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Zivame: Founding Story

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Back in the day, talking about lingerie was a taboo in India. However, times change and so do people!

An enthusiastic MBA student, Richa Kar, developed an online lingerie shopping platform in the year 2011.

The company had so far, raised $ 9 million from IDG Ventures India, Kalaari Capital and Unilazer Ventures. Alongside, Zivame counts Ratan Tata as an investor. Now that is big! Currently, Zivame is India’s leading online lingerie store which offers a variety of 5,000 styles, 50 brands and 100 sizes with a valuation of $100 million.

 

Zivame is probably the first in the online lingerie platform in India!

 

From then to now!

 

Richa Kar completed her engineering from BITS, Pilani, followed by her management studies from Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies in 2007.

Later, she worked for SAP Retail Consulting during which she found herself working for the famous lingerie company Victoria’s Secret.

The brilliant idea for her own lingerie business came to light when Richa tracked Victoria’s Secret’s sales, who was one of her clients at SAP. She observed the lingerie sales figures reached peaks overseas but, Indian women were not provided with the similar innerwear. While Richa was studying the Indian lingerie market, she realized the social embarrassment in India surrounding lingerie shopping. It was causing several problems for women as well as retailers.

Richa researched many lingerie stores and found out that women were uncomfortable buying inner wears as the stores had male salesperson.

 

In order to solve the issues, Richa came up with Zivame!

The name Zivame comes from a Hebrew word radiance. So, the main motive of this young lady Richa, is to help women understand their lingerie needs and purchase them without any kind of embarrassment.

 

Post the launch of the website, there were questions raised on the image of Richa’s family in the society. Her friends and family members wondered if she had to admit she was selling bras and panties on the web in the typical Indian language. Initially, Richa faced a lot of pressure but that didn’t stop her from achieving her goals!

 

There were a lot of people who also made fun of her business!

Richa couldn’t even find a place on rent because the landlords asked her what she was doing and she had to tell them she sold clothes online.

 

Richa says,

If you are strong, focused and passionate about what you want to do, everything falls in place.

Zivame also partnered with several media channels that launched Zivame bra advertisements that created awareness among women!

Alongside, the website also provided customers with the option of returning the products as well! With time, Zivame started getting positive response from its buyers!  

 

Richa’s first client was a man from Indore who bought materials worth Rs 7,000 and from then there was no stopping! Since the inception of Zivame, it grew from a small firm to a company of more than 200 employees. With her dedication toward her idea and work, Richa built Zivame which is now worth more than Rs. 681 Crore.

The online lingerie shopping platform Zivame, claims growth of 300% yearly! The company received its first funding of $ 3 million in May 2012, followed by another funding of $ 6 million in Dec 2013 and $ 40 million in 2015.

 

Zivame.com, now have more than 5 million followers and more than a million visitors per day.

According to Richa,

Worldwide, lingerie is the most exciting category in the women’s apparel segment. The Indian woman, who is more confident than ever before is indulging herself in lingerie to express her individuality. Zivame is the catalyst of this change; using technology to understand her better and providing her an unsurpassed lingerie experience.

 

So, If you have zeal like Richa Kar, you can achieve anything and everything!

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Emerging Startup Stories

Sabyasachi Mukherjee: Inspirational Story Of An Indian Fashion Designer

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Almost every girl dreams of wearing a Sabyasachi outfit!

Back in 2012, Oprah Winfrey visited Sabyasachi store in Mumbai, ignoring all other designers. Carving a niche for himself in a world of fashion, Sabyasachi Mukherjee is one of the Associate Designer Members of Fashion Design Council of India and the youngest board member of the National Museum of Indian Cinema. Sabyasachi, which started off as a local fashion label in 1999 with a workforce of three people, is today a renowned name in the fashion industry. Sabyasachi is the only Indian designer to be invited to showcase his label at the Milan Fashion Week 2004. When one thinks Sabyasachi, one thinks sarees. As of now, the brand has flagship stores located in Kolkata, New Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad. Limited pieces are also showcased by other retailers in various parts of India, as well as select international retailers in California, Atlanta, London and Dubai.

The journey of Sabyasachi Mukherjee so far!

