Meet the women running online businesses and earning in crores
Starting a business is tough. Being an entrepreneur requires more than just capital, a product or service. From an idea, to acquiring capital, investments, advertising, marketing, and sales, every process brings its own set of challenges.
Once you start the business, sustaining and scaling it growth require determination and patience. Many entrepreneurs start upjust with an idea, low to no amount of capital and yet, they build a business that’s profitable.
With the availability of the internet and ecommerce platforms, starting a business is more accessible to people now than ever before. All it needs is a solid idea, enough capital and the revenue generated can run into crores.
Here is a list of women who began with very little capital but built businesses that are now earning in crores.
(Clockwise from top-left) Chinu Kala, Suruchi Parakh, Chhavi Singh, Rebekkah Kumar
Chinu Kala - Ruban Accessories
Chinu Kala was 15 when she fled her home due to issues in her family. Responsible for herself, she began selling knives and coasters door-to-door. She earned a meagre Rs 20 everyday. Today, her online fashion jewellery start-up Ruban Accessories has a revenue of Rs 7.5 crores.
After a stint in modelling, she began her first venture Fonte Corporate Solutions in 2016. However, she wanted to combine her love for fashion and corporate merchandising. So, she began Ruban Accessories in 2014 from a small kiosk in Phoenix Market City, Bengaluru. She began with a capital of Rs 3 lakh and today, the brand is listed on ecommerce portals like Flipkart, Myntra, Jabong and its own portal. It receives 1,000 orders on a daily basis and it also ships to UK and US through its own portal.
Rubans has also been selected for the Myntra Accelerator Programme, which invests in emerging Indian fashion brands.
Suruchi Parakh - Suruchi Parakh Couture
Suruchi Parakh began her clothing brand in a small garage studio in Surat. After graduating from NIFT- Gandhinagar and working with brands and designers like Varun Bahl, Suruchi decided to launch her own clothing brand.
Founded in 2015, Suruchi Parakh Couture produces Indo-Western bridal wear and outfits for special occasions. With just one tailor helping her to make the clothes in the beginning to a team of 15, business grew and eventually, she had to move out of the garage.
Today, she has a team of 80 people, a production warehouse of 4,000 sq ft and in 2018, earned a revenue of Rs 2.85 crore. From customised orders to ready-to-wear looks, her clothes have also been worn by celebrity clients such as South Indian actors Sukrutha and Manvitha.
For other women who aspire to run their own fashion brand, Suruchi says, “Don’t wait for the ‘right moment.’ If you want to do it, put in the right kind of effort and positivity, and I’m sure you will be able to achieve whatever you want!”
Rebekkah Kumar - Fourseven
Rebekkah Kumar first visited India in 1994 and she fell in love with the country, the art and culture, heritage, and craftsmanship. Fascinated by jewellery, the American decided to begin her, an online jewellery brand that manufactures unique silver jewellery in 2013. Her Delhi-NCR based brand works with jewellery manufacturers and artisans from across the country to handcraft pieces from 92.5 sterling silver adhering to international standards.
Even though she had never worked in jewellery designing, she uses her two-decade long experience in ecommerce product, brand, and business development at Microsoft and her MBA degree from MIT Sloan School of Management.
The brand currently ships pan India and in 12 countries across North America, Asia, Europe, and Australia, and have opened their first concept store in Gurugram. The business model comprises selling exclusively Fourseven branded items through an omni-channel model. Fourseven has also signed a licensing deal with Walt Disney India to produce Disney merchandise for men, women and children.
Chhavi Singh - Sacred Salts
Sacred Salts was not Chhavi Singh’s first tryst in the startup world. Chhavi’s first venture was Nestroots, a home decor brand that she started in 2016 with a bootstrapped capital of Rs 15 lakh.
However, her interest was always to launch a skincare brand. In 2018, she made her desire come true when she launched Sacred Salts, a premium skincare and accessories brand. It manufactures a total of 50 SKUs including skincare products, beauty, and bath accessories. It was also one of the first brands in the country to launch a milk face wash and scrub.
Chhavi’s Sacred Salts was able to clock a revenue of Rs 1 crore in just six months of commencing operations with 20,000 online customers. Its products are sold on platforms like Nykaa, Flipkart, and Amazon.in and are also available globally on Amazon.com, where they were able to hit 800 products in just one month.
(Edited by Rekha Balakrishnan)