Brief introduction about yourself and tell us something about Zapyle?
I’m Rashi Menda, Founder and CEO of Zapyle.
Zapyle is a one stop destination for everything luxury fashion. Founded in May 2015, it is a platform that brings together the most stylish women in India to discover, sell and buy luxury fashion, in order to create a revolving closet for all. Currently, Zapyle is online at www.Zapyle.com, and as an application on iOS and Android, besides all social media streams.
Our goal is to bring the culture of luxury fashion to Indian women who crave it already. We aim to bring about the revolution of the Revolving Closet, where every product will have 5 owners in its lifetime. Selling fashion will be as easy as buying it and soon, we’ll see the huge potential and great value lying hidden in our closets. Because we believe it isn’t clothes or bags or shoes that we own, but memories that are meant to be passed on to another when our time with them is done.
What ignited the spark in you to start Style Zapyle?
Long story short – the inspiration behind Zapyle was to find the answer to the universal problem of having nothing to wear – or managing our closets.
Two years ago, after my wedding, I’d look at my own closet with an assorted collection of unopened, unworn shopping bags sitting on the floor – and still find myself saying, “I have nothing to wear!”
Just like me; millions of Indian women stock their closets with stuff worth over one billion dollars every year, and still have nothing to wear. Nearly a third of their closet is never worn and another third is worn once or twice at the most.
Please share your future goals.
I know the great joy I find in investing in that one gorgeous luxury bag or picking out a pair of great shoes, and I want every woman in India to experience that. Unfortunately, while there are 233 luxury fashion brands that exist worldwide, only 18 of them retail in India — a statistic that is disappointing if one considers the immense spending capacity of the average Indian today.
I want Zapyle to bridge this gap and make luxury fashion accessible and affordable to anyone who wants it.
Most Entrepreneurs are afraid of not finding that great idea to start a business. So how did your idea come up?
I always noticed, half the women I knew had too many luxury clothes, bags and shoes, and the other half always craved them. So I decided to solve both these problems with one stone!
I think we all have bright ideas, every single day of our lives – whether big or small. What matters is whether you give it a good thought and actually work on it.
Something about the challenges you faced while starting Zapyle.
Forming a good team was a huge challenge. Hiring the right people is key in an entrepreneurship, because it’s all about execution. We are a very young team — the average age is 24 – so it’s great working together because we all have the same energy and drive.
Another challenge personally was getting familiar with the tech side of things. I’ve always said that if you’re a CEO, you have to be a chief everything officer. So I read a lot about different coding languages, I’m learning Python and I attend tech events regularly.
What are your views on the thought, that as compared to male counterparts, it’s harder and more struggling for females to make a mark professionally?
I think it’s a very dated thought. Women are now on par with men and are no longer expected to do gender-specific jobs. They are taking control of their careers and today, you can’t tell a woman what to do and what not to. Just look at the brilliant Indian women athletes that won at the Olympics. All it takes is talent and perseverance honestly, nothing else.
What piece of advice would you like to give to the aspiring youth who wish to pursue their dream of becoming an entrepreneur?
I’d say, always take risks. Whether you want to ditch your desk job like I did and got on the path of entrepreneurship, or just shift careers because your current one isn’t fulfilling enough, go ahead and do it. Something good will definitely come out of it.”Be temperate in everything, avoid extremes in life.”
According to you, what are the top three essential skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
I don;t know if these are skills, but they are surely what I believe in: first, a true belief and passion for your idea because if you’re not going to believe it no one else will – not your investors, not your consumers; second, a spirit of inquiry where you always want to learn and explore new things, and finally, hard work.
Is it easy to maintain the work-life balance?
Well, it takes some getting used to, but I think I’m pretty much okay on that front now! What’s most important when it comes to this is having a support system who understands what it means to be leading a company. Luckily, for me, I have an encouraging husband and a great family who pushes me to do better. So yes, I’m probably in office till late on some days, but I make it a point to go shut down, go back home and entertain guests, spend time with my family or whatever it is.
What are your views and opinions towards the ambiguous need to promote women entrepreneurship and women empowerment in India?
I believe women empowerment starts from the home, at a young age – and so much is dependent on your upbringing. It’s important that parents make it a point to give equal rights and freedoms to both sons and daughters, and instil values of equality. Usually, Indian parents encourage sons into entrepreneurship and daughters into something safer, without any risks involved – that’s not how it should be.
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
“There are three constants in life – change, choice and principles.” by Stephen Covey
Words for IWIL.
I love that IWIL not just gives a platform for women entrepreneurs to shine but also utilises their skills for a very noble cause – to create more entrepreneurs – something that’s much needed in our country today.