Koskii- celebrating the girl in you.
Koskii stands 9 stores strong and they’re only getting stronger! They have established their name to be synonymous with the best ethnic wear South India has to offer. The company has a come a long way since its inception in 1992 as Mina Bazaar. Starting with its first store in Bangalore under the moniker of Mina Bazaar, the company slowly expanded to Bengaluru’s most prestigious locations— Commercial Street, Phoenix Mall, Mantri Mall, Jaynagar, Kamraj Road, Chickpet, Shivajinagar and finally the establishment of the most magnificent store Koskii Tower, which stands regal on Kamraj Road. With plenty of expansion plans in the future, there is no stopping the growth of Koskii!
Koskii traces back to the early 1900’s when a silk and cotton textile business was established by Abdul Rehman Badsha in Virajpet, Kodagu. The first retail outlet, CH Badsha and Co. were set up in 1914 at Mercara, the capital of district Kodagu and soon became the preferred choice for a growing clientele. A strong sourcing network of traditional textile, weaving and karigari centres across India was also built to ensure high quality and design exclusivity. The company continues to rely on and extend this legacy of sourcing connections even till this day.
The word `Koskii’, literally meaning girl, finds its roots in the Nawayati language spoken by the Nawayat community whose ancestry can be traced to sea-faring merchants and mariners from Arabia and Persia. Their ships would anchor along the Uttara Kannada coastline several centuries ago, where they settled in towns and villages and passed down food, language and cultural traditions that continue within the community even to this day.
A DREAM TAKES SHAPE
Starting with their first Mina Bazaar store in Shivajinagar, the brand soon expanded to Kamaraj Road, Chickpet and then to the city’s thriving shopping destination, Commercial Street. In 2016, after relocating back home to India from Singapore, Umar Akhtar, Founder and CEO of Koskii, recognized the need to develop a stronger identity for the brand which would garner Pan-India appeal. Thus, the launch of their Jayanagar store in 2016, marked Mina Bazaar’s evolution into Koskii- an exclusive collection of Indian ethnic occasion-wear backed with a retailing lineage of over a hundred years.
The brand ‘Koskii’, as Umar says, is a combination of expertise imbibed from decades of work in fields of IT, Retail Marketing and Corporate Management- all of which have helped the brand gain the recognition it receives from people today.
Koskii is continuously learning and evolving as a brand and continues to invest in its core capabilities.
CEO / Co-Founder
Persevering is a word that best describes Umar. He started working at the young age of 17, simultaneously juggling his studies while working at his father’s store. On completing his PUC, he went ahead to top his college, post which he acquired a Master’s degree in Commerce while still being fully involved with managing their business. On completing his masters, he ventured into IT where he worked consulting on different assignments in India, Canada, US, UK, Central Europe and Singapore. His 18-year career culminated in helping set up and head the Singapore operations of ThoughtWorks, a leading technology-driven consultancy. He was simultaneously steering the retail business for Mina Bazaar, with a farsighted vision that accelerated the expansion into multiple outlets. In 2016, he returned to India to fulfil his lifelong dream of owning a successful retail chain, giving rise to Koskii. Ever since there has been no stopping him as Koskii slowly but steadily expands to more and more cities in the country!
Chief Product Officer / Co-Founder
The mastermind Product Officer behind the brand, Haroon, has been rooted in retail since the ripe age of twelve when he helped out with the business in Kolar after school. While completing his graduation with a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce, he grew into overseeing all retail operations. He also began travelling extensively to craft centres across the length and breadth of the country to manage the supply chain and source exquisite products for the store’s collection. As Chief Product Officer, his extensive insights and observations acquired over the years help the brand offer the best of Indian apparel, textile and embroidery at the store.
COO / Co-Founder
Sameen acquired a Master’s degree in Computer Applications and worked for over a decade at Phillips on cutting edge technology and building world-class products ranging from audio and video coding to robotics and embedded software as well as thermoregulation for neonates. He quit his successful technology career in 2014 to apply his management skills and exposure to international best practices to further grow the business. He spearheaded the brand’s Commercial Street expansion and also set up their online presence. He leads operations and manages the brand’s strategies for new marketplaces.
Design & Branding
With a flair for design, qualified in visual arts from Chitrakala Parishat, Ayesha brings renewed energy and freshness to brand Koskii. An artist at heart, she creates dazzling colour combinations on canvas and has expressed her creativity through various mediums including paintings, illustrations, sketching, sculpture and other art forms. Her uncanny ability to help brands express their identities and personality led her into the digital space where she began to transform her creations into digital works of art. Ayesha currently sets directions for Design and Branding at Koskii.