“Being Women gives amazing opportunities"
Swati Bhargava, Co-founder of CashKaro.com
PRINCIPLE IN LIFE: Work Hard & Party Harder- must enjoy what you do
FAMILY BACKGROUND: My parents are based in Ambala where I grew up. My father runs a manufacturing unit for agricultural implements. Ever since childhood, I’ve always been inspired by his hard work, composure & business acumen. At the age of 50, my mother started a social enterprise called ‘Akshdha’ where they train underprivileged women to earn a living by crafting beautiful necklaces and wedding accessories. My brother Siddharth is the National Sales Manager for National Instruments. He is extremely intelligent, super popular and the best brother one could have! After getting married to Rohan, I was lucky to be a part of a family that was equally loving, caring and one that always encouraged, inspired and supported us.
EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND: I studied at Convent of Jesus & Mary school in Ambala till 16 years of age; then got offered a scholarship to study in Singapore in 1999 to complete my high school. In 2002, I was again fortunate to get a scholarship to study at the prestigious London School of Economics in the UK. I graduated with Honours in Mathematics & Economics in 2005 and was offered to join the Investment Banking team at Goldman Sachs, UK.
STEP TOWARDS E-COMMERCE: Back in 2011, worldwide E-commerce sales were predicted to reach $963.0 billion by 2013 and was growing at an annual rate of 19.4%. E-commerce was benefiting from several positive trends, including the continued rollout of broadband, increasing user comfort shopping online and the decline of certain brick-and-mortar retailers. Since then, there has been no battle for the online future of India as more fascinating than the one being waged in e-commerce. Also, I believe building successful businesses while continuing their role as the caregivers at home, Indian women entrepreneurs now ‘have it all’. Most women entrepreneurs I meet have a clear roadmap to scale up their businesses and targeted growth plans for the future. These women are confident that they can do a lot better if they could recruit skilled people and receive sound financial support.
MY BUSINESS: CashKaro.com is India’s largest Cashback & Coupons site and essentially the onestop-destination for all online savings. Members can get up to 30% Extra Cashback on their online shopping at their favorite sites like Flipkart, Paytm, Shopclues, Nykaa, Purplle & 1000+ sites when they shop via CashKaro platform. CashKaro receives commission from retailers from which it pays Cashback. This Cashback can be paid to users’ bank accounts as REAL CASH or can be redeemed as Gift Vouchers. CashKaro has raised close to $5 million till date; of which $3.8 million was raised in Series A funding from Kalaari Capital, one of India’s leading venture capital firms. Recently, Tata Sons’ Chairman Emeritus Ratan Tata has also invested in the company in his personal capacity.
MOTIVATION & INSPIRATION BEHIND BUSINESS: While there were no initial plans to go the entrepreneurial way but I always believed in starting something novel. Inspiration to start our own business is my husband Rohan. He spotted the opportunity in the UK and really believed in the Cashback idea. He encouraged me to join him, and we became business partners! It’s actually been amazing working together with him.
CHALLENGES IN WORK BEING A WOMAN: Dealing with stereotypes that questions a woman’s ability to work in tech or finance, or simply her stability at work continues to be one of the major challenges. However, this also gives us an amazing opportunity to strive to be better, fight harder, be stronger and bring to life the incredible feats a woman is capable of!
LOVE RUNNING OWN BUSINESS: The best part of running your own business is that I get to live and realize my dream on a daily basis. Since my husband Rohan & I work together, it becomes even more enjoyable as we are able to grow as a couple.
MOTTO FOR SUCCESS AT WORKPLACE : ‘Under promise, over deliver’ – something I learnt at Goldman and it’s stayed with me. I believe that if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing well. I don’t go half-way on anything; I’d rather not do it.
ADVICE TO OTHER BUDDING ENTREPRENEURS: Work hard and have faith in what you have set out to achieve. You’ll only be able to do justice if you really believe in the idea and your ability to execute it! If you feel that the going is getting too tough… just stay at it. It’s not been easy for anyone who was there before you too. Sometimes people are successful just because they lasted.
GOLDEN WORDS: Perseverance is the Essence. My mom taught me to always keep going no matter what from an early age. When it feels too difficult to push forward, I always remind myself, ‘This too shall pass,’ and then I redouble my efforts.
Swati Bhargava Co-founder of CashKaro.com