Neha Kapil Pathak - Personal Shopper For Women - OWNER at STYLE DIVA
An exclusive interview with Neha. She talks about how it all started, what is a personal shopper and why hotels need to get her on-board! 1. Tell us how the journey started?
I am a post graduate in tourism and hospitality management
.I started my career with Hyatt Regency,New Delhi as a front office
executive. After working with Hyatt for a year I got an opportunity to
enter the world of retail.I have 5 years of experience in the retail industry.I have worked with some of the most prestigious high end brands like Moschino,ravissant,Christian Audiger,H20 plus and reebok.
I have always had this urge to create something of my own.To build a
business which is not only a different concept but which I will also
personally enjoy.After a lot of brain storming I realised that shopping
is something that I love.And people have always appreciated the clothes
that I wear or things that I decorate my home with.I put in a lot of
thought to whatever I buy.Its something that I really enjoy,so why not
turn it into my business idea. Most people would consider shopping frivolous. In my opinion shopping is an art.There is a lot of
hard work that goes into buying the right thing from the right place at
the right price.One would wonder why does anybody needs advice with shopping.But
we tend to forget that India is a country of a billion population and
not everyone is fashion conscious or aware of what looks good on
them.There are many people who are not very confident about
themselves.In spite of having a lot money there exists a population
which needs help.My services are exclusively designed only for women.
2. What is a personal shopper? A personal shopper/Image consultant is someone who helps people in
understanding about themselves,their body types,what kind of clothes
they should wear,how they should carry themselves,what hairstyle they
should sport,how to apply makeup.A personal shopper helps them in accentuating their overall personality.
I personally take my clients on a customised shopping trip in accordance with the client.Before venturing on a shopping adventure I first discuss with my perspective
client what are their expectations,what would they like to add new to
their personality,what kind of wardrobe change do they require,what sort
of budget are they looking at.After this discussion we go on a
personalised shopping session where I help them in choosing the right
attire which is most suitable for them,make them aware of what colors
look best on them,what cuts they should favour.
3. Could you tell us about your clientele?
This service is very beneficial for foreign nationals who are new to the city.Foreign nationals
are the most vulnerable,since they are new to the city and do not speak
the local language,they can be easily taken advantage of.Since I have
expert knowledge of the Delhi market I take them to the right place to
buy the right product at the right price.
I have tie ups with some of the top Indian designers .I am aware of all the high end brands and also of the local market.
As per their requirement I prepare an itinerary.I do all the research
before hand and all they have to do is to sit back and relax.This saves a lot of
time for the client.My mission is to create an experience that is most
enjoyable and will want them to come back to India time and again.
4. Do you see hotels offering this as a service to their upmarket guests?
Yes, I think that all high end hotels should offer this unique service
for their upmarket guests. This is a very exclusive service.All top
notch hotels in the west offer this service to their guests.But in India
this is fairly a new concept and I don’t think hotels here are making
use of this one of its kind service.Hotels
here provide quality service and accommodation but if they truly want to
raise the bar,its time that they started providing this epic service to
their high end guest.Most foreign nationals and even NRI’s are
pleasantly surprised that such an exclusive services is available in
India. Its time for the hospitality industry to wake up and smell the
coffee.We all know how uncomfortable it can be for your VIP guest who is
a first timer to India,going out alone for shopping.For someone who is new, shopping
here can be a harrowing experience,with most shop keepers looking to
cheat and selling their product at triple the prices to the foreigners.I
am sure we don’t want them to take this negative experience back with
I am sure that they would really appreciate it if they are accompanied by someone who is educated, worked with high end brands,smart,aware of the latest happenings in the fashion world,expert knowledge of all the luxury brands,expert of the local market,can advise them on what to wear while shopping
in the local markets,help them with their currency calculations,speaks
the local language.When my clients come to me for help,it becomes my personal mission that they do not get cheated.For me their trust is more important than minting money.
Most of my clients are foreign nationals and NRI’s
5. What do you see as challenges?
I feel this field of work has a lot of potential and has a great future
ahead.The only challenge I feel is that people are not aware of this
service.An awareness needs to be generated.Most people would confuse
this service with that of an guide.This thought process needs to be
changed.We need to understand that these clients are extremely high end.
We cannot let a common guide who knows nothing about the needs of these
very special guests accompany them.These guides have their own personal
agenda, they are more interested in their commission than helping the
guest.They have no qualms about letting the shop keeper cheat the
client.To deal with your upmarket guests you need to have someone who
thinks at the same level.