With three outlets in the state, Andrew David Fernandes, the man behind the popular D’ziners brand of wedding suits and gowns, has come a long way since he took over his father’s shop in Bombay
Keeping a finger on the pulse of the business is key to any organisation’s success. And no one knows that better than Andrew David Fernandes. As the owner of D’ziners, one of Goa’s leading names in wedding suits and gowns, Andrew is always on his feet ready to personal attend to customers who walk in.
As a result, getting to talk to the man is quite a challenge, a fact which he himself admits, especially since he opened his third store recently in Panaji. Be it placing orders for fabrics over the phone or directing his workers around, Andrew is as busy as a proverbial bee. But then, being in the business for more than 17 years, he seems to have mastered the art of time management and therefore knows how to get the work done in his own unique style, and yet, still manages to squeeze in some time to talk about his journey as a young tailor in erstwhile Bombay.
“I always wanted to be a commercial artist, but then due to my father’s early demise, I was forced to take over my father’s tailoring shop called ‘Johnny’s Creations’ in 1985. Later, I decided to settle down in Goa in 1997. After closing the Bombay shop, I came here and started my own store in Margao. And since then we have been growing,” he says while taking a trip down the memory lane.
In business, it usually hard work and perseverance that pays results, but Andrew attributes his success to God. “Somewhere in between this journey, I met Jesus as a personal savior to my soul. Now I am an established businessman because of Jesus Christ. In fact, I am proclaiming the gospel through my clothes. My desire is not to make money but to serve people through my clothes. I try my level best to satisfy our clients as much as I can with the help of God. I was very excited when God gave me a vision that I will have my own shops all over India. And this vision started taking shape after I opened my second franchise at Calangute four years back and a new outlet at Panaji. I believe God is fulfilling my vision. I am open to the idea of opening more franchisees if anyone approaches me,” he mentions and runs off to a customer who has trouble deciding which suit to buy.
Andrew gives a lot of importance to workers and even considers his staff as his extended family. “I never abuse my workers; rather I treat them as my brothers and sisters. Even if I get annoyed on certain occasions, at the end of the day I apologise and make them feel my own,” he emphasies.
Finding skilled workers in such a business is always difficult, says Andrew. “We have a shortage of skilled workers. Nobody takes any interest in becoming a tailor, the reason being that there is a general perception that tailoring is a cheap and demeaning profession. In society, tailors are always seen differently, so we have to treat them properly by offering adequate remuneration. We need to make them feel that tailoring is a good profession to be in. And only when we start doing this we will see more tailors emerging as people will see the potential in the business. Even parents need to encourage their children to take up such skilled professions instead of forcing them to become doctors, engineers or lawyers. In due process, tailoring will become expensive because of skilled labour while readymade garments will become cheaper,” explains Andrew.
D’ziners specialises in wedding suits, jodhpuris, sherwanis, safaris, shirts, pants, wedding gowns, bridesmaid dresses, and more. When it comes to designs, Andrew says that unlike before designs now tend to change frequently as people get bored with the same old thing and want something new. “The concept of clothing has undergone a big change. Earlier, one suit would suffice for a lifetime, but today people have at least 10-15 suits in their wardrobes. Everyone is getting fashion conscious and trend setters in their own way. Each one is creating their own design and want therefore desire to look different from the rest,” he says in conclusion.