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These twenty-somethings are living the startup life, queen size

Rekha Balakrishnan
1st Aug 2018
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These women began the exhilarating journey of entrepreneurship in the early days of their career, accruing so much learning along the way.

 While most women are figuring what to do and where to go in their careers in their early 20s, a bunch of women are willing to take risks and start up on their own.

They are ditching the comforts and security of a nine-to-five job, following their passion, learning from their mistakes but still believing in their dreams.

From agriculture and technology, to fashion and food, no sector is out of bounds for women who are in it for the long haul.

Here is a list of five women who have become entrepreneurs in their early 20s. Get inspired!

Esha Gupta – House of Zeniaa

 Twenty-three-year-old Esha Gupta launched her brand, House of Zeniaa, in 2017, following her passion for fashion. She chose to venture into the increasingly popular ‘modest fashion’ – especially in the category of abayas – that does not feature any premium brand in the country.

Based in Delhi, this bootstrapped startup offers a western wear collection, targeting women in the age group of 20-35, and a modest wear collection for those in the 25-40 age bracket. Prices range from Rs 2,000 to Rs 12,000, with an average of Rs 4,000-Rs 5,000.

Growing with Rs 4 lakh per month in GMV, House of Zeniaa is now open to getting strategic investors on board.

 

NeceSera – Riddhi Jain

After completing her BBA in Marketing and Information Systems and Operations Management, Riddhi was all set to move to Mumbai for work, when a month’s stint in her family’s garment business changed her perceptions forever.

She noticed that the apparel industry in India lacked high-quality comfortable loungewear. This sparked an idea in her to create nightwear for women using quality fabrics and out-of-the-box designs.

The name NeceSera was derived from nece, meaning ‘necessary’, and sera that translates to ‘evening’ in Italian. Riddhi’s initial strategy was to make customers experience the product through multiple popup shops, as “touch and feel helps one understand the quality and what goes behind each garment”.

Today, the brand sells its products in online marketplaces, and are priced from about Rs 500 for a T-shirt to Rs 2,800 for entire sets. The average basket size is around Rs 1,800-Rs 2,000.

 

Niharika Bhargava – The Little Farm Co

This 24-year-old has single-handedly built an organic foods brand that champions farm produce of the Madhya Pradesh hinterlands. She founded The Little Farm Co in Paharapurwa (about 16 km from Khajuraho). The Little Farm offers pickles, superfoods like flax and chia seeds, and marmalades using the produce – fruits, vegetables and spices from their own land. The Little Farm grows mustard and sesame and presses its own oil. Most spices used in pickling, like fennel seeds, coriander, carom, fenugreek, red chillies, and turmeric, are grown on the farm as well. The employees at the production unit are mostly women belonging to the socio-economically disadvantaged section of the society.

Aditi Verma – Aditi’s Corner

Aditi Verma’s strategic little “corner” is situated on the third floor of Bhoomi Plaza in Belapur, Navi Mumbai. The 21-year-old suffers from Down Syndrome, and had to undergo an open-heart surgery when she was just two-and-a-half years old. She runs the professional kitchen that dispenses close to 80 orders a day. She has two employees – one to help her cook and another to help with deliveries. She manages every function, right from taking orders, cooking, and deliveries, to book-keeping, maintaining inventory and bills. The restaurant serves all kinds of snacks – like Maggi, sandwiches, eggs, beverages etc., besides a wholesome home-made lunch comprising dal, rice and sabzi prepared by Aditi and her mother.

Aswini Srinivasan – 80 Degrees East

After completing her BTech, Aswini worked with close friend Pranesh, the founder of Studio 31, a popular wedding photography and video outfit in Chennai. Pranesh noticed her spark for creativity and encouraged her to start a restaurant in the city. They decided to name it 80 Degrees East after 80.1901° E – the longitude of Chennai, making it their food destination. The restaurant serves the usual array of cafe food like burgers, nachos, pizzas and desi fries, but also serves fusion foods that marry the East and the West. A standout dish on their menu is Bhel Pasta, which combines two iconic dishes - bhel puri and pasta. Other items worth trying are Bise Bele Pasta, which combines a popular South Indian dish with pasta. Similarly, the traditional Maggi and dosas are also served with an interesting twist.

 

 

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