Anita Dongre – An Entrepreneur Designer
As you know, culture and religion are known to be the priority factors in the way of living in India, Indian women in underdeveloped states are yet struggling to create their own identity. But we have reached halfway through abolishing these norms because few names do pop up in our minds when we talk about Women Entrepreneurs in India. Anita Dongre is one of those names, 56-year-old Designer busted her cultural norms and today is known to be one of the leading Designers and Entrepreneurs in India.
Anita Dongre was born in 1963 in Mumbai to a Sindhi family. She was a Fashion enthusiast since childhood under the influence of her mother Pushpa Sawlani who was a skilled artist and use to stitch clothes for Anita and her siblings when they were young. Taking a step towards her passion she persued a Degree course in Fashion designing. Immediately after the completion of her internship, she started a small scale business with her younger sister and brother. Being from a traditional Sindhi family she has always been witnessing the women of the family playing only conventional house-wife roles which are expected out of them. She spent most of her summer vacations in Jaipur, where her grandparents were staying. She was the first women entrepreneur in her extended family, for which at the instant she received quite a criticism as they assumed that her parents were not financially strong to support her and that is the reason she needs to work.
She launched her company “AND Designs India Ltd” in the year 1995 and runs four clothing brands with each having different types of clothing. AND retailing western wear, Global Desi launched in 2007 retailing casual ethnic wear, Anita Dongre retailing Bridal, Pret and Menswear, Grassroot retailing organic clothing, and one jewelry brand called Pinkcity. Later in 2015, she rebranded her company AND Designs India Ltd as House of Anita Dongre. She is famous for her traditional Bridal, Pret and Grassroot collection. These collections are rich in Indian culture, inspired especially by rural artisans. Her belief in empowering skilled women of the rural areas of the nation replicates in her Grassroot collection where she provides artisans with a job and trains them professionally to make garments that help them with their livelihood.
From Bridal Lehengas to casual Kurtis her collection is loved by Bollywood celebrities like Aditi Rao Hydari, Sonakshi Sinha, Janhvi Kapoor, and many more. She received international recognition, when the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton wore her creation for a day out in India in 2016 She uses fabrics like Banarasi Silk, Georgette, Brocade, etc in artworks of hand block printing, hand embroidery, handwoven, zari, and zardozi work of rural artisans. For men, she has a wide range of Kurtas, Sherwanis, Nehru Jackets, etc.
The Headquater of “House of Anita Dongre” is in the green hills of Rabale in Navi Mumbai which is a unique eco- friendly working space itself. Her brother and sister manage the retail side of the business she is the face of the company through her designs and intends to continue her passion as long as she can.