Hermès, a French fashion luxury goods manufacturer, has been ranked consistently as world’s most valuable luxury brand and one of the best global brands. Hermès, which is also known as Hermès International or Hermès Paris, has maintained an iconic status in the luxury market with products ranging from leather goods, perfume and lifestyle accessories to watches.
In 2018, the Company’s net profit rose to 1.41 billion euros, a 16 % increase from 1.22 billion euros in 2017. Fifty percent of the Company’s profits came from the brand’s leather goods and saddlery products. With competitors like LVMH and Richemont in the luxury business, Hermès still enjoys the top position in the market because of its exquisite craftsmanship and eye for detail through the entire manufacturing process.
Founded in the year 1837 by Thierry Hermès, the Company’s initial purpose was to build saddles, bridles and other leather riding gear for European nobility. After taking over the Company from his father, Charles-Émile moved the Company to 24 Rue Du Faubourg Saint-Honore in Paris in the 20th century. This remains the global headquarters of Hermès till date.
Through the generations, the Company slowly expanded from selling leather saddles to other products. The Company started selling “Haut à Courroies” bags in 1900, which were used by riders to carry saddles in it. The Company introduced its first leather handbag in 1922, a product which has played a significant role in increasing the popularity of Hermès in the global market.
Hermès has a unique strategy in place to ensure it retains its position on top in the market. Hermès is very strict about the traditional way of manufacturing and rejects any form of mass production. Every product produced by the Company is handmade by craftsmen who are trained for a period of two to three years. According to the Company, every product is made from beginning to end by a single person to preserve the product quality and uniqueness.
Jean Louis Dumas, the chairman of Hermès from 1978 to 2006, told Vanity Fair, “We don’t have a policy of image; we have a policy of product.” Hermès has always claimed, it values creativity more than anything and to this day, maintains a deep connection to its French identity. Most of Hermès’ products are manufactured in France and 60 % of the Company’s workshops are located in different parts of the Country.
Another strategy the Company uses is giving a sense of exclusivity. In order to do so, Hermès uses the “Limited Edition” strategy and releases only a handful of products at a time. The Birkin bag, created by Hermès for Jane Birkin in 1982, remains the most popular product by the Company. One of the reasons behind this is the brand’s strategy to make the customer wait for a few months or a year after making an order. The cost of each Birkin bag ranges from 7,000 USD to 300,000 USD. Every Birkin bag is made of crocodile skin and has exquisite handiwork by a single craftsman.
The brand continuously collaborates with other ultra luxury brands to maintain its reputation in the market. Hermès has collaborated with luxury designers like John Lobb, Saint Louis as well as tech mogul Apple. Each collaboration brought the Company media attention and skyrocketed its brand value and sales.
Keeping it in the family
For the last 180 years, since the founding of Hermès, it has been run exclusively by the Hermès family. Currently, the brand is managed by Axel Dumas (6th generation,) who is the sole manager of the Company. The Company maintains its independence and uniqueness by keeping the control within the family.
Even though Hermès is 180 years old, it still maintains an ultra luxury status because of its ability to evolve by maintaining a perfect balance between tradition and modernity. With its clever strategy of exclusivity, controlled marketing and limited edition, Hermès is able to engage potential and wealthy clients, which ensures continuous profits and growth of the Company.
Discover Kheyti, The Startup Changing The Lives of Farmers In India
Farming has been an integral part of India’s history and culture for ages. It’s been the foundation of the Indian economy, supporting millions of people with food and jobs. Crops and agriculture hold immense importance in Indian society, not just in terms of money, but also in terms of culture, community, and spirituality.
Farming is a way of life for many people in India, but it can be a difficult and unpredictable business and farmers face a number of challenges, from erratic weather patterns to low market prices for their crops. Kheyti is a social enterprise founded in 2015 by Saumya, Kaushik Kappagantula, and Sathya Raghu. The organisation provides sustainable solutions to small farmers in India, helping them overcome challenges and improve their lives.
Kheyti’s flagship product is the “Greenhouse-in-a-Box,” a low-cost modular greenhouse that allows farmers to grow high-value crops year-round, even in unfavourable weather conditions. operates on a subscription-based model, where farmers can purchase a “Greenhouse-in-a-Box” kit or sign up for crop advisory services on a monthly or annual basis. Kheyti.com also earns revenue by connecting farmers with markets and buyers, taking a small commission on sales. They work to keep the costs low by partnering with local manufacturers to produce their products and leveraging tech to provide personalised crop advisory services at scale.
They also provide crop advisory services to farmers, offering personalised advice on crop selection, planting, and management. In total, The company has helped over 6,000 small farmers increase their incomes by an average of 300%. You call them small farmers, Kheyti calls them Smart farmers!
While there are other companies in India that offer similar solutions to small farmers, Kheyti stands out for its focus on sustainability, innovation, and community involvement. It works closely with farmers to develop tailored solutions that meet their needs while focusing on sustainable farming practices. Through its efforts, Kheyti has improved soil health, reduced water usage, and increased yields of various crops.
Looking ahead, Kheyti plans to expand its reach to more farmers in India and beyond and aims to continue developing new products and services that can help small farmers overcome the challenges they face. With its commitment to sustainability and innovation, The visionaries at Kheyti claim it has the potential to transform the agricultural sector and contribute to a more equitable future for all.
