particular product category which is quite evident from the varied categories available on Kalpané.
Our aim is to promote brands that strive to use artisanal techniques to craft designer products and showcase these products to the Indian as well as the global consumer.
Our future plans
Our futures plans revolve around finding more fantastic talent from our country and showcasing their products on Kalpané. We are being very careful with the brands that we want to add to our platform. We want to ensure that we remain a design-centric company. We also plan to add newer categories in the near term.