[Awesome Startup Employee] Samarpita Dasgupta: picking fashion over finance

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“The most defining moment of my life has to be the day when I decided to quit my job in finance and give fashion a shot. It changed my life forever,” says Samarpita Dasgupta, Head, fashion team at Roposo, a fashion focused social-network that allows women to discover and shop for new fashion products. Nominated Awesome Startup Employee by Roposo Co-founder Mayank Bhangadia, Samarpita gets her kick from watching dynamic market changes as well as the stability of classic trends in the fashion industry.

Strangely enough, while growing up, Samarpita’s life revolved around books - be it literature, fashion, or science. She did her MBA in finance following the general trend of those times but fashion, she feels, was her true calling. It eventually tempted her to take that leap into the world of fashion.

“I can’t call Samarpita an employee; to me, she is one of the founders. She is a great leader and has the ability to take sound decisions. She can change quickly as per the need, and is social and outgoing which makes her approachable and empathetic,” says Mayank.

At Roposo, trends are liked, curated, personalized and updated real time from multiple brands and e-commerce portals. An important feature of Roposo are editorials presented in the form of stories and features via which people are introduced to high street style, celebrity trends, styling tips, and other fashion trivia.

YourStory spoke to Samarpita about the fashion industry and her role in the scheme of things at Roposo.

The fashion way

Having closely worked with the team of Giveter that launched Roposo, Samarpita earned the experience that gave her an insight into product discovery. “The idea of a website in fashion discovery completely fascinated me because it was the first of its kind and it continues to be the only one of its kind. Roposo happened to us in the company of a few pizzas and a lot of tea,” she grins. Prior to joining Roposo, Samarpita was working for another startup called Fetise.com. Around the same time period she launched her personal label of clothes for men and women called Teroh in Mumbai. Though with her move to Delhi, Teroh was put on hold, Samarpita is determined she will revive it someday.

Mayank explains that till the company was nearly a year old, the team was all stag. It had no external funding and was at risk like any other company. “Girls would turn down the offer in spite of liking the idea. Sam was brave enough to take the decision to shift to Gurgaon from Mumbai and build an empire of fashion gurus,” he says.

Fashion for all

“Fashion is who I am. For me it is a statement and a way of life,” says Samarpita.  Her deep attachment to fashion continued irrespective of her education and early career choices. The learning has mostly been through personal research and observation. Reading up on the origin, techniques and witnessing the evolution of the same through Roposo has been her biggest learning, she feels.

The journey so far

The journey so far has been fabulous, she claims. She loves the excitement and challenges the startup brings. The icing on the cake, she claims, is the feeling of fulfillment and satisfaction that she derives from creating something which helps people shop better. This freedom to implement new ideas and the ability to brainstorm and fire fight along with her dynamic teammates adds to the joy. She claims that the happiest moment for her has been the recent Roposo Mobile App launch.

Industry insight

The fashion and e-commerce industry has been progressive. People are no longer scared of skipping the whole touch and feel ordeal before buying any product. With the introduction of an exchange system, sizing issues are also being addressed well. However, the future definitely lies in discovery, user preference mapping, extremely developed delivery mechanism, great after sales support. With more and more websites and products coming out everyday, users will definitely find themselves lost, so recommendations and an exhaustive search engine are definite parts of the future.

Startups

“I think every single working individual should experience working for a start up at least once in their life. Having worked for an MNC and start-ups I can gladly affirm that start-ups move you out of your comfort zone in the most fulfilling way possible. They help you push yourself beyond limits and reach a satisfaction level that you never knew existed,” Samarpita says.

Work and play

We strongly believe that what you love is fashion. It can be a simple cotton kurti for one person and a little black dress for another. So the entire concept about personalized fashion helps us keep our personal bias away while making recommendations. All the work that we do, be it product curation, algorithm for customer preference mapping or even our Mobile app; the focus has always been on helping people shop better.

“Beyond the realm of fashion I do a bit of reading and painting from time to time. Otherwise I am a social and outgoing person who likes to go out for karaoke, art exhibitions and music gigs,” she confides.

Team

“As big foodies we live the good life. There is no hierarchy and we are all friends who sit together, shop together and watch funny videos on Youtube,” she says. Samarpita brings immense value to Roposo according to Mayank. He sums up her role as,“Each employee adds an immense amount of value to the company. They are the bricks that build its structure. Samarpita is like the mortar that helps them all stick together so that the foundation stays strong and the company grows. Holding the team together, motivating them and leading them in a positive way to work harder is what I would say is her biggest value addition.”