“A few years ago, while I was trying to set up this business, I was told that for an Indian woman who has lived out of the country for so many years, trying to set up a new company was going to be next to impossible. That is just the sort of thing that eggs me on with greater conviction,” beams Suchi Mukherjee, the founder of online lifestyle and fashion curator, Limeroad.
Limeroad is an e-commerce platform where its community of users can not only mix and match accessories and dresses to create their own styles or what it calls the 'scrapbook', but also buy products curated by other users. “The scrapbook is one of our distinct features that also symbolises our business philosophy that fashion and lifestyle will be run on "freshness" of trends and on discounts,” explains Mukherjee. Limeroad's vendor and scrapbooking community ensures that "freshness is on steroids" with new, unique styles updated every 30 seconds. She adds how scrapbooking has increased customer engagement considerably, with users coming back for more.
Road to discovery
The idea to launch such a platform dawned upon her during her second maternity break, when she lived in London. One day, Mukherjee found herself flipping through a magazine and falling in love with a great piece of jewelry featured there. But having been sourced from a small-time artisan in Mumbai, there was no way she could instantly reach out to the seller and get her hands on the piece. She realised that a reliable consumer technology, which made discovery and purchase of such products available, was missing then.
She was amazed that despite India being a land that produced millions of engineers, it hadn’t yet churned out a global product brand in this category. What also struck her as a surprise, was the fact that India’s textile dominance had been ignored and forgotten. Globally, India accounts for 21% of textile manufacturing at the factory level. “It’s a big deal,” says Mukherjee emphasising the opportunity India's textile heritage had in store. “Here is an industry which is our strength. All I wanted to do was to use technology so that manufacturers, designers and sellers could flourish and users could source beautiful products, which currently they were not able to,” she adds. It was almost serendipity, given that Mukherjee and her husband were already preparing to move back to India aft