[100 Emerging Women Leaders] Neha Suyal is turning lifestyle of millennials in India’s hinterlands into reality
Why should beauty and fashion be available only to those who live in big cities? Neha Suyal, who hails from the small town of Kichha in Uttarakhand, wanted to make fashion accessible to all, especially those living in Tier-II and III cities.
While people in smaller towns admire the style of celebrities, influencers and creators as much as those in metropolises, they often have to wade through the lack of the necessary knowledge and access. Shopping from neighbourhood stores, they often miss out on the trends.
“Even the ecommerce stores are sometimes too technical for people in smaller regions to understand,” Neha says. She identified the need for a platform that is conversational and addresses the needs of millennials living in small towns with window shopping, understanding the catalogue, and making shopping easy and fun.
She realised this during her stint at a product engineering company, Quess Corp Limited, Bengaluru, where she was building products for India and had an opportunity to study the Tier-II and Tier-III markets closely. In 2015, while the concept of social commerce was still in the nascent stages, Neha kept a keen eye on the trend.
A techie through and through, Neha had pursued her engineering studies at Roorkee College of Engineering. She later moved to Bengaluru and worked with companies like Hewlett-Packard, contributing to building new tech products. In 2015, she decided to pursue a short-term course at Stanford University (California, US).
She realised that the gap between the metropolitan consumer and those from Tier-II and III cities could only be bridged using tech.
With, a social commerce platform for millennials from Tier II and III cities, Neha is building a creator community of nano- and micro-influencers. Users at Woovly discover and shop lifestyle products instantly via short video content on the platform.
Her biggest challenge, even to date, is multitasking. Being a hardcore techie, she sometimes struggles with other aspects of building and running a startup.
“It took me a lot of time to understand some of the business nuances and cope from being just a techie to an entrepreneur. I went to a lot of meet-ups and networking forums to gain a better understanding of things,” she says. Neha believes in experimenting and taking quick decisions—a trait she developed over time.
She advises women founders to network and meet like-minded people in the field.
“Entrepreneurship is a very lonely journey. You need people who have done this. Keep your focus intact and build according to your user’s needs and not for investors. If the users are happy, all the other facets of the community would come along,” she adds.
Edited by Kanishk Singh