Fashion enthusiast Nidhi Malhotra is targeting the European market after launching an Indian clothing supply business.
The 35-year-old mother of two from Prestwich launched Mantra Creations last year and supplies mainly Indian garments, including saris and tunics, directly from the subcontinent to retailers in the UK.
She is now looking to retailers in Europe, particularly in France and Sweden, where she says the market is under served.
She said: "There is a huge gap in the market for retailers in Europe for a supplier with direct links to India.
"The South Asian population in Europe is growing, and there is a demand for good quality, fashionable ethnic wear and a need for a business like ours to provide the latest range of fashionable Indian clothing.
"We are talking to a number of retailers in France and Sweden who have told us that the current demand for ethnic wear is not being met.
"There are a number of opportunities in those countries which we want to explore."
Nidhi, who is originally from India, where she completed a diploma in textile design and worked as a costume jewellery designer, came to the UK 12 years ago after marrying husband Arun.
The former housewife said she had always wanted to run a business.
She said: "I wanted to wait until my children were both at school so I can concentrate on running a business, whilst still being there for them when they come back from school.
"My background has always been in fashion and I’m always looking out for the latest Indian designs.
"In India, my family are in the textile trade and run their own manufacturing facility and design workshop so naturally I wanted to launch a business in this area.
"I decided to launch a supply service because, having spoken to a number of retailers in the UK, it was apparent that the current supply chain wasn’t working for many of them.
"Quite a few retailers told me they often struggled in getting access to manufacturers in India and often had to go through middle men which often cut into their margins.
"It meant the process was long, complicated, disorganised and lacked communication to the point that some of the smaller retailers even travel to India with an empty suitcase and fill it up with garments to sell back in the UK."
Nidhi decided to team up with the family manufacturing and wholesale business in Delhi to supply products directly to UK businesses.
She said: "I am able to deal directly with retailers with no middle man to worry about. It’s been a success so far and we’re supplying to businesses in Manchester, Blackburn, Illford and Leicester as well as online retailers."