“This isn’t a one-man shop,” he says. “We grew this business together and we split the roles. Radhika handles the design and the products, while I focus on management, logistics and distribution.
“What’s it like working with my wife It’s very difficult! It’s impossible! If I had a choice, I would prefer us – as a couple – not to work together. You end up bringing work pressures home, you argue about them and they can start affecting your relationship.”
Harjani’s stress levels haven’t been helped by the dire economic climate. “Oil. Food. Mortgages. All three have gone up at the same time. It’s eating into household budgets and consumers have less spending power. Fashion stores have inevitably taken a hit.
“The government and bankers are to blame. Bankers are absolute wankers. Go to them for a £5k loan and they’ll say, “No, I can’t help you”. But they’ll give billions to sub-prime people and lose everything in one shot.”
Harjani predicts that worse is to come. “It’s only just started hitting people now. Expect another bad six months. Ministers aren’t giving us any reason to be cheerful, neither are journalists. All they’re giving us is doom and gloom."
Hiro Harjani was interviewed as part of the My First Million series, in association with Orange.
Related articles:Aftershock entrepreneur: "Why run one store when you can run 500?"