Neha Asthana Meena: Guiding Those Around Her To Be Independent Through Consistent Improvement | CEOInsights Vendor
Neha Asthana Meena: Guiding Those Around Her To Be Independent Through Consistent Improvement

Neha Asthana Meena: Guiding Those Around Her To Be Independent Through Consistent Improvement

Neha Asthana Meena,     Founder

Neha Asthana Meena


The Indian fashion realm has gone through multiple paradigm shifts over the last couple of decades. The easy accessibility and increasing awareness for international fashion can be attributed to many of these changes. Regardless, this renewed interest has given a breath of fresh air to the Indian fashion industry. With that said, this ever increasing appeal for international fashion has started to undermine many traditional clothing industries which was already a niche market segment. At a time like this, one pioneering fashion brand that aspires to bring back traditional Indian fashion and artisans to the forefront is Aagman Couture.

Aagman Couture' is a pioneering fashion brand that was incepted with passion for Old Lucknow by the acclaimed fashion couturier, Neha Asthana Meena. This Jaipur-based couture unit was launched in 2018 and has since then made its way into the hearts of the fashion enthusiasts residing there. From gorgeous lehengas, sarees, simple salwar kameez and western outfits-this couture collection showcases all your favourite traditional & modern ensembles. Under the guidance of Neha, the brand has been able to make impressive strides in the market by creating a niche for themselves within a short amount of time.

Aagman Restaurant is the sister organization of Aagman Couture which is located in Georgetown, Demerara-Mahaica, Guyana and it is run by Neha’s husband Dr Raj Rishi Meena. Growing from humble beginnings, Aagman Restaurant has also been to cement their legacy in the restaurant industry of the country and over the years, they have developed into a celebrity restaurant in the country. Aagaman Restaurant aspires to offer a fine dining experience like no other to their customers and this coupled with their unique and ever-evolving cuisine have helped the restaurant to create a lasting impact on the country’s restaurant market.

In an exclusive interview with CEO Insights, Neha and Dr. Raj talks more about how they tread their own path to glory in different industries.

Can you talk more about the inception story of Aagman Couture and Aagman Restaurant as well as its vision & mission?
Neha:I was born and brought up in Lucknow and owing to that reason, traditional Lucknowi clothing has always been close to my heart. As time went by, I saw the slow regression of traditional clothing industry in Lucknow. At the same time, there was immense market potential in this segment if I play my cards right. This is what lead to the establishment of Aagman Couture. We as a brand seeks inspiration from one of the oldest embroidery techniques in India Chikankari. This 400 years old embroidery can be traced back to the pomp and splendour of Mughal fashion. And our mission is to empower women to feel like they are the best version of themselves.

I strongly believe that I am a custodian of the brand and our end goal is to bring awareness to Indian handicraft and promote these artisans. We believe that we can build a platform where these artisans can show-off their skills while at the same time improve their finances.

As part of our expansion plans, we are currently in the talks of opening flagship stores in many locations across the country. More importantly, as of now, we are very close to achieving our dream of 'taking Chikankari with our unique twist from the busy streets of Lucknow to the glitz and glamour of International Fashion Week'.

Dr.Raj:I am a MBBS graduate from All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi after which I worked in England for three years. After coming back to India, I completed my MBA in Healthcare and Hospital Management. After stints at reputed organizations, me and my wife along with my parents moved to Guyana.

I always had that entrepreneurial bug in me and from a very young age onwards, I was keen on starting something of my own. At George town I was looking for opportunities to make this dream come true and that’s when I got an opportunity to enter the restaurant industry. Through a lot of hard work and perseverance, we have been able to introduce new cuisines to the people of Guyana and they are welcoming it. Even with the changing demographic of the country, we have been able to remain at the top and that just goes off to show our reputation.

What are your thoughts on the changing dynamics in the Indian fashion industry?
Neha:Fashion is an ever-evolving phenomena and as someone who is working in this domain I make sure that I keep up with the upcoming trends and news in the fashion industry. Apart from that, I believe customization will be a crucial facet going forward in the fashion industry. For our customers, we offer immense customization opportunities owing to the fact that for us, it’s not just about clothes, it’s about a feeling that people get to
see who you are actually inside just by showing it on outside. And I believe that this has been the cornerstone for our success.

How do you deal with the market challenges and negativity?
Neha: I believe that challenges are part and parcel of running a business and this is especially true for a fashion brand given the dynamic and unpredictable nature of the industry. Even though, the pandemic has created a new norm, I believe that we dealt with that with limited struggles.

We streamlined our existing website and conducted several virtual exhibitions so that the customers can view and purchase our products hassle-free. We trained our employees on the digital aspect of our operations and this experience have helped them to learn and improve considerably from a technological standpoint.

Dr.Raj:I was a doctor and jumping headfirst with Aagman Restaurant into a totally different business segment in a foreign country. Many had a pessimistic view on this but I did my research, worked on my weaknesses, and kept believing in myself. I never let these outside noises drown me and I kept moving forward. Looking back at my journey, I feel like, despite overwhelming odds, I have been able to tread my own path to success.

How would you define success and as seasoned business leaders, what would be your advice to the coming generation of entrepreneurs?
Dr. Raj:Success can be defined in different ways and it can vary from person to person. For me success is doing some thing that makes you happy and gives you a sense of accomplishment. In my case, when I look back, I know that I did things that I am passionate about I don’t have regrets in the decisions that I took and for me that is success.

Neha:For me, every mistake that I make is a learning experience and I believe that this learning curve is crucial if you want to develop yourself as a business leader. Aspiring entrepreneurs of tomorrow should also have the same mentality and apart from that, make sure that you work consistently to achieve the goals that you have set for yourself.

Neha Asthana Meena, Founder, Dr.Raj Rishi Meena, Owner
Neha Asthana Meena, Founder:A pioneering business leader, Neha aspires to be a change bringer in the Indian fashion industry through her unique offerings. At the same time, she strives to empower women so that they can become independent and pursue their own dreams.

Dr. Raj Rishi Meena Owner: He has high hopes for the growth potential of the company and under his guidance, Aagman Restaurant aspires to establish their presence in neighbouring countries in the future

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