Apr 30 2023
Leaders & Innovators: Nina Lekhi, Founder & Chief Design Office - Baggit in conversation with Ajay Aggarwal I An Accidental & Responsible Lifestyle Entrepreneur
Ms. Nina Lekhi, the Founder MD and Chief Design Curator of Baggit, is an accidental entrepreneur, who pursued her creative hobby of designing bags for the No. 1 Ladies' Handbags brand in India. It all started with Rs 7,000 borrowed from her mother after she failed in her first year of college. Baggit is perhaps the only leading Brand to persist with the difficult task of making completely in India, rather than importing from China as most competing brands do. This commitment and execution of strategy has been demonstrated to a number of consumer product companies that India can compete and beat Chinese products in India and internationally too, after building a dominant presence in India.
Nina recognizes the fact that employment opportunities for unskilled labourers with very little education are the primary need for the development of weaker sections of the Indian population. Her determination to make it in India at all costs is arising out of this primary concern. She is willing to sacrifice easy profits for herself by importing from China like other competitors, but unwilling to waver from making in India for the last 35 years, whereas “Make in India” has become fashionable only in the last 5 years. Nina has always supported responsible fashion consumption and to that extent, Baggit offers classical fashion designs that are high quality, highly durable and ever-lasting rather than trendy fashion styles that come and go every season. In addition, the company
is launching “Maatii”, its 3rd brand targeting evolved consumers looking for bio-degradable and sustainable fashion products. Protecting mother earth is the key promise of “Maatii”.
The company has also launched “Enoki”, a highly durable mass brand addressing the biggest “ value for money” market segment. This brand will demolish the myth that quality branded products have to be necessarily expensive and reduce the burden of discarded products of poor quality, unsustainable and cheap products currently being bought by the mass segment.
Nina Lekhi has faced many ups and downs in the business over the last 35 years and resilience is one. of her significant personality trait. Her biography, titled “Bag it All, " inspires women to follow their dreams and be resilient. The key message of the biography is that “if I can do it, so can you”. She is a role model for countless women entrepreneurs and other ordinary women who anyways are doing extraordinary things in life by balancing their work and home lives. In fact, the Baggit brand celebrates such ordinary women and encourages them to follow their hearts and dreams and be resilient.
Nina is transforming Baggit from a promoter-driven company to a professionally managed company with aspirations to be a responsible global fashion company. From controlling every aspect of the business to delegating authority and learning to manage through an inspirational style of management has not been an easy process for her. However, her commitment to follow through on the difficult transformational journey is inspirational for other promoter-driven companies that are struggling to scale up, because of the changes required in leadership style.
Nina can be called the most experienced and valuable Designer of Ladies' handbags in India with significant winners over the last 40 years. She loves visiting the stores selling Baggit merchandise every weekend and interacting with customers. Baggit brand incorporates all the customer wants and needs to be gleaned through personal interactions with thousands of customers over the years. Customers vouch for the Quality, Durability and satisfaction of possessing and using Baggit handbags over the years. However, the Brand captures the specialness of the “Atrangi” personality trait of Nina Lekhi.
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