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Ashish Agarwal

Founder, SHK Brands, Meerut - Uttar Pradesh

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Like many entrepreneurs, I started my professional life in the corporate world. After graduating with a degree in software engineering, I worked in Delhi for a couple of big firms, including Adobe. But I’d been dreaming of starting my own business and creating employment for the people of my hometown since I was just a kid. So, I completed an MBA and returned to Meerut, my hometown, to settle with my parents and launch SHK Brands.

SHK Brands makes and sells shapewear under the brand name Adorna. We are India’s first D2C (direct-to-consumer) shapewear brand, with e-commerce as our sales channel. We now have a staff of 20 and we are on all the major e-commerce platforms, including Flipkart, and are a category best seller.

With the ambition to expand my business further, I joined the Walmart Vriddhi program with two main goals in mind: to become a supplier to Flipkart Best Price Stores and to join Walmart’s global supply chain.

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Lessons from a Personalized Mentoring program alumni

I am proud to be the first person to complete all three levels of the Vriddhi program. I found Level 1 and Level 2 to be useful refreshers on supply chain management and ways to tackle day-to-day problems – skills that are integral to any business.

The Personalized Mentoring program, however, had a completely different approach. I was introduced to a very good mentor. The connection with him – and the opportunity to ask him for advice whenever I needed – was a great help. He helped me reset my priorities after the pandemic; advised me to increase the visibility of my brand across social media, and helped me to set realistic sales expectations.

He also helped me onboard on the Flipkart marketplace, putting me in touch with the right people. Adorna’s products were listed on Flipkart and were making sales within a week.

Another great thing about the Personalized Mentoring program is that it gives us access to a wide network of MSMEs. If we need any help – say, for launching a product – we can reach out to our peers for guidance and support.

I knew that Flipkart Best Price Stores would give Adorna greater visibility across the country, even where we didn’t have distributors. 

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Our first target is to return to pre-pandemic sales levels, and then to double our revenue in the next few years. Shapewear is still a very niche category, but I believe it will become mainstream. To raise our profile, we are doing a lot of social media advertising across channels; the power of this for a business like mine is one of my biggest takeaways from Vriddhi’s Personalized Mentoring program. We are also looking to add outerwear to our product portfolio.

Having finished the Personalized Mentoring section of the Vriddhi program, I feel that my business is poised for accelerated growth across channels, especially on Walmart.

My ultimate goal, of course, is to export my products and become a part of Walmart’s global supply chain. And I definitely on my way to achieving it.  

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