Hyderabad: Located in the bylanes of Parklane in Secunderabad, Andhra Hosiery has been the go to shop for many Hyderabadis for decades. And how the shop came into being is a true rag to riches story. The business of selling hosiery clothes for men was started by Mohd Khasim on the footpath near Mehboob College in Secunderabad in 1939.
For almost 20 years, Khasim was selling men’s hosiery like vest, socks, and handkerchiefs on the footpath and had developed a deep bond with his customers. And after earning enough money, he invested it in a small shop in Secunderabad which now comes to be known as Andhra Hosiery.
“My grandfather’s family came to Hyderabad from Saudi Arabia and was into the business of selling garments of all kinds. He also followed their footsteps and began selling hosiery clothes bought from various parts of India on the footpath. Once he earned enough money, he started one of Hyderabad’s first store to sell hosiery items. It was in the year 1960 that the shop came into existence and has remained in the same spot since then,” says Mohd Haroon, current owner, Andhra Hosiery and the first person from the third-generation to run the business.
This was also the same time when Haroon’s father and Khasim’s eldest son Mohd Ibrahim joined the business at a tender age of 10-12. Since he was the eldest in the family, Ibrahim also had to discontinue his education and help his father in growing the business. After getting trained and gaining the expertise of the business, Ibrahim was keen to expand the shop – not only in terms of size but also availability of garments. While till now, the shop was famous for men’s hosiery garments, Ibrahim brought in other garments like women’s hosiery, readymade clothing, bedsheets, towels and others.
Although the shop in Secunderabad looks very small from outside, but Haroon informs that it is a big store that has a variety of garments. “My father is the man behind the growth of the shop. Although, he bought in new products but he never compromised on quality and price. Although we might look like a retail outlet but we actually sell all our products on wholesale price which leads us to have repeat customers from different parts of the world,” says Haroon.
In terms of expansion, the shop has always believed in slow and steady growth. That is why almost 20 years later in 1980; the second shop in Abids came into being which was bought by Ibrahim’s brothers, Mohd Moosa and Mohd Yousuf. The shop also has all the garments that the Secunderabad outlet has and is run by the brothers themselves. While Mohd Yousuf passed away recently, the shop is being run by Moosa and his sons since then.
The death of both Khasim (founder of Andhra Hosiery) and Yousuf is treated to be the biggest setback for the family. “In terms of business, we never treated any loss as major, but when we lost our grandfather and my uncle in 2010 and 2013 respectively it definitely impacted us emotionally. Their teachings will always be cherished by all of us in the family,” a teary-eyed Haroon says.
The third-generation owner of Andhra Hosiery now looks after the third shop in Somajiguda which was opened eight months ago. With new-age ideas in mind, Haroon has a host of expansion plans on the anvil for the shop. They plan to open two new outlets in Kukatpally and Dilsukhnagar in the next two to three years. Apart from this, they also plan to join the digital bandwagon by having a dedicated online store.
According to Haroon, his cousins – the third generation – is also very enthusiastic about joining the business. “Since my childhood I have always wanted to join the business and have learnt all the tricks of the trade from my uncles and father. I have started from managing accounts to having a shop of my own; this business is my only dream. Similarly, all my cousins are also very keen to look after and continue our legacy going ahead,” says Haroon.