Shattering the taboo around lingerie shopping by curating a successful retail empire that makes it possible at the click of a button, Richa Kar has truly transformed the way we look at lingerie shopping. The founder and former CEO of the successful lingerie e-retailer, Zivame, brought a much-needed spotlight and efficient solution for battling the discomfort Indian women felt around lingerie shopping. This blog brings you her entrepreneurial vision and inspirational story of creating an internationally renowned brand like Zivame!
“Being able to fulfil a certain need is most gratifying.”
Education and Early Career
Born and brought up in the city of Jamshedpur, Richa Kar completed her graduation in engineering from BITS Pilani in 2002. She further pursued her masters from Narsee Monji Institute of Management Studies in 2007. Kickstarting her career journey, Kar worked with SAP Retail and Spencers. This is where she got first-hand exposure and work experience in the field of retail. During her time with SAP Retail, she worked closely with Limited, which is the owner of the world-famous lingerie company, Victoria’s Secret.
Her close association with Victoria’s Secret brought her the realisation that there is still a lot of discomfort around the topic of buying lingerie in India. This is where the idea of opening a one-of-its-kind e-retail brand came to her mind and the birth of Zivame happened. Kar noticed that her own mother was shy and uncomfortable talking about lingerie, which only reiterated her confidence in starting this venture. She chose the name Zivame because of the beautiful meaning it holds – Light of God.
“I guess conviction in one’s belief is the greatest driver.”
Success Story of Zivame, The Lingerie Revolution
Richa Kar was adamant about setting up Zivame and carried out extensive research through which she found that branded innerwear was very limited. She had the vision that there was extreme potential in the industry and as an e-commerce business, it would be easily accessible to women.
She began Zivame by accumulating funds from her family and friends and then pitched the business idea to top investors like DG Ventures, Unilazer Ventures and Kalaari Capital which later became investors in her e-retail brand. Richa Kar’s vision and intelligence proved to be very profitable and soon her company grew both in size and finances. Zivame is now one of India’s top lingerie store with more than 200 members. It is home to more than 50 different brands of lingerie and a wider user base. Zivame delivers its services throughout India except in the Lakshwadeep Islands. The company has also recently started the physical distribution of its products.
The Journey Continues
Richa Kar feels that lingerie is an extremely important part of a woman’s life and it should be treated with respect. Having the choice to choose from a variety of brands also helps in liberating women as they should not be ashamed about it. Buying lingerie is a recurring need and it’s about time we stop thinking of it as a problem.
Even today, one of the biggest reasons behind the success of Zivame is that it helps girls and women find the right size – a size that fits. Most shops don’t have the sizes available even though they are being manufactured by the company. So to have all sizes easily available is definitely a brilliant concept and idea brought forth by Richa Kar.
Lesser Known Facts About Richa Kar
Here are some lesser-known facts about Richa Kar, Former CEO and Co-founder of Zivame:
- She is a very active Twitter user and is one of the most influential women in India.
- To give an impetus to her startup, Kar put her entire social life on hold for two whole years!
- Zivame got its first order within 5 hours of its launch!
- The Indian Venture Capitalist, Vani Kola is her mentor and guided her to understand the scope and probabilities in the area of lingerie business.
- The co-founder of the company was the one who invested 30 lakh rupees in the venture.
- Richa Kar took an off just for one day for her wedding and was back to work the next day!
“If you are strong, focused and passionate about what you want to do, everything falls in place.”
Also Read Famous Women Entrepreneurs in India
Breaking stereotypes and working diligently on her vision and ideas, Richa Kar has brought the lingerie revolution in India and bravely fought taboos against lingerie shopping. For more such entertaining and motivating content, keep following us on Leverage Edu!