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Beautiful clothes here.
So can you tell me a little bit about some of these?
This is Ankiti Bose.
She's 27, a fashion junkie and on course to become the first Indian woman to co-found a billion dollar start-up.
I think to be an entrepreneur, or to do anything, you have to be a pathological optimist.
Bose is CEO of online fashion marketplace Zilingo.
She started the business with her neighbour, Dhruv Kapoor, back in 2015, when she was just 23.
We were neighbours. Literally, it was unit 302 and 303, and we had never met.
But my flatmate invited his flatmate over for a beer, and neither of us was actually supposed to be there.
That casual get together in Bangalore gave birth to what would eventually become Zilingo.
And in four short years has grown it into a global platform with more than seven million active users.
I've come to Zilingo's HQ in Singapore to find out more.
Ankiti, tell me, how did this all start?
It was 2014, and I was on a holiday with some friends in Bangkok.
And we were in this market called Chatuchak, which has over 8,000 small stores, designers.
And I was like, "Wow, this stuff should be online."
But they just couldn't sell online, they didn't know how to.
And that was the inception.
At the time, Bose was working in India as an investment analyst for venture capital firm Sequoia Capital.
The fact that I was working in venture capital and consulting before that definitely played an important role in shaping our opinions on what would work and what would not work.
But as she closely followed the tech's pace, she was keen to do something of her own.
We started spending a lot of time with merchants and we realized that there were some gaps, right.
So, everybody was solving for access to the internet.
But what about everything else that goes on before you actually sell the product?
So when she met Kapoor and found their skill sets well-matched, she decided to go all in.
We knew what we wanted to do together was the same.
It was really quite serendipitous.
The business initially started by listing products from merchants across Southeast Asia.
But now works with businesses in 15 regions globally.
The business also has around 500 employees in eight countries.
We have 25-year-olds, we have 50-year-olds.
Everybody's leading initiatives that they're really passionate about, and I really like to get behind that and that makes all the difference.
Zilingo, which is a play on the word "zillions", has fueled that growth with $308 million worth of investment.
Plus $30,000 each from both Bose and Kapoor.
At the close of its series D funding round in February 2019, that valued the company at $970 million.
With revenues having grown four times in the past year, investors suggest that could put the company on for a $1 billion valuation in the coming months.
We don't put as much emphasis and importance on some of the more glamorous labels.
But I still think it's a huge achievement and just helps us think more about how big and audacious this whole thing can be.
That would be all the more impressive given that India recently ranked as one of the least accommodating countries for women entrepreneurs.
Ankiti's success is an important milestone.
This is Leanne Robers, founder of She Loves Tech, a global platform for women tech entrepreneurs.
I spoke to her about what Bose's achievement could mean for others.
Leanne, why do you think Ankiti's achievement is important?
Well, today there's such an under representation of women in technology and women in entrepreneurship.
And it's really important to have female role models like Ankiti, because you can't be what you can't see.
Look at the example of running a mile in four minutes.
Back in the day, people thought that it was physically impossible for a human to break the barrier of running a mile in less than four minutes.
Until, Roger Bannister did it in 1954.
And after he did it, he broke this perceived barrier, and the floodgates just opened up.
In the same way that Bannister broke barriers for runners, I hope Ankiti will do the same for women and encourage more women to enter into entrepreneurship, especially in Asia.
And for Bose, that would be the real success story.
One of the things that we didn't have as much growing up was role models in tech and new, innovative industries.
And we want to make sure that maybe the next generation doesn't have that problem.
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女人當家!她是印度首位獨角獸企業創辦人 (She's set to become India's first female unicorn founder - and she's only in her 20s | CNBC Make It)

2560 分類 收藏
Celeste 發佈於 2019 年 6 月 9 日    Jade Weng 翻譯    Celeste 審核
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