Lingerie for the longest time has been a taboo topic in India. However, with Richa Kar starting up her own e-commerce portal which deals with different types of lingerie, women are coming forth to buy new and more cutting-edge brassiere.
Richa Kar had an engineering degree from Pilani post which she worked in an IT firm. However, she was always interested in learning how businesses worked which is why she went ahead to get a MBA degree from NMIMS. After completing her MBA, she worked in the retail sector where studying a global lingerie brand was her job. This got her thinking about the category in India which was underdeveloped and unexplored due to various reasons like presence of male salesmen, unavailability issues etc.
However, this idea wasn’t completely accepted by her parents initially as selling bra-panties in the country isn’t considered to be a respectable profession. With passing time, the apprehensions started wearing off and her idea started blossoming.
In 2011, Kar started the website called Zivame with 35 lakhs which were her own savings and contributions from friends, however, soon she got funding from Kalaari Capital and IDG Ventures. Post the initial funding, Zivame has been able to raise $48 million from Khazanah Nasional Berhad, Zodius Technology Fund, Unilazer Ventures, IDG Ventures India and Kalaari Capital. This money has been used to up the ante when it comes to customer service by developing new products and marketing.
Zivame, in Greek, means the radiant me and has grown leaps and bounds in the past five years with sales rising by 5x in 4 years. Currently, the brand has a fitting salon in Bangalore and plans to launch many more across the country. In the future, she plans to make the company bigger and fill the existing gaps in the lingerie sector.