This local entrepreneur shares her journey and the road ahead in this exclusive interview.
To practice the ancient art of yoga, you need specialised yoga clothes that can make you breathe and gain flexibility so that you get the best results. With the vision to allow yoga enthusiasts to exercise in harmony, Bengaluru girl Malika Baruah who has a vast experience in the fashion and retail industry, set up Proyog. And it all started when Malika was looking for yoga wear for her own practice.
The Bengaluru based entrepreneur whose brand is present not just across India, but also in US, Europe and Australia reveals, “I could not find good yoga wear for myself, it was as simple as that. The only options in the market were made of polyester and nylon, which are not conducive for yoga. The entire world is wearing sportswear and calling it yoga wear. We started with a clean slate by asking “what would be the key ingredients of the best garments to wear for yoga?”
“I moved to Bengaluru for a job about 15 years back and never moved anywhere else after that. The city is great for entrepreneurs, as you can meet a lot of people and get inspired. I studied at Apparel Merchandising and Design at the SNDT University, Mumbai and have been fortunate to explore many facets of fashion industry in the last many years of health giving workout. I started my own web design company, Binary Bulb. Prior to that I was heading design at Levi’s India,” shares Malika whose experience spans Indian and International brands from learning pattern-making in Paris under Pierre Cardin, to heading creative departments at high fashion brands.
Her love for yoga and travel inspired her desire to achieve design that makes comfort tactile. “I started yoga to address a health problem and it helped cure not just my body, but also made me calm and focused. My husband Dave Banerjee is also my partner in this venture. I created fabric for the world’s most advanced yoga wear.”
Talking of the challenges that she had to face, Malika likes to paraphrase Reid Hoffman, “An entrepreneur is someone who jumps off a cliff first and then figures out how to build a plane on the way down.’ When you are creating something that does not exist everything you do requires ingenuity and determination. The word challenge to me is something that comes to you from the outside. Entrepreneurship is self-inflicted.”
And when she’s not at her design desk, Malika confesses she loves to give time to her other two passions — food and travel. “I love creating with my hands, which has led me to take up pottery, sculpting, dyeing, painting and cooking. A few years ago I became a certified open water diver. I’m a water baby and a science fiction buff. I’m equally passionate about kettle bells.”