Home30Under30 2024From Stardom to Entrepreneurship: Masumi Mewawalla's Transition into the Fashion Industry

From Stardom to Entrepreneurship: Masumi Mewawalla’s Transition into the Fashion Industry

“It’s perfectly fine not to have all the answers – where, how, or what will happen. The crucial part is to begin. It’s not acceptable to never start.”

In an exclusive interview with Entrepreneurs Today, Masumi Mewawalla recounts the lessons she learned and walks us through her journey as she navigates the entertainment industry. 

Masumi Mewawalla initially gained recognition through prominent acting roles in acclaimed shows such as “Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi,” “Kutumb,” and “Kusum.” Her experiences in entertainment cultivated a deep appreciation for aesthetics and a strong work ethic that continues to define her pursuits.

In 2014, Mewawalla made her debut as an entrepreneur by founding Pink Peacock Couture, later rebranded as Masumi Mewawalla—a brand specializing in Bridal, Couture, and Pret wear. 

Since then, she has established successful fashion brands like Emblaze (2019), known for blending tradition with innovation. 

Getting started

Masumi’s journey into entrepreneurship is a result of the diverse experiences she acquired over the years. She reveals, 

“After exploring acting, I delved into choreography, owned a catering business, wrote finance articles, learned wedding planning, became a certified financial planner, and completed a master’s in management and commerce.”

However, the pivotal moment came when she made a special saree for her mother’s anniversary, which led to the inception of Pink Peacock Couture, later rebranded as Masumi Mewawalla. 

The overwhelmingly positive response and love she received became the driving force behind her passion for fashion. 

A leg up over competition

The brand’s designs epitomize a blend of contemporary aesthetics and timeless elegance. What truly sets Masumi Mewawalla apart is its personalized approach to clients. Originating from a custom saree crafted for her mother, each creation embodies sentimental value, reflecting individual stories and preferences of patrons. 

The brand’s hallmark rose gold embroidery exudes luxury and sophistication, serving as a defining element that elevates its designs.

Masumi Mewawalla’s dedication to understanding and catering to clients’ unique tastes ensures that each piece becomes a bespoke masterpiece. Regarding her other venture, Emblaze—a high street fashion label—she says,

“Emblaze caters to a broader audience, offering chic and accessible fashion without compromising on our dedication to quality and style.”

Challenges faced

Managing two distinct brands catering to different segments of the market—bridal, luxury pret, festive, and couture for one, and high street retail fashion for the other—has posed a major challenge for Masumi.

The differences in pricing, target demographics, and the dynamics of online versus offline presence for each brand have presented complex hurdles to navigate. Balancing the diverse needs and strategies required for success in these separate spaces within the fashion industry has been a significant challenge for her business.

In our freewheeling chat, she further adds, 

“Carving out a unique niche in a saturated, monopolized market has been another hurdle. The fashion landscape is not only densely populated but also subject to rapid and unpredictable changes, making it a dynamically challenging environment. The pace at which trends evolve adds an additional layer of complexity to the business, creating a set of major challenges that I continually navigate in the pursuit of success.“

Celebrating feats

“Success should have equal measures of quantifiable growth and operational excellence.”

Masumi’s achievements encompass substantial growth in turnovers, valuations, and profits, along with operational excellence achieved through a well-structured team and streamlined operations. The successful rebranding from Pink Peacock Couture to Masumi Mewawalla after a decade stands out as a milestone, establishing distinctive niches for both Masumi Mewawalla and Emblaze in a fiercely competitive market.

Her unconventional career switch—from acting, finance management, wedding planning, and choreography to establishing two distinct fashion brands—adds a unique layer to these accomplishments. Despite lacking formal fashion education, the brands have garnered recognition, receiving awards such as the Visionary Indian Leaders of the Year 2023 and the Indian Affairs Most Promising Designer 2021. Participating in prestigious fashion weeks like Dubai Fashion Week, India International Jewellery Fashion Week, and Lakmé Fashion Week, along with serving on the Mrs. India panel, further solidifies their success and recognition in the fashion industry.

Plans ahead

Masumi’s future plans are all about establishing flagship stores globally for both Masumi Mewawalla and Emblaze, aiming to transform them into renowned brands with a worldwide presence. This expansion strategy aims to introduce their unique blend of high street fashion and bridal couture to diverse markets, appealing to a global clientele.

In alignment with their growth plans, Masumi Mewawalla is committed to a significant social impact initiative. They aspire to empower 1000-1500 women by offering education and training opportunities, intending to integrate these women into their companies, fostering not only employment but also personal and professional development.

Interviewer: How does she plan to achieve these results?

Masumi: “We will be leveraging strategic partnerships, innovative marketing approaches, and a commitment to maintaining the quality, uniqueness, and personal touch that define Masumi Mewawalla and Emblaze. By combining global expansion with a commitment to social responsibility, we aim to shape a future where our brands contribute to both the fashion industry and the empowerment of women worldwide.”

Takeaways from the journey

Interviewer: Before you sign off, are there some lessons you would like to share with budding entrepreneurs?

Masumi: “Everything begins with the word “start.” Life, journey, failures – they all have a starting point. Initiating the journey is something you must do for yourself. While people may push you, support you, provide insights, and share paths, the act of starting is a personal endeavor. No one can start it for you; you have to begin to reach somewhere. So, take that first step.”

Lastly, one thing that Masumi wants to remind everyone of is that it’s absolutely fine to not have answers to all the questions. All that matters is that you start somewhere. As she says,

“If you keep dwelling on potential failures or negative possibilities, you’ll never be able to start. The beauty of entrepreneurship lies in the journey and the learning that comes with it. So, begin and embrace the path to entrepreneurship and the success it brings.”

Snigdha Basu
Snigdha Basu
A multifaceted writer, Snigdha Basu is a freelancer and a columnist at Entrepreneurs Today. She also spearheads Chic Life Edition - her own Digital Magazine with sustainable fashion, beauty, and culture at its core. Reach out to Snigdha at [email protected] for inquiries.
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