Imagine the joy and hope Kheyti brings to struggling farmers in India. With Kheyti’s help, over 6,000 small farmers have transformed their lives, becoming Smart farmers who handle challenges and succeed. With sustainable solutions, Kheyti is not only revolutionising agriculture but also spreading hope for a brighter future.
Suki: This Startup Wants To Transform Healthcare With Its Artificial Intelligence Tool
We live in a rapidly transforming era where humanity is making exponential leaps in technology. Thirty years ago, no one would have believed you could talk to an online voice assistant to create tasks and get things done. Ten years ago, no one would have believed humanity would land robots on Mars. Technology truly has improved the quality of living of every human who owns a smartphone and has access to an internet connection. Voice assistants are slowly replacing manual tasks and making lives easier and efficient. Siri, Alexa, Google Voice Assistant are just some of the widely used artificial intelligence based tools which are employed on a daily basis. Artificial intelligence, which is hailed as the technology of the future is now slowly making its way into much more complex domains like self driving vehicles, quantum computing and also health care.
Suki, a United States of America based startup founded by Punit Soni, developed their own voice assistant which runs on artificial intelligence to simplify healthcare for doctors and other healthcare professionals. In simple terms, Suki is akin to Siri for doctors. While you could order a pizza or schedule an appointment on Siri, doctors could modify, edit and add health records of their patients. Suki is a powerful tool to help doctors with documentation of health records which often take hours of their (doctors) time.
Suki currently focuses on documentation but has the potential to expand its usage to data queries, ordering, prescribing and billing. According to a white paper published by Suki, using its technology increases the time a doctor spends with a patient by 12% by cutting note taking time by 76%. The time which is saved also brings in a financial benefit of $30,000 more in revenue a year on average for doctors.
Suki raised a $ 20 million Series B round from Flare Capital Partners, First Round Capital, and Venrock, doubling its total funding to $ 40 million since its 2017 launch. Suki is also looking to expand its reach in India and has decided to establish Bangalore as their base of operations. India holds a lot of potential for Suki considering the amount of manual work which goes into almost any sector.
It would be interesting to watch how Suki and other similar AI based startups would transform healthcare across the world.
5 Successful Indian Startups Founded By Women
The workplace has undergone massive changes in the last century. At the turn of the Industrial Revolution, any workplace was dominated by men while the women were delegated to run the homes. However, with the advent of the internet and new and exciting technologies, workplaces have undergone a tectonic shift. Women are no longer comfortable staying at home and are instead opting to lead teams and organisations. As every year passes, we get closer to true gender equality, women have proven time and again that they are equally capable to get the job done if not better in some instances. Names like Wolfe Herd (Bumble founder,) Kylie Jenner (Kylie Cosmetics founder,) Masaba Gupta (Masaba clothing label founder) are just some of the names who are known for leading world famous brands with their unique style of leadership.
As the world celebrates International Women’s Day, we bring to you five women founders who run world famous and successful startups.
1) Upasana Taku-MobiKwik
If you are an Indian and are used to doing online shopping, more often than not at the time of payment, you would be directed to a payment gateway. One of these gateways would normally be MobiKwik. The startup is a well known name in the digital payments and digital wallet space. MobiKwik was founded by Upasana Taku in 2009, who prior to founding MobiKwik used to work with PayPal. Today Upasana Taku is also in charge of bank partnerships, business operations, and talent acquisition at MobiKwik.
2) Richa Kar-Zivame
An enthusiastic MBA student, Richa Kar, developed an online lingerie shopping platform in the year 2011. Currently, Zivame is India’s leading online lingerie store with a valuation of more than $ 100 million. The brilliant idea for her own lingerie business came to light when Richa tracked Victoria’s Secret’s sales, who was one of her clients when she was working at SAP. She observed the lingerie sales figures reached peaks overseas but, Indian women were not provided with the similar innerwear. While Richa was studying the Indian lingerie market, she realized the social embarrassment in India surrounding lingerie shopping. Today Richa Kar could be credited with destigmatising the uneasiness surrounding lingerie shopping in India.
3) Falguna Nayar-Nykaa
After a long stint as an investment banker, Falguni Nayar founded Nykaa.com in the year 2013. An online one stop shop for beauty products from Indian and international brands, Nykaa changed the world of online shopping. Who would have ever thought buying makeup online would be so easy? Falguni Nayar proved many critics wrong and created a brand new place for people who love experimenting with styles, designs and colors.
ALSO READ: Zivame: Founding Story
4) Sabina Chopra-Yatra.com
Yatra.com is a popular Indian website for making flight and hotel bookings. Sabina Chopra was instrumental in identifying the potential for travel commerce in India and people moving towards cheaper or easier travel. By the time, people started looking to make bookings, Sabina made sure Yatra.com was already in place. Sabina was the former Head of India Operations of eBookers, which is also an online travel company based in Europe. Along with this, she was also working with Japan Airlines which further adds to her experience in the travel industry.
5) Rashmi Sinha-SlideShare
SlideShare allows people to upload and access their presentations online. While this feature is presently available everywhere, SlideShare was one of the first players in making this happen. Rashmi Sinha was one of the founders of the presentation sharing platform SlideShare. The company became so successful that in 2012, LinkedIn acquired the company for an amount of $100 million.
Let us know in the comments if you know any other wonderful women who have become leaders of their right or have started up and are doing extraordinary things. We at Startup Stories wish a wonderful Women’s Day to all the women in the world who are changemakers.
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- Suki: This Startup Wants To Transform Healthcare With Its Artificial Intelligence Tool
- 5 Successful Indian Startups Founded By Women
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