Anuja Joshi, the CEO of Interflora India talks about premium floral gifting and floral decor
Anuja Joshi, Co-founder & CEO of Interflora India about changing the way India experiences premium floral gifting and floral décor, filling the gap in the market for luxury floral solutions and Hyderabad’s love for blue hydrangea
Almost everyone loves blooms of lisianthus, roses and hydrangea when gifted or attending events beautifully done with flowers. Over the years focussed on integrating learnings about the complexities of the Indian gifting and weddings market, Interflora India has become a formidable brand that is synonymous with tasteful décor and gifting in the country.
CE caught up with Anuja Joshi, Co-Founder; CEO, Interflora India, who was in the city to conduct an exclusive DIY workshop on floral arrangement. Talking about what brought her to Hyderabad, the alumnus of the London School of Economics, Anuja says, “At the moment we are in 25 cities and we had launched the brand two years ago in Hyderabad during the pre-Covid times. During the Covid time we didn’t get the proper opportunity to interact with who’s who of the city. So this workshop is a way for me to interact with them.
The demand in Hyderabad was very high, it has a good mix of clients, with a shortage of a luxury player like us. Even the wedding venues are great in the city like the Taj Falaknuma Palace. So, we thought of being in Hyderabad now — the timing for us is also perfect with festivities in full swing. Interestingly, the first wedding we did for Interflora was in Hyderabad in 2017 when we had just launched. Hyderabad loves blue hydrangea and hampers, especially the big ones. Come festivity the city really picks up.”
The multi-faceted entrepreneur Anuja Joshi, an educationist turned entrepreneur has always been a go-getter! From setting up and running an IB school in Pune, Maharashtra to heading a large, successful gifting & décor solutions company, she has successfully worn many hats! As work led Anuja to travel across the globe, she came across Interflora, the luxurious floral gifting brand, sowing the seed of a new business venture in her enterprising head! Identifying a huge gap in the floral gifting and luxury décor landscape in India, Anuja launched Interflora India in 2017.
Spearheading the India chapter for the legacy brand since then, she has been at the forefront of changing the way India experiences premium floral gifting and has conceptualised and produced floral décor for some of the largest weddings and events for Ambani’s, Jindals, Mariwala, Alia & Ranbir Kapoor, Gucci, Dior, Sonam Babbani, House Of Misu, Anamika Khanna, Kunal Rawal, Karan Johar’s birthday and many more, filling the gap in the market for luxury floral solutions.
“When I used to travel abroad, I loved the range of flowers available there. When I came back to India, I saw a lack of options even though the flower industry in India is a 2 billion dollar market. It is fragmented with no big brand players. So, we got Interflora into India. It is a 100 year old brand established in1923 with the vision to revolutionise the floral market and luxury gifting space. Now after five years and 25 cities, I can say the journey was a roller coaster one. Flower is a very fragile thing, it needs to be temperature controlled, back-end logistics and cold-chain alignment. When we came to India we saw that none of these were available.
We had to work from scratch, right from working with the growers to the end market. In fact, for us, Covid hasn’t been a bump in the ride, instead a boost to the online space,” says Anuja who is also a trained classical dancer and an interior design expert.
Anuja makes sure that every bouquet they deliver is created by their trained florist. “We are not a franchise run model, the entire experience is done by us. From choosing the flowers, to packaging and delivering within 4 hours, all are done by our team. As for weddings, unlike before where flowers were used to just fill spaces, we have made sure to revolutionise the segment. Now weddings mean flower arrangements. We talk to the couple months in advance to know about their preferences, their story to bring in a more personalised look. For the Alia-Ranbir wedding, they wanted a very intimate wedding so got it done accordingly. We don’t repeat our designs, each wedding is curated specially for the couple,” she says, adding, “By end of the year we want to expand to another 10 cities. We are also foraying into products made from flowers, like the floral infused teas with olive leaves with multiple health benefits, candles and gourmet chocolates all with floral fragrances.”