WomenPower 06: This Sister-Duo Bootstrapped GoPursu to Pursue their Entrepreneurial Dreams

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Debsena Chakraborty & Sulagna Kapoor launched a premium handbags collection, unique to the Indian audience combining silk and leather. Each handbag has the personality of its own and helps the owner make a style statement. The team made genuine efforts to perfect fashion sensibilities by rioting colors and shades

Debsena and Sulagna are sisters. And that makes their coordination smooth and simple. Another 3 team members look into design, logistics, production, and marketing. While interviewing the team members, they briefed the team very short and crisp. They are based out of Faridabad, the office being exactly opposite to building Sulagna lives. Sulagna is a mother to a 4 years old daughter.

When Sulagna returned to her job after a sabbatical during pregnancy, she was shocked to see how the package and role were compromised. So while deciding to launch their business, the sister-duo decided to make a decision to hire only women. The core team has 5 women of mixed age groups.

They researched for quite long as they needed something above what is already in the market. They decided to combine Mulberry silk and leather in vivid colors and create mid-range products which can be accessible to the Indian middle class.

The customers reviewed that the products were far more appealing upon unboxing the packages than what it appears to be on the website and photograph. Word of mouth helped GoPursu to get publicity.  Organic traffic building is time consuming but far more rewarding than outbound paid marketing.

Did you know word of mouth marketing drives $6 trillion of annual consumer spending and is estimated to account for 13% of consumer sales? Word of Mouth marketing impression results 5x more sales than a paid media impression and people are 90% more likely to trust and buy from a brand recommended by a friend.

The initial battle was to find the right vendor and create the product line. We understand that as a startup, one doesn’t have enough resources for mass production, and that’s the reason Debsena and Sulagna started hunting for quality suppliers. Finding suppliers who are ready to cater to small quantities and withstand the continuous monitoring of quality was a bit tough job and consumed the most time.

Both of them aims that GoPursu shall become the one-stop destination for unique fashion products. They plan to introduce a completely new range of contemporary jewelry, wigs and cocktail dresses in the coming months.

However, this sector is already flooded with numerous competitors of different scale. Some operate out of the home while others have a Giga production line. Despite the competition, all of them are catering to ethnic look and feel. GoPursu is different.

Sulagna says, “We have already taken the fashionistas as followers with the wide variety of luxury handbags and will soon expand the collection portfolio. As of now GoPursu products will be online but will soon expand its reach and will be available with retailers across.”

GoPursu is completely self-funded. Sulagna and Debsena put all their hard earned money into the startup. With sales picking up the pace, the startup can sustain for some time and it has helped release some of their anxiety. However, the company aims to secure funding soon to scale up the business.

The fashion accessory retail market is worth around Rs 20,000 crores growing at a CGPR of 20-30 percent. The market is dominated by bags, belts, and wallets which holds around 60 percent market share. 20 percent of the market is ruled by socks, handkerchiefs, scarves, caps, and gloves. Rest of the market goes to hair accessories, tie pins and cufflinks.

The branded market size is one-fourth of the total making it Rs 5000 crores, making the sector highly unorganized with the absence of any major brand player. In India, the per capita income is rising at 10 percent per annum. Reports conclude that urbanization will hit 42 percent by 2030. There is a huge shift in the mental make-up of the consumers which also makes this business very exciting.

Debsena says, “Using our funds smartly is something that we are dealing with on a daily basis. As this is a self funded project, it is imperative that we are extra careful with the monies being spent. We want to do this right so that when we are ready to scale up, we have precedence to prove our finance handling capability to our investors.”

Both of them are very clear about their dreams. They don’t want their startup to be another e-commerce site that people forget about. They aim at brand building than straight sales so that the consumers can identify with GoPursu. They believe in old-school where nothing beats the word of mouth marketing. Till date, they haven’t had any returns. But the volume speaks about who they are to become.

So, what are your thoughts on this story?
Tell us in the comments.

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Jyostsna Upadhyaya
Jyostsna is the correspondent for the category "Startup Stories"and "Womenpreneur". She has been writing for 7 years.

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