“Be­ing Women gives amaz­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties"

Swati Bhar­gava, Co-founder of CashKaro.com

DQ Channels - - Front page - ANUSHRUTI SINGH anushrutis@cy­ber­me­dia.co.in

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

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