Women taking the E-Commerce Route

The world of e-commerce is always buzzing. Thought not the easiest or quickest route to start-up but it has definitely become so popular that you have every big brand launching its products on e-commerce platform.

Everyone wants to tap into the multi-billion market that India presents. With both partners working and not much time to go shopping, nowadays people are opting for online shopping. Pernia Qureshi is one of the first women entrepreneurs who started with the path breaking e-shopping experience with her company perniaspopupshop.com.

E-commerce is not about easy money for these women. They have found a model to bridge the gap between luxury brands and niche products and offer a large variety for the discerning customer who is always 'hungry' for novel and quality products. These women have created unique platforms which have a customised user experience where users don't just shop or book hotels but interact, share and have fun. They have created a balance between e-commerce and social networking that gives the user a customised experience. Their portals are as unconventional as their personality and their products are as unique as their style. Ditching the tried & tested road, they chalk their own path, trusting their womanly instincts.

"Accessing the unique qualities of womanhood and not pretending to be like a man, takes a woman to success," says Sabine Heller, President and CEO of asmallworld.com. With a sharp eye for detail and zeal to do things 'differently', five women aim at breathing a new life into the boring e-commerce space. Femail catches up with these talented women and finds out what makes them tick and how their portals stand out in the crowd.

First in fashion
"We wanted to create a website that bought Indian fashion to everyone from London to Lucknow with just a click," says leading stylist Pernia Qureshi. Guided by her immaculate sense of style, Qureshi turned her passion for Indian fashion into her profession. Her site is a platform for admirers of Indian fashion to get access to exclusive Indian designer wear.

ernia's Pop-Up Shop is every fashionista's dream come true. The designer products are curated by Qureshi herself, "I felt that there was a gap in the Indian designer market. The designers were unable to reach their targeted customers across the globe and vice versa. With Pernia's Pop-Up Shop the aim was to cover this void and to create a one stop shop for Indian fashion," she explains. The site has carved out a niche space for itself thanks to tailor made pocket friendly collections by leading designers

Shake it baby
It's a blessing if you enjoy and love what you do and that's why this young mother calls herself a 'lucky girl!' Meet Rate Nehra, founder– BabyJalebi.com, an online baby lifestyle store currently operating via Facebook. "I enjoy every day at work as my days are filled with quirky designs, vibrant colours and cute little toys," she reveals. Nehra credits her 13-month-old baby girl for being the author of her idea.

"When my husband and I were setting up our baby's room, we found that the products in the market were either too generic or boring. They offered no sense of individuality and so setting a 'special' space for our daughter became a daunting task," she shares. This gave her the idea to create a platform for parents as well as kids where one can find chic and custom-made baby products.
ehra carefully handpicks every product and believes that 'it's the individuality' of the items that set them apart from the mass scale produce available. "Our site does not sell what you necessarily need like bottles and diapers. We sell what you wish you had," she states. The utilitarian storage boxes for the nursery, monogrammed bed linen and trendy diaper bags are some of the hottest selling products on the website that also offers customisation services for baby products and setting up a nursery.

Talking about e-commerce in India, Nehra feels that it offers a sea of opportunities. To women who are planning to venture out in this space, she advises, "There's no point shooting in the dark. One must have a road map of where you want your business to go."

It's a small world

Travelling means going off the beaten path for Sabine Heller. "I'm one part creative, one part business; one side defiantly Indian, the other distinctly American," says Heller, President and CEO of ASMALLWORLD, an invitation only social networking and travel portal. Since its inception in 2004, the site has replaced fold-out maps with friendly faces. Today, the best way to get to know a city inside out and visit the choicest of hot spots is through ASW. What sets it apart is the sense of belonging it offers to its members, who can feel at home anywhere in the world and the level of interaction where users can communicate, guide and connect with one another.

oday this coveted site offers access to exclusive global privileges, with steep discounts at hundreds of brand partners like the Mandarin Oriental and TAJ Hotels & Resorts. Its jet-setter CEO believes in seeing cultures through the eyes of people. "It is human interaction that makes an experience rich," she says. Her idea of a great luxury holiday involves a spa and she considers Goa to be the best place in the world to holiday with friends.

"Girls like to talk a lot on holiday and going to the sea side affords you the time to do that," she adds. The beautiful and talented CEO sees every problem as a blessing in disguise and de-stress by walking somewhere beautiful or by hitting the gym. Her secret to success- build a great product and never lose sight of your consumer!

Delight of discovery

Flipping through the glossy pages of a magazine during those rare 'me time' moments in London, Suchi Mukherjee stumbled upon an idea that led to the birth of her quirky and edgy fashion & lifestyle website Limeroad.com. "I found some jewellery I really liked and I just wanted to buy it. Since I couldn't do it, I saw a huge potential for an engaging and entertaining platform where women can not just view recommended products based on market trends, but also express their likes," she shares.
A unique combination of innovation and technology, the website enables women to discover, share and shop affordable products across categories like clothing, accessories, shoes & home-living. In fact, the site's brilliant eye candy magazine magically melts the difference between online and offline shopping experiences.

She adds, "Today, women are not looking for just discounts, they want beautiful products and they love to engage with each other. Social interactions are the best way to discover great stuff and hence this is tightly woven into the LimeRoad experience."

Plumber on call

It's a busy day! You have to leave for a job interview and without warning your bathroom plumbing goes kaput. For most of us, finding a good and reliable plumber is more challenging than cracking an interview. Single and working, Shaifali Agarwal once found herself in the same situation, but instead of cursing her bad luck, she decided to fix it. Her restlessness led her to launch EasyFix Solutions, a one-call repair and maintenance service provider, in 2011. "I viewed this as an opportunity to make a difference. I wasn't sure where it was going, but I knew in my heart that it was going to change the way repairs are done in the Indian market," she reveals.



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