“Delivering quality consistently”, AALA is walking into their third generation of what now is an uber-successful fabric business with this motto guiding their every move. Nestled in the heart of Bollywood, it has seen the city evolve and the city has graciously watched the brand reach new heights.
Taking the baton from his father- Sarfaraz Zafiri, Zeeshan Zafiri in true millennial fashion has taken the family business online. Tapping national and international markets with his continuous efforts to elevate the digital presence to new peaks.
Laying The Foundation
Talking about humble beginnings and the hustle, Late Mushtaque Ahmad Zafiri laid the founding stone by starting off by selling fabrics door to door in 1957. He, a pure breed visionary, saw right through the booming fabric industry and began a marathon towards success.
India was recuperating from the British Raaj and the traders were channeling all their resources in strengthening their pre-existing infrastructure.The lack of B-schools didn’t stop him from diving into the unknown, he went for the treasure with no map or compass. Amidst these chaotic times with will and perseverance AALA saw its first store in 1967.
Setting Up The Shop
Leading by its translation- “Supreme”, prospered to an astonishing scale after its very first store and acquired a warehouse in the vicinity in 1992. All the hard work and patience bore savory fruit as AALA had started making its name in the industry.
As the name morphed into a brand AALA secured another store in the year 1995 in the same market area of Nagdevi street at Mumbai. With rising demand and the shifting trajectory of the industry many fellow traders switched lanes to readymade clothing but AALA stayed put.
“This wise decision landed us in great fortune and gave us an edge over the market”, Zeeshan adds. The brand then went on to add another store in the year 1996, followed by two more in 2016, and another in 2019.
Entering The Market Online
We were the first in our industry to start shipping fabrics back in 2008, which began with the simple idea of saving the far off customers from the hassle of travel. We began with local courier services. We ventured into exporting fabrics in 2010 and slowly built a website to accumulate orders in 2011.” says an enthusiastic Zeeshan. Always a step ahead from the industry they instated CRM back in 2013 and now stand at more than 20,000 regular customers.
He joined his father right out of school and continued pursuing his graduation degree while his buzzed with ideas to better the customer experience. Zeeshan continually taking new routes combined with the knowledge of his father has made the designer landscape their playground in the past few years.
Expensive Product Line
From a sack on the back to a multi-store fabric empire, the product range transcends all boundaries of imagination. They have been focused on curating contemporary fabrics since the beginning and have one of the widest collections online. With each passing year, AALA has made additions to their bouquet of fabrics. Seeking out new sources and new designs everyday. They are well equipped to create custom patterns in the exact desired hue on demand.
“We add fifteen new fabrics on average to our website each day. We are in touch with the weavers and refrain from buying from retailers. Post the buying we bleach the fabric and re-dye it in the color of choice. We have taken the whole process of embroidery and sequin under our wing which has given us the liberty to experiment with unique motifs.” said Zeeshan when talking about their expansive collection. They house a far-reaching range of high quality fabrics sourced from Surat, Amritsar, Banaras, Lucknow, Delhi and China.
The collection spreads across Chanderi, Chiffon to Lycra, Muslin till Velvet, touching each alphabet in thefabric encyclopaedia. They feature solids, tie-dye, gold foil, printed, ombre, embroidered, Mukesh work as well as sequin fabrics, making them the one stop shop for every designer.
Eye On The Goal
As the new captain of the ship, Zeeshan has set clear goals since day one and aims to:
- Meet all demands of the ever shape- shifting market
- Join forces with leading designers from all over the globe
- Build a stronger digital presence
- Continually bring unique designs to the fore
He believes in not chasing but staying ahead of the trends and his foresight for the shifts in the fashion realm makes him fierce with his choices.