Richa Kar, who is the founder and CEO of Zivame, an online lingerie brand, is all set to pull back an important managerial position from daily operation of the portal. In November 2015, Shaleen Sinha from Aditya Birla Group was hired.
According to a Zivame spokesperson, Richa Kar keeps to be the CEO of the company. She will work on strategic projects closely with the board for the company. She has quit the day-to-day business operations of the company.
According to an email statement, Sinha was responsible for the business operations. Zivame didn’t confirm anything regarding the change yet. Zivame raised Rs. 250 Cr. from Zodius Capital in a series C round along with Kazanah Nasional Berhad, a Malaysian sovereign fund in 2015. The company also declared its omni-channel plan to add 100 more stores as well as fitting centers in India over the next couple of years. Zivame recorded 60% of sales with its private label during the funding.
According to an industry expert, around 15 to 20 percent of margins have been recorded in the marketplace model to the retailer, along with 50 to 60 percent of margins from the private labels. To become an online brand, a pivot has to chance the key performance indicators for the company.
Previously, the company raised $9 million (approx. Rs. 55 Cr.) from IDG Ventures India, Unilazer Ventures, and Kalaari Capital. Ratan Tata has also been considered as an investor. In a new plan, Zivame has listed Rs. 43.3 Cr. of total expenses to invest in its private label as well as product design in Financial Year 2015-16, as per the Registrar of Companies. It reported up to 84% hike in net losses during Financial Year 2015-16 at Rs. 54 Cr. and over 38% net sales growth at Rs. 62.6 Cr.
In the company, the cost of inventory grew up at Rs. 47.8 Cr. by 35%. During the period, the spending on marketing and advertising was recorded more than double by Rs. 46.7 Cr.
Zivame specializes in offering women’s innerwear online and greeting over 5 million visitors, along with 1 million first timers. Including Lakshadweep, the company has consignments in all the states of India. With the emergence of ecommerce industry, clothing was the first to grab the online world and Zivame was the first to pick its unique presence. Co-founder and CEO, Richa Kar took the first step to success by venturing into ecommerce industry.
A healthy inventory is very important to provide unmatched customer experience. To maintain that inventory, we need cash in huge amount. In her endeavor for funding, she met Vani Kola, IndoUS Venture Partners founder. They decided to get back with great confidence. When she met Vani, they closed the deal quickly. When it comes to the investor’s role in the growth of a company along with just finances, Richa explains that investors have opened the doors of opportunities to the external world. They could understand the best practices and know what to do and what not to do.
According to Richa, they were not ready to take French name. Almost all lingerie brands have French names. They were looking for a name which will resonate with the customers once they get introduced to the brand. In Hebrew, Ziva means splendor or radiance, and “Me” is an English word.
When she was working with SAP, she worked with a big company “Limited Brands” that also owns “Victoria’s Secret”. More than quarter of sales was from their online segment. She didn’t considered undergarments as a category. It is among the most overlooked parts of wardrobe. This is where her interest came and she started enough of consumer research. She visited the clothing stores to see actually what’s going on.
The companies were manufacturing the products on all sizes but stores were not offering the products and women who need those sizes were unsatisfied. Good brands couldn’t reach the cities which were less popular. So, she decided to solve the problem. She started an online distribution system to go beyond the barrier of distribution in physical stores. She started an online portal and addressed the needs of women with a well-known lingerie portal.