Ishita Swarup, co-founder and CEO of an event-based online fashion portal 99labels.com. , is an enthusiastic woman who loves challenges and young setups.
After graduating in Economics and doing masters in Business Administration from Institute of Management Technology, Ghaziabad, Swarup worked in the sales and marketing department of Cadbury India for three years. But, an urge to become a boss was burning inside her always. In 1995, when Swarup was 27 year old, she and a close friend, Tina Sapra, established a business process outsourcing unit called Orion Dialog.
After 11 years, in 2006, Essar Group (Essar) entered the BPO space. Essar bought Orion Dialog and merged with Aegis. But, still Swarup stayed with Essar as part of senior management. When her contract with Essar ended, she decided to take a timeout and search for other options that rejuvenated her.
For some time, Swarup was mentoring a social enterprise called Sakha Consulting Wings Pvt. Ltd. (Sakha) – a cab service run exclusively by women in urban India. But, the young businesswoman Swarup’s mind was longing to try something new. At that time, Aanchal Jain (co-founder, 99labels) approached Swarup with a business offer that was too exciting to turn down. The business was online shopping.
Swarup decided to do as she thought shopping online for fashionable things was right up her alley. Thus 99labels.com was born and Ishita Swarup entered the fray once more. She and Jain built a great relationship in the new business. As having experience in fashion, Jain took charge of hunting for labels, while Swarup looked after the daily operations.
Saying about 99labels, it is an innovative concept introduced for the first time in India. Partnering international and national brands, 99labels offers event based online sales for a limited time period giving members an opportunity to buy fashion-wear, accessories, lifestyle products, sportswear and gear, electronics and even furniture at members-only prices that are up to 70% off label prices. Swarup also runs a distinct catalogue site called 9rasa.com, which centers on ethnic wear
The wonder behind the growth of Swarup is she started her business processes at the time (1995) when people generally thought that those without a family business background never dared to be entrepreneurs, especially not women. With no family business background, Swarup said she had learnt everything on her own. It was an enriching and motivating experience, she added.
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