WomenWill: Arpita Ganesh On How She Grew Buttercups Digitally
“I genuinely believe that I wouldn’t be here without technology,” says Arpita Ganesh, founder of Buttercups, at the first WomenWill conference by Google India, in partnership with SheThePeople.TV.
Ganesh says she didn’t grow up knowing technology. Her mother wanted her to be a housewife, and pushed her to do hotel management. She then worked at an ad agency for ten years.
A holiday in New York changed her life. She went for a bra fitting and for the first time she could wear a size 12 dress, because she finally had a good bra
“33 years of my life I wore bad bras, and nobody told me,” she says.
Her holiday quickly turned into research. She found that there are 150 bra sizes in the world. However there are only 15 in India. Ganesh came back and did more research. There are only 2 or 3 brands that do 100 sizes. So she found the CEOs of those companies on LinkedIn, and reached out to them, saying that she wanted to retail their brand. To her surprise, they replied.
She started with a brick and mortar store. And her investment of Rs 60 lakh soon ran dry. The store didn’t run and she shut down her first business. The second time around, Ganesh knew she would go digital.
“I started looking up everything on Google. Google gave us all the answers. We have the power of digital in our hands — every answer to build a business is in our hand. In 18 months, we have turnover of Rs 1.8 crore,” Ganesh says
She says that tools like analytics have helped her tremendously. She now knows how every rupeee she invests comes back. She is able to analyse where her customers spend, what products they buy, which days of the week they buy, and even what colours they buy.
“I can make educated choices with our investments,” she says.
“It doesn’t matter if you are doing a homegrown business, or building a larger brand. It doesn’t matter how small or how big, digital can help you,” Ganesh says.
She says that she doesn’t come from a fashion or a business background. The bizwoman believes that where there is a will, there is a way.