Ankiti Bose is the CEO and one of the co-founders of Zilingo.
Zilingo is both a marketplace and shopping platform for fashion and lifestyle products.
The story of Ankiti Bose is very inspiring as she built a $1 billion startup at a very young age of 27 years.
So read on to get inspired.
Ankiti Bose graduated in economics and mathematics from St. Xavier’s college in Mumbai.
In June 2012, she joined McKinsey & Company in Mumbai to work as a Management consultant.
After working here for nearly two years, in May 2014 Ankiti Bose joined Sequoia Capital in Bangalore to work as an Investment analyst.
Her work at Sequoia Capital was to analyse start-ups and this work experience later helped her while starting Zilingo.
While working here, Ankiti Bose became determined to become an entrepreneur.
Meanwhile, she met Dhruv Kapoor, a software engineer who graduated from IIT- Guwahati who had the same ambitions and skill sets as hers.
Both of them founded Zilingo in 2015.
Ankiti Bose and Dhruv Kapoor quit their jobs and invested their savings which amounted to $30,000 into Zilingo.
Ankiti Bose’s hard working nature greatly helped in the success of Zilingo.
In the initial days, she used to work 18 hours a day for her start-up.
Zilingo is headquartered in Singapore and it receives tech support from Bangalore, India.
Zilingo operates in many countries like Indonesia, Hong Kong, Thailand, Philippines, Australia, India and the United States.
A trip to Bangkok-
Ankiti Bose got the idea of starting Zilingo after visiting Bangkok on a holiday trip along with her friends.
While at Thailand’s Chatuchak market she observed that many merchants hailed from small remote villages and weren’t able to sell online because they lacked the required technical expertise and financial support.
At that time, that market had around eight thousand small merchants.
Ankiti Bose decided to help them by selling their products online and this gave birth to Zilingo.
This is a win-win situation for both the merchants and customers.
Merchants are able to sell their products to a much larger audience whereas the customers enjoy a variety of products.
Zilingo was funded by many companies like Sequoia capital, Burda Principal Investments, etc.
Reasons for success-
Zilingo offers free listing of products by sellers; they do not need to pay any licensing fees or registration fees.
It charges only between 10 to 20 percent commission on sale rate, and they charge commission only when the product is sold, not when the product is ordered.
Zilingo developed several technological tools, which facilitates her clients across various countries to connect seamlessly.
The tools also play a pivotal role in inventory management, shipping to any part of their network by cross-border shipping.
Zilingo also provides financial assistance by the name FinTech to its small manufacturers, who lack funds but possess great workmanship.
Zilingo along with financial companies pay them advance payments on very low interest rates.
As the fashion products are of high margin, Zilingo is able to provide FinTech to its clients.
This builds faith in their clients who later become Zilingo’s trusted partners.
This start-up also developed a huge network by establishing a separate company called Asia Mall by which its clients can purchase raw materials from any country at a very affordable price.
Asia Mall works on Business to Business service model.
In addition to all these support, Zilingo also helps its small clients in documentation, training, keeping them informed about future fashion trends.
Zilingo also empowers local communities by providing them with employment opportunities.
The word Zilingo means the gift of god.
Achievements and recognition-
Ankiti Bose was featured in Forbes under 30 list for the year 2019.
Her company reached billion dollars in just 3 years, thanks to the rising adoption of smartphones and booming middle-class population with rising per capita income.
Now, Zilingo has more than 7 million users in countries like Hong Kong, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia and Thailand.
The company is also planning to enter Australia.
The biggest market for Zilingo is Indonesia.
Zilingo employs around 622 employees in more than 8 countries.
Ankiti Bose is merging both offline and online channels for a ubiquitous experience through Zilingo.
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Featured image credits: Sportsfile/Wikimedia Commons
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why is Ankiti Bose inspirational?
Ankiti Bose is inspirational because she didn’t hesitate to follow her dreams.
She was so confident with her idea that she resigned for her high paying job at Sequoia Capital to found Zilingo.
Also, Ankiti Bose motivates us to be proactive.
Once she got the startup idea after visiting Thailand’s Chatuchak market, she wasted no time to found Zilingo.
She also inspires us with her hard working nature.
In the initial days of her startup, she used to work 18 hours a day.
What is the educational qualification of Ankiti Bose?
Ankiti Bose is a graduate in economics and mathematics.
What did Ankiti Bose do before founding Zilingo?
Before founding Zilingo, she worked for nearly three years in various companies like McKinsey & Company and Sequoia Capital.
At what age did Ankiti Bose start Zilingo?
Ankiti Bose founded Zilingo in 2015 and at that time she was 23 years old.
How was Zilingo started?
Zilingo was started when Ankiti Bose observed that the merchants in Thailand weren’t able to sell their products online.
So, she along with Dhruv Kapoor founded Zilingo in 2015.
Why did Ankiti Bose start Zilingo?
Ankiti Bose founded Zilingo to provide small merchants with the required technical expertise and financial support to sell their goods online.
When did Ankiti Bose become famous?
Ankiti Bose gained worldwide popularity in 2019 when her startup, Zilingo became worth $1 billion.
At this time she was 27.