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We bring you the journeys of some of these dynamic Indian women, who have set benchmarks in their chosen fields. Each of them is scripting her own success story in today’s world.
The Fashion Diva
PREETA SUKHTANKAR, FOUNDER, THE LABEL LIFE
Having spent over 15 years in the domain of ‘Style’ in India donning various avatars from stylist to publisher to producer, Preeta Sukhtankar has successfully engaged, interacted, learnt from and understood the ‘modern’ Indian woman across various media touch points. The Label Life was founded as The Label Corp by Preeta Sukhtankar in November 2012. She is the current CEO of the Label Life. At present, the company has over 50 employees, most from publishing or style backgrounds.
Preeta was faced with some tough questions. Vani Kola, an early-stage investor in the company, told her if they didn’t do something, The Label Life would just crash and burn. Her words had an effect. They raised a round of funding and launched three brands — The Home Label with Sussanne Khan, The Closet Label with Malaika Arora Khan, and The Trunk Label with Bipashu Basu — by 2013.
However, three brands didn’t mean they had everything sorted out. “We had no clue what we were doing; we were just launching brands. We barely had over 50 SKUs with The Closet Label and for over a year, we were at a measly number of 15 transactions a day.”
Thus 2014 became a year of reckoning. The numbers showed Preeta just one thing — they had good taste but not much else. Almost running out of money, the team got their lifeline in the form of a partnership with Amazon. Preeta adds that this partnership helped them understand their business at scale.
Sukhantar advices, “I urge all entrepreneurs to understand the importance of right hiring. With your core team, you can scale any mountain, even dive down that valley. You basically can’t do it alone.”
Wear The Shine
SHUCHI PANDYA, OWNER, PIPA+BELLA
Shuchi Pandya started Pipa+Bella in 2014 with a goal that a well-curated collection of fashion accessories should be readily available to everyone at guilt-free prices and through as many channels as possible.
As for the name Pipa+Bella, she reveals that, “Pipa in Spanish is a colloquial word for someone who is ‘bold/adventurous/risk-taking’ and Bella is Italian for ‘classic and beautiful’. We wanted our brand and jewellery to reflect both these personalities and cater to women who could relate to either or both.”
Talking about the opportunity, she says, “Jewellery is an impulse purchase, because of its ease of trial and ready-to-wear factor. More importantly, the demand for fashion jewellery is on the rise. Today’s youth is looking for a high-street fashion that has unique designs, affordable price, good quality and doesn’t absorb the fluctuating gold and diamond prices”
Raising funds for a business can be a challenge, especially for a young woman but Pandya made this difficult task look easy. She raised $650,000 from a Singapore-based company.
“We plan to expand both offline and globally in the next few months. We will be launching a new bag and makeup collection in with world renowned makeup artist Namrata Soni in the coming weeks.”
Sky Is The Limit
KANIKA TEKRIWAL, FOUNDER, JETSETGO
Kanika Tekriwal, an entrepreneur, is a relentless pursuer of hope, positivity and drive. Her energy is infectious. A marathon runner, a painter, a traveller and more, she is redefining her life every day. Tekriwal, the founder of JetSetGo, conceptualized to be the ‘Uber’ of the Indian skies. Few years back, flying a private jet was a dream, which she has made true with JetSetGo. “We are hoping to be the one-stop-shop to private jets globally. Our focus is to cater to the $18-billion growing in-bound travel market and the travel needs of the Indian UHNIs, who are expected to triple in the next 5 years.”
It has raised funds from Yuvraj Singh’s YouWeCan Ventures. Investors are not only adding monetary value to the business to help it to grow but are also adding a lot of strategic value by giving it validity and credibility. “We have some of the greatest investors, who have been integral to the growth of our business.”
Cashing In On
SWATI BHARGAVA, CEO & CO-FOUNDER, CASHKARO.COM
Swati Bhargava, CEO & Co-founder of CashKaro.com, always believed in doing something transformational and didn’t want to be just one of the faces in the crowd. That is the reason she decided to quit her cushy job as Investment Banker at Goldman Sachs London and take the entrepreneurial plunge. She started CashKaro, along with her husband, in 2013. In just four years, CashKaro has become a leading Cashback and Coupons site that offers cashback on over 1,500 sites.
She says, “As an affiliate site, we benefit our partners by driving traffic to their site and in return we get paid a certain percentage as commission for each transaction. A large part of this commission is then shared with our members as cashback. The balance that we keep is our revenue.”
“Our vision is to be the ultimate destination for savings in India, whenever you want to shop online, you always start your journey at CashKaro.com,” she says.
The Right Click
MANISHA RAISINGHANI, CO-FOUNDER, LOGINEXT SOLUTIONS
The techie expert Manisha Raisinghani leads the technology and product side at LogiNext Solutions. Perhaps, quite a men’s job to those who believe women cannot be good at technical stuff. Started in 2014, the company offers cloud-based solution for e-commerce and hyperlocal in five areas — last mile delivery (intra-city: All models including door-to-door, hub-to-door, hub and spoke), line haul movement (inter-city), ad-hoc reverse logistics and pick-ups and analyzing the delivery timings, distances, locations, and delay trend analytics.
For her, entrepreneurship means having the spirit, talent, belief, and passion to achieve your goals despite all obstacles. “I like to visualize and analyze every problem that comes to me. Leadership comes naturally to me; it’s all about finding the best possible solution to an issue.” Funding gives wings to one’s vision. She shares: “We believed in our ideas and went on to create the best product we could manage with our limited resources. However, we managed to garner enough interest and showcase superior potential to capture key clients and attract funding from Paytm and Alibaba.” At LogiNext, we have been funded by some of the best industry leaders, who actively invest in innovation. The support offered by them has been instrumental in our growth phase.”
All entrepreneurs should believe in their abilities and be ready to take risks. “If you are an entrepreneur, you must be at the helm of decisions that require quick and firm action. You must trust your instincts when it comes to directing your company.”
LogiNext enjoys bringing the latest technologies and innovations for its clients. “In next few years, we are planning to increase our reach from 10 to at least 100.”