Backed by the power of e-commerce

Empowerment

Decades ago when women stormed the men’s bastion and turned entrepreneurs, what was most expected was a new beauty parlour at the corner of a housing society or a saree or jewellery shop in the neighbouring market.

The fetish with clothes and jewellery somehow remains constant but the medium of sale has changed with time. New age women entrepreneurs have taken to e-commerce to showcase their business skills to the world. Metrolife shares few stories that have a modern twist to the tale.

One such story is of siblings Riddhima and Saloni Sayal, who had a family business in exports but after Riddhima completed her Political Science (Hons) from Lady Shri Ram College, she felt the need to create her own identity.

The internet came to her rescue and after research she ventured into the handbags industry. “Initially, we didn’t want to invest in setting up a store. Since online is coming up in India, we decided to launch risabags.com, which helped us to create a boutique brand,” says Riddhima.

She feels that it is important to have an aesthetic sense rather than a mere degree in designing. But whatever nitty-gritty is required in designing, her younger sister Saloni, who is pursuing her graduation in fashion designing and merchandising, proves to be of help.

While Riddhima and Saloni wanted to create their identity, Monica Gupta, the founder of craftsvilla.com, felt the urge to provide Indian handicrafts a global exposure. “It all started with a road trip to Kutch when I had taken a year long break after completing my MSc in Accountancy from US. I realised that the place is a hub of beautiful handicrafts available at cheap rates as compared to their prices in urban cities. I realised that huge chunks of money was being pocketed by intermediaries rather than the craftspeople whose next generation is moving out of the profession due to the economical crunch.”

It is to fill this gap that she started with craftsvilla.com and purposely chose the online medium because she felt that India’s rich art and craft could not fit into a physical shop. “At the moment we have one lakh products online, it is physically not possible to place them in a store,” she says.

Sushma Earaiah has a similar tale. After completing MBA from IIM Bangalore Sushma worked with Microsoft for four years. “I knew the corporate world and wanted to do something on my own rather than playing safe. I thought, if I don’t take up the challenge now then it will be never.” Her urge and research made her find out that the segment of jewellery is not being catered well. “There was a lot of clutter available online and when a consumer visits a jewellery portal, he or she doesn’t know what to buy.”

She thus decided to launch scrunchh.com which is her initiative to “identify and curate best jewellery designs for Indian women,” says Sushma who hand-picks designs from India and even abroad. “I did have a passion for jewellery and was already into programming so I could relate to e-commerce,” she says adding that this is her full time venture now and will remain her focus since it has grown bigger than what she had envisaged!

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