Rashi Gulati Menda is a young and energetic woman entrepreneur who has come this far with her diligent approach and belief in her dreams. She had gained enough exposure in the field of marketing, data crunching and brand development but never had tech background earlier. She did BA, Economics and International Business from University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Prior to founding Zapyle, she remained involved in various activities like strategic alliances & marketing, tax analysis, etc.
The idea of founding this online platform for buying and selling pre-owned luxury wear came to her after realizing that luxury wears are used only twenty percent. She is an inspiration for women who aspire to touch skies and have talent to do it. With limited resources it was tough to find right people to work with but she sustained this business and secured Zapyle with her meticulousness. Investment was a concern earlier but Zapyle has recently attained $1 million in seed funding from a bunch of investors from Bangalore. Read more about this determined woman entrepreneur in her own words.
Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service.
Zapyle is a C2C marketplace for luxury products at discounted prices. The mantra is simple to discover, sell and buy fashion. I wanted to bring in a platform for fashion-conscious women in India. We all love to buy luxury products but sometimes it’s not available around us or its above our income levels. Zapyle is a platform where women who have access things lying in their closets in great condition can sell them of on Zapyle and there are women who are always on a lookout for bargain prices can buy from this platform.
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
We only use 20% of our closet 80% of the time. True story. That’s a ton of money and inventory just lying around! The inspiration behind Zapyle was to find the answer to the universal problem of having nothing to wear – or managing our closets. “Two years ago, I’d look at my own closet with an assorted collection of unopened, unworn shopping bags sitting on the floor – and still find myself saying, ‘I have nothing to wear!’
Just like me; millions of Indian women stock their closets with stuff worth over one billion dollars every year and still have nothing to wear. Nearly a third of their closet is never worn and another third is worn once or twice at the most. I wanted to change that. I wanted to create a platform that assists preloved clothes and accessories in finding new homes in new wardrobes, so nobody will ever have the problem of feeling like they have nothing to wear, and have fun while at we’re it! And thus, Zapyle was born.”
What is your life mantra?
My life mantra is simple to work hard. Success only comes to those who work hard and make things happen for themselves.
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
The most challenging part was to find the right people to work with. Since, I don’t come from a tech background – leading a fashion-tech company was the biggest challenge for me. I have started reading and learning different coding languages, which is surely helping me to overcome this challenge.
How did you overcome those challenges?
Google – Seriously, google has answers to all. If I don’t have an answer to something I just google it and read more about things that I never knew about. Thats how I’m learning how to code.
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
We have raised $1M as the first round of funding from a real estate and investment company in Bangalore.
How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain?
We started working on the product 3 months back, I believe the day you form your comapny you need to start marketing, validate your product, have constant feedback coming in. It really helps to build a brilliant product.
We started marketing through different social media channels and today we get a lot of presence on our blog and other social media. We have some loyal followers who are constantly motivating us and inspiring us to do more.
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
1. Ability to work hard
2. Ready to learn anything and perform any role on the team (we’ve had all nighters several times and I happily take the role of coffee boy and delivery boy haha)
3. Be a great decision maker: Be a great listener but do what you feel is the best for the team.
Everyone will give you gyan but you should be able to differentiate between what will work for your company and what will not !
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
I use Slack for work conversations – I personally think it’s great for the work communications and its very easy to use.
We also use Asana to track each other’s work. It helps us perform our task better and on time. For tools I use Mix panel for tracking our user-behavior. I think it’s a great tool if you have an android or iOS app.
Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.
I plan my day every morning. I reach my office 15-20 minutes before everyone else comes in and list all my to-dos on my desk. We also have stand-up meetings every morning. Where each one of us on the team updates each other on the things we will be working on. That way we all know about each other’s day.
Share any one habit which you wish to change in yourself.
I personally feel there’s a lot that still need to work on – As I mentioned earlier to be successful one should be willing to learn everything and anything – I only learn things when I feel the need of it. I have been working on it and now I’m putting efforts to do things that I have never bothered to learn before
Answer in less than 50 words
One tip to success:
I will answer it in two words – HARD WORK
One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:
Don’t listen to naysayers – If you truly believe in something, go ahead and do it ! There will be a lot of people who will say its a silly idea or you can’t do it. Have faith in yourself, nothing is impossible if you believe in yourself.
One most important lesson that you have learnt till now:
Always believe in yourself and keep meeting new people – Sometimes, by meeting others you discover something new about yourself.
What are your plans for next 3 years?
For next three years we have plans of growing Zapyle to be the top C2C marketplace for fashion products. We see our self building a fashion community and solving the problem of women – of having nothing to wear.
We are going to achieve all this by creating features that will create a better user experience for our users.
If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?
I wouldn’t do anything differently, I have had great learning’s from past work experience. While building this company I have definitely learned a lot and keep using those learning to build a better company.
What are your top three getaway destinations?
1. Delhi – I am from Delhi and my parents live there – I don’t miss a single chance to go back home.
2. New York – I heart this city for a simple reason – Fashion !
3. Spain – Love it for its culture, for its lovely architecture and beaches. favorite places there Seville and Barcelona
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.” – Steve Jobs