An Astute Marketer with Entrepreneurial Insights

Radhika Aggarwal, Co-Founder – Shopclues.Com

As the Co-founder and Chief Business Officer at ShopClues.com, Radhika is also the first Indian woman founder to enter into the prestigious echelons of the unicorn club. At ShopClues she is the driving force behind its go-to-market initiatives and has nurtured the brand to make it a house-hold name in less than 5 years. 

An alumnus of Washington University in St. Louis, Radhika holds an MBA in Strategy. She further went on to pursue a course in ‘Web 2.0 and Creative Writing’ from Stanford University. Having worked for Goldman Sachs in Wealth Management and Nordstorm in the Strategy Planning Department, Radhika has diverse experience across industry segments such as retail, ecommerce, fashion & lifestyle, advertising, and public relations, all summing up to 16 years. She started on her entrepreneurial journey with her first venture, FashionClues, a content portal for NRI women.

Radhika was recently awarded the ‘CEO of the Year’ Award in the Start-Up category at the prestigious CEO India Awards, 2016.She is an accomplished speaker and is a staunch supporter of women entrepreneurship, having shared her thoughts on several fora including TiE and other industry events. Radhika is passionate about empowering women to assume leadership roles within her organisation as well within ShopClues’ vibrant community of merchant partners.

Here are some insights from her professional journey, that were shared with Team ABT.

Tell us what led you to setup Shopclues.com?
We realized that India was at the verge of a digital revolution, however, unlike elsewhere in the world, the offline shopping behavior wasn’t reflected online and the masses still chose to shop from their local bazaars. We set up ShopClues to change that every aspect of online shopping, and bring the bazaar online. ShopClues is an India’s bazaar, where one can get the widest selection of all kinds of products, across categories, at the best and most affordable price points. We focus on unstructured and unbranded products across verticals and aim to bring SMEs from tier 2, 3 and beyond cities online.

Since then, we have proven effectively that our target market cannot be captured by the likes of Flipkart, Snapdeal or Amazon, all of whom focus on structured and branded items in mobile/electronics/computers categories and have higher GMV primarily from a small pool of merchants. We have an approach to merchandising which is unprecedented. Indians have very specific shopping behaviors, as reflected in many categories and forms the basis of ShopClues’ consumer engagement strategy.

What was the biggest challenge faced so far? How did you overcome it?
Being an entrepreneur itself is a challenge. I don’t think it’s very easy to overcome it, as it is a struggle of every day. I think what a count is that if you are passionate about it; you will be able to overcome all challenges. What I keep saying is, even to my colleagues, is just show up every day, because with that you’ve won 50% of the battle. If you don’t even show up, you’ve lost the challenge without even trying. 

Who is your greatest inspiration and why?
I am inspired by people who have become successful because of their passion and not (just) because of their degrees. It is very inspiring to see people who are doing things that they are passionate about and believe in. I am inspired by passionate chefs, designers and even passionate data analysts. It is nice to see people who have excelled in one thing, and it could be anything.

What are your views on the current digital wave that is influencing every profession and our lives?
We have always believed in a digital future for India. The current digital wave, owing a lot to the PM’s initiatives, has resulted in a fast-paced digitization of India – which is what we have also been working upon. Bringing SMEs online from tier 2, 3 and beyond cities and towns, to participate in the digital revolution, which is taking place in India, was always ShopClues’ primary focus. Through the initiatives, we’ve only been able to move further towards achieving that goal.

Tell us about any one achievement of yours that makes you proud.
I have been working in ShopClues for close to 6 years now and I am proud of where we have reached and what the team has built. My biggest achievement is my team, that has come together to nurture a collective dream, of building a marketplace for real India.

What is your future road map?
I am extremely busy with ShopClues right now and that is what my focus will be on, at least for the foreseeable future.