What do you call a woman with incredible style, insightful intelligence, and unabashed ambition? The answer: Rashi Gulati Menda. She saw a problem, and came up with a solution that many have readily embraced.
We hope to enable women across the country to keep their closets updated without spending a fortune.”
Rashi is the founder of Zapyle, a one-stop-destination for pre-loved luxury items including apparel, handbags, footwear, and accessories. Members can discover, buy and sell luxury fashion items through Zapyle. Speaking about it, she says, “The creation of Zapyle was inspired by some of my own experiences. While living in Bangalore, I realized that it was difficult for women in this city and several others to shop luxury items. We hope to enable women across the country to keep their closets updated without spending a fortune. In fact, the very name Zapyle, reflects the rapid speed at which one can keep pace with fashion trends, as it’s a portmanteau of the words Zap and Style.”
I had to get my idea sanity-checked. I held exhibitions for pre-loved fashion in Delhi and Mumbai.”
A go-getter from the beginning, it’s not surprising that Rashi has chosen the entrepreneur way. She says, “I have always been hardworking and curious to learn more. I remember I was 14 when I started reading The Economist. From economics and the finance world to founding an online fashion store – it came with a lot of thought process and hard work.” Rashi spent a good deal of time doing her groundwork before jumping into her own set-up. She prepared herself by learning the ropes and earning the right business skills. “Working for 3 years with one of the Big 4s and start-ups was hard. But it taught me work ethics. I learnt how to network, sell my idea, and communicate clearly.” For a meticulous person like Rashi, this wasn’t enough. She says, “I had to get my idea sanity-checked. I held exhibitions for pre-loved fashion in Delhi and Mumbai. I got some great response and feedback from those dry runs.”
We recently introduced a host of the most popular international fashion brands that have never before come to India, straight from stores abroad.”
Building a reliable team, getting investment for her pioneering venture, and dealing with the expenses of scaling up have been obstacles faced and successfully overcome by Rashi, because she wouldn’t take no for an answer. Sharing her experience, she says, “Raising the first round of funding was hard as we went through about 50 rejections, but finally came through. This taught me that one shouldn’t lose hope, and should believe in their model because only then will others believe in it.” Rashi humbly admits that leading a tech start-up being a non-tech person has been her greatest challenge. But not one to sit idle, she has been acquiring knowledge to help her get better at her job. She says, “I believe, if you are a CEO – you have to be a chief everything officer, otherwise it is hard to be successful. In the past few months, I have been reading a lot about different coding languages and attending several tech events.”
Wanting to maintain the novelty of Zapyle, Rashi is changing things up. “We recently introduced a host of the most popular international fashion brands that have never before come to India, straight from stores abroad. We are also introducing a subscription model soon. This model will help reach out to a much younger audience between the ages of 22-28 years. This will give them a taste of owning luxury handbags, leading to them wanting to buy pre-loved and brand new luxury eventually.”
One who has lived out and done well following her own advice, Rashi says, “I’d say, always take risks. Something good will definitely come out of it.”
The risk of a bold life-altering decision might be great, but the risk of doing nothing could be far worse. Rashi Gulati Menda chose the former, and she couldn’t be happier.