“I started my e-commerce career back in 2012 when I was 18 years old, practicing photography and studying Advertising. Back in the day, Facebook shops were a concept practiced by many. I got an Internship with a jewelry retailing page & I took it up just as a by-the-way not that I had planned to get into E-Commerce at that point.
A few weeks into it, I was cataloging & handling small scale operations along with customer support & social media. I really started liking the whole brainstorming sessions, hosting contests, working on packaging, conceptualizing, hosting exhibitions felt like it was my project and I thoroughly started enjoying seeing my ideas accepted by many.
A few years into it, I decided to pursue Luxury Brand Management from FAD in Bombay to get a better understanding of Luxury Retail, Management, Merchandising, Buying and Selling patterns, etc. Just a day after FAD, because of my grades I was lucky enough to end up with a job offer as a Merchandiser at another company where I worked for about a year until life changed around with an offer from PropShop24.
At that point, I had no idea it was going to turn my life around. I started as a Merchandising executive with a concept that was very new in India. People had heard of Pop-ups or exhibitions but nobody really knew the concept of Digital Pop-ups plus the whole idea of curated gifting was not explored at a large scale at the time.
Within my first 2 years at PropShop24, the company had started growing immensely. I was constantly on the look-out for aesthetically well-designed products, unique brands, curated gifts/hampers from all over India. We started working on different categories such as colorful & minimal stationery, Pinterest-y home-decor, artisanal food, cruelty-free and vegan makeup, budget-friendly jewelry and tons and tons of independent brands that often faced difficulty in terms listing products on to bigger channels & secondly, no exposure to their brands in a pool of products and thirdly, no value for their branding or aesthetics! Keep in mind, that Instagram ads had not started around this time.
3 and a half years into PropShop24, me + team had worked with more than 600+ curated and independent brands from across the country and helped them grow. Literally picked up the phone and had a conversation with them to build a brand, get a mood-board, get better photos because the one thing that always worked for PropShop24 was the good pictures! It is an e-commerce norm to have white background photos but in my experience, it’s always the flat lay that takes the cake.
Being a manager at 23, handing a team of 8 people (most them older than I was at that point) was more difficult to me than curating products, picking up the phone and having a one-on-one with brands explaining why they need to invest in a good photographer or better packaging in order to create brand recall. Back then, many times I had to put my foot down and say no this product cannot be live on the website because curation is key. The fact that I’ve always enjoyed filtering products keeping analytics in mind has been imperative to the business of gifting.
With time, I started learning how I had to be 5 steps ahead of time, for example; for umbrellas in Monsoon I started to start prep on a social media plan, contests plan, cataloging, pricing, and bundling by March-end. It took me a while to understand why people buy certain things no matter the price and sometimes why even the best of product can fail for the most unimaginable reason.
With all the ups and all the downs, I felt a little restricted creatively and in terms of my merchandising aesthetics so I took the leap of faith and in July 2019 I started Lemonade. The whole idea behind Lemonade was affordable, curated gifting covering a wide range of utility products that simplify gifting.
We’ve built our business on launching products very often, in order to have a wider range of products. Rather than having infinite units of one product. We’ve strategically priced our products to ensure it is affordable, keeping gifting periods in mind. We’ve identified our products as super colorful and in-order to not take away from the products we’ve always ensured to use lighter backdrops, minimal elements of branding incorporated to ensure brand recall is created subtly even while our retail channels promote us has worked for us significantly.
Currently, we are focusing on growing our brand through authentic and organic forms of social media marketing and collaborations.”