What’s different about this legacy family business? It was started by the women of the family, almost 30 years ago
Amaltas International, exporter and manufacturer of garments, textiles and accessories, was set up in 1991 by three feisty women — Sanjita Prasad, her sister Simi Srivastava and her mother, Indira Jaipuriyar. Almost three decades hence, it’s still going strong.
Unlike other working women who face the wrath of their conservative families and relatives, she had a supportive family who welcomed her decision to start her own venture. Her father had always encouraged his two daughters to have individual aspirations, and her mother was a firebrand herself. “Although my mom had a master’s degree, she gave up on her dreams of building a career in order to care for her family. And so, I always wanted to start something where I could involve her too,” says Prasad.
After her studies, Prasad worked with several companies such as Gemini Impex and KMC International. At 27, she married banker Aloke Prasad and decided to fly to the US to pursue her master’s in costumes and designs from the Fashion Institute of Technology at NYU. After the completion of her course, Prasad came back to India and bought a printer, a fax machine and a computer to kick-start her own garments venture.
With a supportive spouse by her side, things went smoothly for Prasad. “I used to work around the clock, raise my kids and do everything for my family. My husband never complained about anything,” she narrates.
Many a time, women entrepreneurs are not taken seriously, rues Prasad. “Women are rarely taken seriously and are often dismissed as butterflies. My sister and I consistently called, followed up and pestered clients for orders. “Hence, today we both are known as aggressive b*****s,” chuckles Prasad.
Today, if there is a single character trait that Prasad swears by for her life and success, then that is tenacity. She has had to witness several ups and downs, but she says she did not ever think of giving up. Currently, Prasad’s focus is on a ladies wear fusion brand called Ira Soleil. As for what the future holds, Prasad says that she would like to take her brand overseas.