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This Designer Has Seen the Whole Revolution of Fashion Industry Today, Payal is the most renowned name in corporate uniforms designing in India.

By Punita Sabharwal

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Entrepreneur India

Whatever you do, be different! That was the advice my mother gave me and I can't think of a better advice for an entrepreneur. "If you are different, you'll standout" -Anita Roddick

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It is difficult to believe that just about 20 years ago, "Hardly any woman in India wore western clothes and nobody understood what designers were. We were just glorified tailors with a little bit of education," tells Payal Jain. She grew up with lots of music, arts and dance at home and was even poised to become an architect. But the love for arts, a binding interest to draw and the budding creativity led her to pursue a fashion and designing course in the United States.

Today, she is the most renowned name in corporate uniforms designing in India. Out of the comfort and protection of her family, Payal had to struggle while staying all on her own in the US, which made her confident and independent that she tells, she wasn't. Somehow, she always had an entrepreneurial zeal in her apart from a strong sense of Indian belongingness that led her into rejecting attractive job offers in US as she came back to India to lay the foundation of her small workshop in the then cheap locale of Hauz Khas Village in South Delhi.

She says, "I don't know what did I think, but really, it was a long shot. I started making western clothes and nobody wanted to wear those in India. Even the working women, in corporate, airlines and hospitality, they all wore sarees." At the time she began, there were hardly 20-30 designers like her-self. Since then, "I have seen the whole revolution of this industry," she adds.

However, her journey into corporate uniforms started with an unexpected offer from the Nairs of The Leela and since then, she has done more than 200 hotels in India and abroad. Talking about her worst corporate client, she says, "It is very difficult to say that. That would be like giving up. I don't belive in doing that. The harder the client is, the harder will I work probably."

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Punita Sabharwal

Entrepreneur Staff

Managing Editor, Entrepreneur India

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