Failure often dampens the spirit of entrepreneurship in people and it takes a big heart to rise from the ruins and master the entrepreneurial act in one’s second attempt.
Arpita Ganesh, founded Buttercups clothing, a retail store in Hyderabad, which exclusively retailed international brands such as Chantelle, Trinny & Sussanah. Back in the day owing to lack of knowledge among consumers about ideal lingerie and perfect fit, the business model was difficult to pursue. Despite the unfortunate consequence of shutting down the store after 3 years, Arpita held the thought that women need to be more perceptive about finding a perfect fit, which lead her to setting up ABTF, India's first bra fitting app in 2013.
Failure is an act of Learning
“I never give up, that’s one of the things about me. I realized that even with the loss of the time made it’s still a need in the market. Our model was wrong, the way I went about solving the problem didn’t disappear,” Arpita said. Dealing with failure
Mustering the strength to ace the trick the second time requires a lot of patience, it wasn’t easy for Arpita as well. Not having a co-founder made things doubly tough. However, the opening up of online lingerie model also motivated Arpita to go ahead and fix her model.
“I think as an entrepreneur you must have a gut conviction. I think that’s what all of us run on. Most entrepreneurs go through tough times,” she said. But amid all this Arpita also found people who helped her re-instate her faith.
Often investors are seen to be choosy when it comes to believing an entrepreneur, but Arpita felt otherwise. “I think investors liked the fact that you can go and say that you’ve made a mistake, I’ve learnt from it and you are not going to make the same mistake again,” she said.
Comparison to Zivame, unfair!
Being in the lingerie business, one is bound to be compared to Richa Kar’s Zivame. Arpita calls it an unfair comparison, here’s why! “They started out as an aggregation model. Their fitting room and private label concept came up much after ours. The biggest difference between Zivame and us is the category that we play in; we play in the premium category while they play in the mass category. They would like to focus in the tier 2 &3 category while I would like to focus on urban women. It’s like comparing a Bata to a Roush,” she said
Lingerie market has drastically changed
Arpita recalls how women never understood the concept of under-wire bras back when she had just launched her business. The fact that we have become so empowered and we can shop online is phenomenal, she said.
According to Arpita, customers have evolved over the years. The aspect of feel good has become a priority over looking good for women. Women are willing to spend on comfort without any guilt today.
Buttercups currently affords its customers with 2 fitting rooms in Bangalore with plans of opening 15 more in the next two years. The company is currently in talks to raise a Series A round of funds and Arpita intends to keep the amount low as she doesn’t believe in raising large sums of money.