The glorious rise of Radhika Aggarwal, India’s only Woman-Startup founder in the Unicorn Club


Radhika Aggarwal is India's most successful internet entrepreneur and the first and only woman in the Unicorn Club. She's the co-founder and CBO at ShopClues.

Business Insider sat down with Radhika to chat about entrepreneurship, life and ShopClues for women.

Do people still stereotype the woman entrepreneur?

Its not as much about stereotyping. The challenges are the same in entrepreneurship, man or woman.

The only challenge is that because there are so few of us, people end up asking questions like, "how do you ensure work-life balance?" You need a support system at home and work as your responsibilities grow.

Do investors ask woman-specific questions?

Many of my colleagues say they get these questions. Investors have been very supportive in my case. One way you can mitigate these questions is by having a strong team.

How can we increase woman representation in tech?

In the US there is a lot of emphasis on coding. In India we need more emphasis on maths and science at a mid-school level. There should be a lot of incentives for young girls to take up Science.

Are you scared of the valuation bubble burst?

Not at all. Till now, the focus for companies has been on raise and burn. You raise enough money, and burn it to raise GMV.

We've never run the company like that. The shift in investor sentiment is hugely in our favor. Now they're appreciating even more the cost-effective model we've built.

What's your GMV to net revenue ratio?

We're current at $700-800 million GMV, and 10-12% net revenue. We plan to operationally break even by the first quarter of 2017.

What percentage of ShopClues consumers are women?

Around 23-25% are woman. Interestingly, around 25% merchants are women as well. That means around 80,000 of our total 3,50,000 merchants are woman.

Why is India's e-commerce consumer base primarily male driven?

That's a reflection of our society. Most woman in the tier II and tier III cities use their husband's smartphone. Interesting, around 18-20 months ago, a mere 7-8% of our consumers women. The recent sharp hike is primarily due to widespread smartphone adoption and access to the internet.

Unique woman shopping behavior.

Women representation is very strong in the Home and Kitchen and Apparel segment. The Children Education sector is also taking off. Women have stronger loyalty and more individual purchases over the year.

Advice to young Woman entrepreneurs.

Participate with your whole heart. Don't be risk averse. More often we imagine risks, and play safe. Be courageous.