Nidhi Yadav, a computer engineer by education background, was working in Deloitte when she realised she didn't like going to the office. During a presentation, she was asked a question: When was the last time she felt like coming to the office? Her reply was 'never'. This conversation changed the course of her professional life. The Indore-born woman was encouraged by her seniors to do what she wanted to do in life: fashion. To foray into the world, she needed the right education. So she studied a one-year course at the Polimoda Fashion School, Florence. She got a job in Italy but she chose to return to India to be with her family.
In the year 2014, she launched a company called Aks. She invested just Rs 3.5 lakh. The company's target were women between the ages of 18-35 who want to wear contemporary ethnic clothes at affordable prices. It took a while for the company to establish itself but within five years of beginning. In the year 2019-2020, the company's revenues crossed Rs 100 crore.
Her family was first shocked at her decision to start the company. However, they later came around and supported her. Before launching the company, she researched for six months on Zara, one of the most selling brands in the world. Her first strategy that worked for her at the time was launching 20 styles every two weeks.
She and her husband had her challenges. They used to travel to Gurugram to Jaipur every weekend along with their infant daughter to source the materials. Now the company employs a network of several units with separate functions, in Jaipur.
The company's revenue was Rs 1.60 crore in 2014. It became a Rs 8.50 crore revenue company the next year. In 2018, the company's revenue was Rs 48 crore.
Aks has its headquarters in Gurgaon. By late 2021, her company's revenue had grown to Rs 200 crore without any external funding, she told Indian Retailer in an old interview.
The pandemic brought problems as well as opportunities for the company. Since the production was closed and they wanted to provide their staff salaries, they started manufacturing masks and PPE kits. They had a lot of waste cloth. They used it to make a kidswear range.
They also made a sibling collection which was a success. Their current revenue is currently unknown. However, in the interview, they were looking to hit the Rs 500 crore revenue mark in 2023-2024.