TheGlitz ‘Super Woman’ Niharika Raut – Founder, ‘Around The City’

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She comes from a privileged background. But hey, before one starts screaming ‘nepotism’, hang on. TheGlitz ‘Super Woman’ Niharika Raut has worked patiently and tirelessly on what she truly believes in -sustainable or conscious fashion. ‘Around the City’ was founded by Niharika Raut in November 2021.

Her goal was simple – to make sustainable or conscious fashion more accessible. The idea was to shatter preconceived notions about a sustainable fashion brand. The motto? Draping the soul without harming the planet! The brand aims for its vibe to be fun, wearable, and trendy but not at the cost of affecting the environment.

So what does Niharika’s want? She claims it is for Around the City to be a well-rounded homegrown brand thatt taps into every consumer’s mind. And obviously, it’s working! ‘Around The City’ was selected as one of the ‘Brands of the year-By the Women, for the Women 2022’. Read on as Niharica talks more about what makes her the epitome of TheGlitz ‘Super Woman!

Your journey has had many momentous milestones. Could you tell us about your life-changing journey that has moulded you to be what you are today?
I have to be honest here and say that I come from a super privileged background, so to say that my life has been hard is super unfair. But one thing I have always been is hyper focused on my goals and that is something that has helped me a lot in my journey in entrepreneurship. The challenging phase in my journey, was the time right before ‘Around the City’ was going to go on floors but due to multiple lockdowns, restrictions, all the operations were getting pushed constantly. We also were trying to find the right manufacturing unit who would fit our requirements but we just couldn’t find any. After spending hours in researching, getting in touch with multiple factories, multiple rejections, we finally found a factory in Mumbai who helped us with all the manufacturing processes. It was really hard at first, butonce everything started to roll out we could finally breathe a sigh of relief. At that time as I mentioned earlier, my patience and focus kept me going through it and I could emerge from that situation successfully.

Could you list 3 of your major achievements?
Starting off when we launched ‘Around the City’, it was based on research done when I did my post-graduation thesis. That paper I wrote was well-received by my faculty and I ended up getting a distinction for the same from my university in the UK. So the business model and concept was based on credible data backed by research and real time consumer inputs which made me feel quite proud of myself, as I could identify the gap in the Indian market well. So we were off to a great start right from the basics. Then when we launched honestly, we were not expecting such a great response especially when the pandemic was still lurking upon all of us at the time of the launch of the brand. Nonetheless, we successfully got so many organic orders within a month’s time after the launch that it actually all felt so surreal. It was definitely a mini milestone for us and all the effort gone into the launch was totally paid off. And lastly, we feel another mini milestone for ‘Around the City’ will be the fact that we have worked with so many credible industry influencers that are voices to reckon with and we feel immensely proud of ourselves as an start-up brand to be able to collaborate with such amazing talent in our country.

What are the setbacks you have faced? How did you tackle these setbacks or challenges? And what lesson have you learned from it?
A major setback was when we trying to launch the brand and somehow got rejected by multiple manufacturers for various reasons such as our moqs were of smaller quantities or the fabrics or certifications we wanted them to provide us were simply not available or sometimes, the costs they charged were out of our budget at that time. But I’m a firm believer in consistency and it works very well especially when you’re starting out new in any given field. The trait of being consistent is something that definitely helps in achieving all the goals. Also, patience is something that I learnt and built over time and told myself to not get overtly fixated on the outcome but just trust the process. Eventually it all worked out but one needs to stay grounded in the meantime.

When you look back, what are the three qualities in you that have helped you become what you are today?
Focus, consistency and patience. I wasn’t always like this but over time with so much to look back upon and have learnt so much during these years, I have reflected a lot and can safely say that these qualities have certainly helped me get to where I’m right now.

Who are the people who have been the wind behind your wings?
My parents who have been super supportive of me and never doubted me even once. They genuinely have been super motivating in everything that I have chosen to do. Then my friends who always hype me and make me feel super nice about myself and show their love in so many ways for which I’m incredibly grateful and last but certainly not least my hard working team at ATC who brings my vision to life every single time. They put their blood and sweat to make ATC shine and these are the forces in my life I couldn’t do this journey without.

Lastly, if there was a quote to define you, what would that be?
There is an famous quote by Walt Disney which I firmly believe in as I’m an action orientated person. He said, “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” I absolutely believe in that one must take actions to fulfil one’s life goals instead of wasting time talking and not doing anything about it.

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