Every women has always felt the same agonizing thought of “I have nothing to wear!” even though their closet is brimming with clothes some of them brand dew and unused. Rashi Menda also had the same thought when one day two years ago she looked at her overflowing wardrobe and thought “ I have nothing to wear !” but unlike all the other women who just give sighs of disappointment , she came up with a brilliant idea and soon with a brilliant website called ‘Zapyle’. She realized that not many women have access to high brand clothes outside the metro cities and having had years of experience in retail and e-commerce the idea of putting up a website that can be accessed all around the nation with high- street pre-used fashion formed in her mind.
About Rashi Menda –
Rashi was 20 years old when she graduated her college and at that time she decide that by the time she turns 30 she would have a successful business of her own and would have settled comfortably. She planned her next 9 years precisely to be able to reach her goal. Her plan was to have a corporate job that she’d keep for three years. Work with a startup for 2 years, Retire from the 9 to 5 drill at 26 and get down to building her own empire. And slowly with hard work and dedication she completed all these goals of her. She first did a desk job in one of the big 4s for a year, than tired of working a desk job she quit it and went in search of startup opportunities. She learned everything there from hiring, team building, fund raising to a shutdown. She says it was like an MBA unrivalled by any Ivy League. After working, struggling and learning there for 4years and 5 months she finally quit it and started looking in the market for other ideas. She moved from cities like Bangalore and Delhi. While thus changing her locations and in search for a new job she found herself in a dilemma, of not being able to find trendy and chic clothes according to her liking, style and body type.
That is when the idea of zapyle emerged in her mind. It was a fashion central that catered to the Indian women’s need of fashion and style and at the same time helped put the not used clothes to use.
The idea was very easy looking but the journey it took was a hard one. Since Rashi was the single founder of zapyle all the burden of the work was on her shoulders. She had to build processes, hire the right people, and raise money to grow the business, all at once and all by herself. Some of the things she learned during her journey were –
- Listen to the advice given by everyone and look through their perspective , respect their thinking but do what you love , what you think is beneficial for your business and growth
- Hire smart people. A good business can’t be built only on one person’s idea it needs a team of smart people to help it grow it. They might ask for more salary but it is always advantageous to have smarter people on your team
- Don’t forget to manage your personal life. Make sure to have balance between your personal and work life.
With the idea of giving women the answer to their “I have nothing to wear” she successfully launched zapyle in 2015. She made sure that it gave each individual woman a personalized shopping experience. By the product she searched for to the clothes she ordered zapyle keeps a track of it and next time the customer logs in she will see an array of products according to her taste. A woman might filter the selection according to her preference and zapyle notes that and next time offers products in that range or style. Millennial are faced by the confusion of what to wear and what to choose, zapyle helps eliminate it by providing a special curate collection. It gives them clothes that suit their choice, style, quality and budget.
There still is stigma about buying pre-used clothes, and zapyle is trying its best to remove such stigma. When any customer wants to sell anything of value they make sure to check the authenticity of the product. The “marketplace” option helps the user to directly upload their product on the website. Tech image recognition identifies and recognizes the authenticity of the product and then only allows it to be up on for sale.
Along with such sections they also have international sections featuring brands like – Michael Kors, Tory Burch, Lagerfeld and Phive Rivers etc. they also have the mid segment category that focuses on being able to be the intermediate between high street fashion and premium fashion. A year ago they launched 10 mid-segment brands and saw a 500 per cent growth in just two quarters, including 42 per cent in the last quarter alone. There was lot of potential within this segment since there aren’t any other players catering to this audience and offering them styles at affordable prices. They wanted to fill this gap, and thus launched ISU.
Zapyle has now even launched an app that caters to every need of the customer, from buying to selling clothes. It’s like instagram but with a buy option.
It is hard to put a price tag on pre owned cloths. Brands which have huge discounts and are available easily everywhere are not put on the list. Instead the focus is on brands that are not such easily available and do not have high discounts. The price of a pre used product is finalized by first seeing how much it has been used, what is its quality , which brand it is etc.“Then the proprietary algorithm takes the data and gives the result of how much price to be fixed. A felt 25% commission charge is given by zapyle which includes all the charges of transactions.
Zapyle is changing with new fashion trends and will keep on changing. It will boost the economy and profits and make a new trend for pre-owned fashion in India.
Rashi is aiming to come in the list of Forbes 30 under 30. She built such a huge business all on her own in a short span of time. A creative and revolutionary idea made her what she is today, the owner and founder of a company almost everyone knows of. It might not be a multi-million dollar company but with hard work and dedication such as her the goal doesn’t seem too far.