Radha Kapoor: In the Business of Design

Radha Kapoor
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Radha Kapoor is a connoisseur when it comes to design and fashion. From a young age she has married creativity with her aptitude for entrepreneurship to set up a number of successful businesses under the holding company Do It Creations. Her most recent venture has been bringing luxury French brand, Longchamp, to India. We talk to this dynamic young woman about her business interests, her icons and her plans for the future…

Was design and fashion something you always gravitated towards?

I am a right brained person, and have a great interest in all aspects of design. I have always had an inclination towards creative projects and this led me to study design at Parsons, New York. But my interest goes beyond aesthetics. I want to find ways to leverage design in order to create solutions, this led me to set up DO IT Creations.

You founded ISDI (Indian School of Design and Innovation) and have been involved with various creative projects under the holding company DO IT Creations. What is the common theme running through all your businesses?

After my time at Parsons I realised that there was a strong need to create an ecosystem, around design, innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship, which I feel can play an important role in our economy today. This led me to found DO IT Creations. All of DO IT Creations’ business ventures, including ISDI which I set up in association with Parsons, share a common DNA of being new age, game changing ventures that are focussed on creativity, design and innovation.

Your father is Rana Kapoor, the Founder and CEO of Yes Bank, was finance something you were ever interested in? How has he influenced you?

Design has always been my focus, I was never a number-cruncher. Yes Bank is like any other professional set-up, and it was never a given, that, I or my sisters would join it. Nor, has my father ever pushed us towards joining. He is a great believer in creative ideas, and always felt that each of his daughters should run their own businesses. He always knew that I would go for something creative and that encouraged me to take up whatever I was passionate about.

Your latest venture has been bringing the French luxury brand Longchamp to India. What drew you to the brand and made you want to bring it to Indian shores?

We were looking to acquire a brand that would be the right fit for Indian consumers. Longchamp, being an iconic brand known for its classic designs works well because many of its products fall under the category of aspirational luxury. The bags are perfect for the urban woman on the go and that is something I personally connected with.

Longchamp is for the aspirational buyer. Yet, it caters to a wide spectrum of demographics, from teenagers to older women

Tell us a bit about the Longchamp store in India?

The first store has been launched at the DLF Emporio Mall in Delhi. The experience of shopping there is on par with that of shopping at any of the Longchamp stores around the world. The store been designed in sync with the brand elements of Longchamp. All the bags Longchamp is known for such as the Le Pliage are available.

Longchamp products are known for being timeless and functional. What is your favourite product from Longchamp?

Personally, the Pénélope Bag from Longchamp is a must have. It is a classic tote bag which is perfect for work or a day out and exemplifies finesse and sophistication.

Who is the Longchamp customer? Who is the brand catering to?

Longchamp is for the aspirational buyer. Yet, having said that, it caters to a wide spectrum of demographics, from teenagers to older women- there is a bag for everyone. There is even a collection for men. In fact, Longchamp has recently launched its first store in Paris that is solely for men.

What are the future plans for the brand in India?

We hope to establish 5-6 stores in the near future. We started with Delhi and are already on the lookout for a location in Mumbai. We intend to have a store in each of the major Indian cities by 2018.

How would you describe your style?

I gravitate towards clothes that are contemporary and chic while at the same time being comfortable. You will always find jackets and scarves as part of my work wardrobe.