KOSKII- celebrating the girl in you.
The word `Koskii’, 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 or 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.
Koskii traces its roots back to the early 1900s when a silk and cotton textile business was established by Abdul Rehman Badsha in Virajpet, Kodagu. The first retail outlet, CH Badsha and Co. was set up in 1914 at Mercara, the capital of district Kodagu which soon became the preferred choice for a growing clientele. A strong sourcing network of traditional textile, weaving and karigari centers across India was also built to ensure high quality and design exclusivity. Koskii continues to rely on and extend this legacy of sourcing connections even till this day. With its foundations strong, the business expanded to multiple stores in Mysuru and Bengaluru.
In 1992, the first ‘Mina Bazaar’ occasion wear brand was established by Saifulla Akhtar and his sons in Kolar. After years of working on building the brand, Mina Bazaar opened its doors to Bangalore in 2009.
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 shifting back 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.
After establishing their fifth store in Jayanagar, Koskii has been unstoppable and has spread their wings across some of the best retail destinations the city has to offer including Phoenix Mall and Mantri Mall. The latest and most magnificent of their stores- Koskii Tower was established in 2018 in the central business district of Bangalore and is spread over a sprawling space of 15000 sqft.
Koskii is continuously learning and evolving as a brand and continues to invest in its core capabilities. They have invested in fashion consultants for their in-house design studio and will continue to grow its design capability over the next few years.
THE A TEAM
Umar Akhter, 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 the store. On completing his masters, he ventured into IT where he then 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 fulfill 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.
Sameen Eajaaz, 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.
Haroon Rashid, 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 their first store 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 extensivly to craft centers 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.