Since the very beginning of his childhood, Mukherjee had a keen interest in handicrafts and craftsmanship. He was born in a middle class Bengali family. His mother was a professor in a Government College and his father had an average job. Growing up he always took the famous designer Rohit Khosla as an inspiration. At the age of 15, Sabyasachi decided to express his interest in fashion. However, at the same time his father lost his job. His parents refused to support him in his decision and they had no financial sources to pay for his further studies.

He ran away from home and worked as a waiter in Goa for a short period as his parents refused to give him the money for his NIFT exam. Being determined about his passion, Sabyasachi then sold all his books and solely paid for his education through relentless hard work. After graduating from NIFT in 1999, he decided to come up with his own label with a Rs. 20,000 borrowed from his sister. The store started off with only three employees at hand. He used to fix beds in the workshop and made his work his life. He would work on his designs through the night sometimes and this trend continued relentlessly for about five years. Sabyasachi debuted at the Indian Fashion Week in 2002. The Women’s Wear Daily praised and proclaimed him as the future of Indian Fashion and this encouraged him further to follow his dreams. Going forward, he made his first international runway debut in 2003 with the Grand Winner Award at the Mercedes Benz New Asia Fashion week in Singapore. The man was receiving immense praise from everyone and this was just the beginning. Sabyasachi went on to represent his label in several fashion events and 2006 was the turning point of his career. He was asked to showcase his collection The Nair Sisters at the prestigious Oxford University annual black tie charity dinner fashion show. That is when he grabbed everyone’s attention and people across the globe started recognising him. He represented his exquisite range of designs at the New York Fashion Week, London Fashion Week, Bridal Asia, Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week, Miami Fashion Week and the list goes on. Sabyasachi definitely knows the art of making an outfit look striking and phenomenal. In the year 2012, the designer styled a calendar for which Bollywood actress Neha Dhupia dressed up as famous painter Frida Kahlo who has been the designer’s inspiration. Sabyasachi Mukherjee’s Autumn Winter 2015 collection at Amazon India Couture Week (AICW) was a collaboration with French luxury footwear and fashion designer Christian Louboutin.

Apart from his national and international ventures, Sabyasachi works for a cause as well. He started a project called Save the Saree, where he retails hand woven Indian sarees on a nonprofit basis priced at Rs. 3500 and the entire proceed goes to the weavers of Murshidabad.This initiative is also strongly supported by Bollywood divas like Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Vidya Balan.

He made his fashion label Sabyasachi’s debut in the film industry with Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film Black for which he won the National Award in 2005 for the Best Costume Designer for a feature film. Impressed by his incredible designs, many Bollywood films featured Sabyasachi’s label in their films including Baabul, Laaga Chunari Mein Daag, Raavan, Guzaarish, Paa, No One Killed Jessica and English Vinglish.

Recently, Anushka Sharma wore a pale pink lehenga and Virat Kohli wore an ivory raw silk sherwani designed by Sabyasachi at their not so high profile wedding.

Apart from these celebrities, Sabyasachi’s clienteles include  Samantha Akkineni, Aliaa Bhatt, Rani Mukerji, Sridevi, Tabu, Shabana Azmi, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, Shraddha Kapoor, Sushmita Sen and Kareena Kapoor Khan and several other actors.

Apart from our national beauties, International actresses who opted for Sabyasachi are Renée Zellweger and Reese Witherspoon.

For the last 15 years, Sabyasachi Mukherjee has pioneered the use of Indian handlooms in his designs. His iconic Khadi, cotton and silk handcrafted outfits have won the hearts of people from all over the world.

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Inshorts: From A Facebook Page To A Rs.600 Crores Company!

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News insights from across the globe on one platform in just 60 words which is crisp and quick, is this not interesting and easy to go through for most of us? Categories like national, business, sports, technology and what not are displayed on Inshorts. The very famous Inshorts which started off as News In Shorts is a content discovery platform provider for both Android and iOS users.

So, how exactly did the idea of InShorts come to life? Like many other Facebook pages, Inshorts started off with the purpose of sharing information about the latest news. It was difficult to become popular by doing just the basic things. The founders of this interesting app came up with the idea of presenting news within 60 words and bang! This very simple yet unique idea changed the fortune of the masterminds behind this company.

