Launching Into Lingerie – Richa Kar And Zivame

Richa Kar Zivame

In a conventional Indian Society, buying lingerie is, more often than not, an unpleasant experience. The shady shops operated by middle-aged men are not the ideal place to buy your lingerie. But we all got a savior named Richa Kar, who launched the online lingerie brand Zivame. 

Richa Kar was born in Jamshedpur and came from a conventional family. She pursued a Master’s degree from the renowned Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NSIMS) in 2007. 

A Radiant Idea

After graduating, she worked for Spencers and SAP retail consulting, which gave her valuable retail experience. One of her clients was related to Victoria’s Secret, and the experience of working with them made her realize there were not many stores providing lingerie on the same scale in India. 

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To further observe the lingerie sector, Richa visited various malls and shops and observed that women feel shy about buying lingerie offline as shopkeepers are primarily male. Despite braving an uncomfortable experience, they end up with the wrong type of lingerie as they didn’t receive fitting and styling tips from such shops. 

Richa initially faced difficulty in executing her idea. Her mother was uncomfortable with the idea, and her father did not fully grasp it either. However, Richa’s determination toward her goal was rock-solid, and her hard work and determination built the company Zivame, worth more than Rs. 681 Cr. 

The company’s name is called “Ziva,” which signifies “Radiance” in Hebrew. Richa launched her radiant startup in 2011 using her savings and Rs. 35 lakhs borrowed from friends.

She faced rejection and criticism during her initial days, and people were making fun of her venture. Renting a place was a significant issue as she had to lie to landlords about selling clothes online to get a spot. Despite all this, Richa was determined to establish her brand, and boy, did she!

Richa hit big when she got her first client from Indore for materials worth Rs.7000. Following this, she received her first funding of $3M in 2012, a grant of $ 6M in Dec 2013, and $40Mn in 2015. 

Zivame’s products are affordable while still being high quality. Zivame’s consignments have reached all Indian states other than Lakshadweep. With e-commerce becoming mainstream, Zivame quickly extracted the maximum out of this domain by being amongst the early adopters. Richa Kar jumped onto the e-commerce bandwagon as a stepping stone into a lucrative business in the lingerie category which is worth much more.

The company has raised $9 million from various big names in the industry, like IDG Ventures India, Kalaari Capital, and Unilazer Ventures. Zivame is India’s largest online lingerie store, offering its customers 5,000 styles, 50 brands, and 100 sizes. Zivame also boasts 800 indirect partners and 60+ offline stores.

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