Vidit Aatrey- On his way to Empower Women

 Vidit Aatrey- On his way to Empower Women

Vidit Aatrey has empowered women and changed how the “ideal” housewife is projected in society. Providing a platform that has provided financial independence to women Vidit Aatrey paved the way into the VC circles. Who says start-up founders are money-headed and can’t promote philanthropy? Well, Vidit Aatrey’s creation MEESHO is based on a noble and philanthropic idea. Let’s read more about his life.

A Brahmin boy from a middle-class family ended up empowering women nationwide. He had a very humble family background. His dad worked for Delhi government services, who dreamt of Vidit should be completing his IIT and then pursuing a civil services exam to become IAS Officer. Vidit being the ideal son decided to make his father’s dream come true. He studied hard and landed himself into IIT-Delhi, being the first IIT engineer from his family. He had his goals clear of completing engineering and then pursuing IAS. During his college days, he discovered more about his passion and hobbies as he met many more inspiring people. His initial plan of IAS took a back seat and he instead got into ITC as a Project Manager via his college placement.

He realized that people who went to ITC, had a pattern of taking work experience, completing an MBA, and then working for a management consultancy. He later spoke to more experienced people in the same career path and found that most of them wanted to take up entrepreneurship in the later years of their careers. That was the exact point where it struck him that why waste time completing MBA and then a Management Consultancy job. Instead, he decided to take a shortcut and dive right into entrepreneurship.

In order to pursue his newfound interest in entrepreneurship, he joined InMobi to learn the tech side of the startup ecosystem. He thought of taking a break as he wanted to try on something in the E-Commerce space back in 2015.

Graduating from IIT, and having a decent job it was extremely difficult to convince his parents about entrepreneurship. When he mentioned to his family about starting a business, his father replied,

“We come from a brahmin family, a business is not our cup of tea, it’s just not in our blood”

Vidit considered this as a challenge and started looking out for a techie who could help him with the tech side and also partner him in the business. He faced several rejections as there was no concrete idea in place. With all the rejection, there was this coincidence that Sanjeev his wingmate in IIT days was planning to come to India.

Sanjeev, the co-founder of Meesho, was a batchmate of Vidit from IIT-Delhi. Sanjeev started off his career by working for Sony in Japan. Both of them just wanted to try out something in the start-up ecosystem with no proper plan in place. Sanjeev flew all the way from Tokyo to Bangalore and joined hands with Vidit on this adventure.

Vidit Aatrey describes their approach as “Love the problem, not the solution”. They brainstormed several ideas to ensure that they came up with a solution for a better society and specifically targeted small businesses. The whole process of getting Meesho was very organic.

In the initial days, both the co-founders used to attend various exhibitions and ask people to install their applications for better reach. They used to personally go to each vendor to convince them to install the Meesho application.

Meesho actually stands for meri-shop (my shop) which enables people to start a business without having to invest huge capital into the business. They initially started off Meesho for physical shop owners to have all the targeted buyers and sellers together in one place. Later they realized that instead of having shop owners as their targeted customers they had a lot of women entrepreneurs making money through their online boutique. Meesho eventually developed to be a reselling platform for women.

In a country like India which has a very patriarchal society and the women here in spite of being very talented and intelligent are very dependent on their partner for money. Vidit observed that in one of the Varanasi Meesho event a female entrepreneur hid from her family about her online business because they felt, “humare itne bure dinn nai aaye ki bahu ko kamana pade”

But, Meesho is a savior to such women who can earn on their own with good margins and create their own identity and self-worth. Today Meesho has over 9 million women on their platform from almost every nook and corner of the country. Vidit ultimately focused on Meesho for promoting women entrepreneurship with their tagline “Not just a homemaker, a Meesho entrepreneur”. Today, Meesho has two million sellers across 700 towns in India on its platform and almost 90 percent of Meesho’s customer base is women.

But in 2015, the founders faced a huge backlash while pitching for funding. But never gave hope and stood by their idea. That’s the type of determination every founder must-have, and ultimately Vidit Aatrey and Sanjeev bagged funding from Facebook, SAIF Partners, Venture Highway, Sequoia Capital India, RPS Ventures, etc.

Even with all success, Vidit has managed to stay grounded and has moved to the other side of the table. He is now an angel investor as well. He is a firm believer that some of the most important decisions in life are taken from heart, guts, and passion and not just numbers and finds start-ups with innovative ideas like his. In one of the interviews, he specified the reason to start angel investment, stating,

“We struggled a lot in our initial days, we don’t want new age Vidit and Sanjeev to go through the same struggle. If we find extremely passionate people with a determination to work, we’d definitely help them as an Angel investor”

Meesho is a growing business and has definitely helped women of India start their own businesses and earn their own money. A pink color app with the Meesho application is not just a new-age start-up but a confidence gaining system for women of the society.

Previous story – Teacher by choice, Entrepreneur by chance – Byju Raveendran

 

thevcstories

https://thevcstories.com

We manifest the entrepreneurial and startup ecosystem for enthusiastic entrepreneurs by helping them build their entrepreneurial skills and encouraging them in job creation rather than finding ones. These episodes aim to provide much-needed guidance & motivation among the youth and bridge the knowledge gap.

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