The brainchilds of Inshorts includes Azhar Iqubal, Deepit Purkayastha and Anunay Arnav who back then decided to start off the firm during their last semester at IIT Delhi.

In an interview Azhar Iqubal said It was really easy to set up. Unlike other startups where it takes months to get off the ground, we were up and running in 3 days flat. The premise was deceptively simple they would provide their fans with snappy, 60 word updates of happenings around them.

It was initially available only in English, but they have recently launched in Hindi and based on its success, the app will soon launch in regional languages as well. During their college days, the three buddies observed that not many loved the idea of consuming news every day and came up with the idea of launching a news “in shorts.” Azhar along with his mates created a facebook page and in just a little span of time, they received an enormous interaction to the tune of more than 1,00,000 fans. Within a few months of the launch, the app fetched more than 10,000 downloads. Within a year, these entrepreneurs entered into the Forbes’ 30 under 30 lists, bagged the award for the Best Innovation App by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). Founded in 2013, this app now has more than 3 million downloads. The next step was obvious and the masterminds developed an app. By mid 2015, they had hit a 1 million users mark. Is that not huge?

To recreate the unique experience of reading a 60 words snippet, the news features an image as a card on the mobile screen. If readers would like to read the entire story, they can do so by following the link to a publisher’s website within the app. By the end of 2015, the ecommerce giant Flipkart showed keen interest in the idea of Inshorts and invested $ 4 millions. At the same time, Tiger Global Investors also invested a whopping  $ 20 million dollars.

Inshorts generate around 140 stories a day. The user interface is simple yet attractive, the user just have to swipe to go through the latest news and happenings around the world. The app will soon incorporate multimedia like videos, infographics, podcasts, blogs and others.

 

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The Inception Of Tumblr

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Explore. Post. Share. Repeat.

One of the most remarkable microblogging websites that is always open in one of our tabs is Tumblr. You can explore, post, blog and repeat, with its amazing layout and features this website has all of us hooked to it!

Here’s how the idea of Tumblr came to life!

The inception of Tumblr took place in the year 2007 when the founder of tumblr David Karp, was on an internship programme at the same place where Tumblr is headquartered at, New york.  Karp was always interested in tumblelogs (short form blogs). He was waiting for the right time to make it happen and establish a blogging platform to introduce his own tumblelogging platform. As no one had done so after a year of waiting, Karp along with the developer Marco Arment started working on their own tumblelogging platform. After loads of research and hard work, the website was finally under progress. In the initial days of 2007, Marcel Molina who was a consultant received a message from Karp out of nowhere. Karp was living in New York and he had seen Molina’s website Projectionist and used it as inspiration to create a new site he was launching with his friend Marco Arment. It was called Tumblr. Tumblr took the best of what Projectionist and another similar website Anarchaia had to offer, Karp combined the two in one platform. Tumblr was finally launched in February 2007. In no time two weeks after the launch, the platform had gained 75,000 users. How amusing! Arment left the company in September 2010 to focus on Instapaper. This media network is powered by an army of independent creators and is the home to an audience of more than 400 million unique visitors. 

By the end of 2011, Tumblr received an enormous $ 125 millions of funding from several investors including Union Square Ventures, Spark Capital, Martín Varsavsky, John Borthwick (Betaworks), Fred Seibert, Krum Capital and Sequoia Capital. In early 2012, Tumblr featured its first major brand advertising campaign in conjunction with Adidas, who launched an official soccer Tumblr blog and bought placements on the user dashboard. One of the most fascinating news it that Adidas was Tumblr’s first official big advertising campaign! This launch came only two months after Tumblr announced it would be moving towards paid advertising on its site Much of the Tumblr’s features are accessed from the dashboard interface, where the option to post content and posts of followed blogs appear.

The company was acquired by Yahoo in 2013!

Here’s how Tumblr works!

The site has a dashboard which is the main attraction for Tumblr users. Tumblr comprises of a live feed containing the most recent posts and uploads from texts, images, videos and links. The dashboard allows Tumblr’s users to upload a large range of content from video  short blogs.

With each passing year, Tumblr has gained prominence as a micro blogging platform which has allowed millions of people around the world to share whatever they like! The Tumblr.com has already achieved rapid growth and only seems like it is going to continue.

As of now, Tumblr is valued at $ 800 million.

 

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