Richa Kar is the founder and CEO of Indian lingerie e-retailer Zivame. Born in Jamshedpur, India, she completed her engineering at BITS Pilani in 2002. After spending few years working in IT, she moved to management studies and opted for Narsee Monji Institute of Management Studies, for her masters in 2007.
After her engineering, Richa had the opportunity to work with big brands like Spencers and SAP retail consulting, gaining valuable retail experience that would carry her into the start-up world. During her time at SAP, she found herself working with the lingerie company Victoria’s Secret. This platform where she learned immensely helped her in laying the correct foundation for her own lingerie brand Zivame. Victoria Secret market hindrances helped her understand the challanges in the India market for the lingerie brand. The conservative culture was a task of special sudy, which was assigned upon for Victoria`s Secret. While she was studying the Indian lingerie market, she realized that the social discomfort surrounding lingerie shopping was causing myriad issues for both shoppers and retailers. To remedy this, she created Zivame, named from the Hebrew word for “radiance,” to help women understand their lingerie needs and browse and purchase styles without embarrassment.
As the business grew, the company sought funding, raising $9 million in two rounds from investors including IDG Ventures, Kalaari Capital and Unilazer Ventures. In 3 yrs, Zivame had grown to a team of more than 200 members. It is now India’s leading online lingerie store, offering more than 5,000 styles, 50 brands and 100 sizes.Richa has a very simple funda which works well for her business. Before the launch of every new range of lingerie, she always gives a thought to it, that if its useful enough other than the styling aspect and if its worth buying for a lady. Being a women herself she can very well related to needs of a lady. This has also helped her in setting up a proper chat platform for her online customers where the customer care is available online as well as on calls, and are well educated to discuss the size, shape and comfort needs of a women. This is also ensure in her retail outlets where the lady representative is not just helping her customers navigate through the range of lingerie but is efficient enough for a matured women body needs and comfort wear for all ages and all necessities including pregnant customers which may have special requirements.
This mindful and considerate approach for hers, towards her women client has not just made her conquer the lingerie market but also ensured customer loyalty and repeat orders making her sustain the competitive market and kept her brand Zivame growing.