As one climbs a mountain and gets closer to the top, every milestone becomes crucial, be it merchant stories, a delightful customer experience, or making the brand one of the big five e-commerce companies. Radhika Ghai Aggarwal, co-founder and Chief Brand Officer of ShopClues has been through thick and thin with her team, leading the company to be valued at 1.1billion dollars since January 2016. Making them an Unicorn company (start-up company valued at over $1 billion). Radhika is the first and only woman entrepreneur in the Unicorn club in India.
It was in the month of October 2011 that this Gurgaon-based company was founded by Sandeep Aggarwal, Sanjay Sethi, Mrinal Chatterjee, Devesh Rai, and Radhika, while they lived in the US. The founding team started small, with the main founding member, Sandeep, collecting funds where ever he could. Sandeep’s business partner and wife, Radhika talks about how they had to tighten their belts in the beginning, “He bootstrapped the company with his own funds and angel money that we raised from our friends and family, till we received institutional funding to the tune of $4 million in January 2012.”
What makes ShopClues stand apart from the likes of Flipkart, Snapdeal, or Amazon? Radhika answers, “They focus on structured and branded items in mobile, electronics, computers categories and have higher GMV (Gross Merchandise Volume), primarily from a small pool of merchants. We have an approach to merchandising which is unprecedented. Indians have very specific shopping behaviours, as reflected in many categories, and that forms the basis of ShopClues’ consumer engagement strategy.”
“I feel there are entrepreneurs who, had they stuck on for just a few more days, could’ve saved their enterprises from sinking.”
When a company grows, so do the challenges; and every entrepreneur faces times when they feel that giving up is the easier route to choose, but Radhika says, “One needs to show up every day and just put their heart into it.” All entrepreneurial journeys have bumps, but why do so many fail before they can even rise? Radhika answers, “I feel there are entrepreneurs who, had they stuck on for just a few more days, could’ve saved their enterprises from sinking. She further adds, “It really is about just showing up, because with that itself you’ve won 50% of the battle.”
ShopClues isn’t Radhika’s first foray into the start-up jungle. Her passion for entrepreneurship began with her opening a social portal for women, called ‘FashionClues’. Satisfied with her line of work, Radhika describes the joy she derives, “Seeing my team enjoy the work they are doing, I think that’s one measure of success – how happy your employees are – and every time I see a group of my colleagues laughing together, or sharing a coffee or enjoying what they’re doing at work, it brightens up my mood.”
Though she continues her work as the CBO (Chief Brand Officer) in ShopClues, Radkhika is wishful about taking some time off and writing a book, perhaps also spending more time reading.
A Bold entrepreneur, full of brilliant ideas, and a happy woman, Radhika Ghai Aggarwal proves that the sky is the limit, if you have the passion to reach for it.