From Marriage To Business Partnership
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Radhika and Sandeep had actually known to each other since they studied together while doing their MBA in Indore. Post marriage, both of them went to the US to get another MBA from the Washington University in St. Louis.
Talking about what they like about each other Radhika says, “Sandeep is very passionate about what he does. The kind of hard work he puts in and the passion he brings to the table, I haven’t seen of anybody.” Similarly, Sandeep reciprocates, “She was truly the first one who believed in me. She comes across as very fair person. She has more empathy in general.”
Around 2010, Sandeep started covering Indian Internet market, which was arriving at that time. “I started something called dealclues. That was my and Radhika’s first partnership. I hired one IT consulting firm in Mumbai, which was building the platform for dealclues. This was October 2010,” says Sandeep. By December 2010, it became shoppingclues.com. Radhika calls herself an accidental entrepreneur. “If Sandeep had not been into my life, I would not be an entrepreneur. He is the driving force behind it. He really wanted to do it. So we decided this was the perfect time to do it. This is the perfect business to do and even I could do it for him,” claims Radhika. “It wasn’t about that we were married. It was a perfect job for me. A good fit for him as well,” she adds.
In June 2011 on Father’s Day, Sandeep left his day job. After some initial struggle, they set up an office in Gurgaon. Radhika handled marketing and merchandising. Sandeep was the CEO and Founder working on strategy and vision. There were three other core team members. Sandeep used to be at office till late and Radhika would go home in the evening to spend quality time with kids. When you work together it is not good for your romantic life. That is what I lost,” agrees Sandeep.
The company was growing in full pace as Sandeep used to spend almost 18-19 hours every day owing to his passion and obsession about ShopClues. In January 2012, ShopClues raised capital from nexus venture partners, it became one large shareholders of ShopClues.
When the personal crisis happened, Sandeep planned how ShopClues would go from survival and got ready for growth. In October 2013, Sandeep stepped out as the CEO of the company. Finally, the legal started settling down and Sandeep launched Droom on 21 November 2014. Same day as he launched ShopClues three years back. Droom is currently earning Rs 550 crore revenue within 13 months with 140 people. It has raised $20 million in three rounds of capital. ShopClues today has already achieved the unicorn status, achieving it in the shortest span of time.
(This article first appeared in the Indian edition of Entrepreneur magazine (March 2016 Issue).