We all know that India is a developing country and people are really working hard to change the status of developing country to “developed”. India has very bright minds which are either shining or are ready to shine. All they need is a platform to turn the switch ON of the bulb.
In India, you can find many SMEs and Startups which are either stuck somewhere or are huddled in a corner with no idea on how to move forward but the following young entrepreneurs have crossed all the hurdles and obstacles which have arrived gracefully in their way.
Let’s know how they are different from the rest.
FALGUNI NAYYAR (Nykaa.com)
The Ex Managing Director of Kotak Mahindra was into financial services for almost 25 years. After quitting her job, she took the entrepreneurial plunge and started a wellness and beauty company by the name of Nykaa.com. The IIM Ahmadabad graduate launched her website in 2012 and is constantly building up by addition of more on more luxury products.
Nykaa is all set to reach a turnover of Rs.250Cr. She has been a stockbroker & an investment banker. Understanding business plans & financial projections were things that came easily to her. She took part in a lot of IPOs as an Investment banker. Seeing value creation all around, it was but natural she yearned for starting something on her own. Nykaa did a lot of things differently in the e-commerce industry. It is among one of the few e-commerce companies which are inventory led. As a business head, she knew first things come first – a team was very important. As first employees, she had the COO, the CTO, & Chief Content Officer hired. She also understood that more than the discounts, the customer is looking for a full range of products. Also, everything sold on Nykaa is sourced directly from the brand.
Nykaa also launched their private label which now contributes to about 10% of the sales at Nykaa. Nykaa is very close to breakeven. They might come up with an IPO very soon that will provide exit as well as consolidation to investors who have invested close to Rs.180 Cr in the company, namely, TVS Capital, Harsh Mariwala, Max India, and Munjal Family Office. Nykaa is in talks to raise another round of Rs.75Cr at an expected valuation of Rs.3000 Cr.
We wish Falguni Nayyar all the best
ADITI GUPTA (Menstrupedia.com)
Periods are still considered a taboo in most of the parts in India, generally the rural parts. The girls who are on their periods are not allowed to enter the kitchen, temple and are not even allowed to touch any family member. Aditi Gupta first got her periods when she was 12. She still remembers and still pities that 12-year-old self, who was treated by her mother as someone who has done something wrong, something impure. Though educated she grew up in a traditional home where talking about such things was a taboo and the entire discussion about menstruation was shielded from the male members. Even in school, she recalls, that the entire chapter on this basic biology of all women was skipped by the male teacher.
She kept on using cloth as buying a pad was too much for a dignified family. Finally, at the age of 15, she mustered the courage to go to the market & buy the pad herself. During her post-graduation, she met Tuhin who she later married. Tuhin had a boy sibling so he never knew about menstruation apart from what he studied in the school textbooks. However, seeing Aditi go through the cycle every month, he wanted to help her more by educating her more. He researched and told so many things about menstruation to Aditi that even she didn’t know.
This made Aditi realize that if an educated woman like herself wasn’t aware of something that affects her so routinely, there would be millions who would be facing even more difficulty. She took a yearlong project in menstrual awareness. This became the founding stone for menstrupedia.
Mentrupedia.com, the brainchild of Aditi Gupta brings awareness about menstruation in a very simple & easy way, so much so that they advise that even a 9-year-old girl can read their comics. The comic book shows that how the members can embrace the periods and they have a guide to hygiene and health of girls and how they can be active and normal during their periods.
The site has more than 1 lac visitors per month. The comic book has been such a hit that it has been shipped across to South Africa as well and it is planned to be launched in at least 8-10 Indian languages & 3 foreign languages.
Aditi is one crusader who has picked up a cause that affects 50% of the total population. We strongly recommend being a part of her awareness program & supporting the initiative.
SWATI BHARGAVA (cashkaro.com)
Another investment banker, this time from Ambala, worked with Goldman Sachs for about 3 years after having studied in London School of Economics. The cupid had already struck. Swati married Rohan, her batch-mate from LSE in 2009. Both together started PouringPound in 2011. The great success that the cash back industry was having in many countries led Rohan and Swati to start up PouringPound. In the UK, the affiliate marketing segment that time was 3-4% of the whole e-commerce market.
Very soon in 2013, she, along with her husband & business partner, Rohan, launched the site cashkaro.com. They are working with over 500-600 brands that include Amazon, Snapdeal, Jabong etc. What sets cashkaro.com apart is that unlike other coupon sites, they have Price Comparison, Product Search & cashback in addition to regular coupons & offers.
With the Indian e-commerce industry slated to grow at more than $100bn in the next decade, the stage looks set for the players who already have the experience & maturity in this nascent industry. Of course, disrupters would be there but the existing companies are also changing the rules of the game with each passing day.