An ambitious play with zillions: Zilingo founder Ankiti Bose up and high on her almost billion dollar dream

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The range of persuasion and conviction that necessitates the setting up of startups isn’t something that is particularly easy to motivate one into. Entrepreneurship is a fancy term, but the hurdles that need to be overcome to become a successful entrepreneur, and sustain their pertinence in the wave of the ever emerging new and newer ventures requires considerable patience, hardwork and skill.

In the midst of all this anticipation and expectations, it’s indeed commendable that there have been a few big business in the world that started out as startups but have been able to make it matter on the global stage. And one such start- up from the Southeastern region of Asia that can proudly claim close to its billion dollar fortune as a matter of sheer hard work executed on proper vision is India based entrepreneur Ankiti Bose’s Zilingo.

At a time when quite some start ups have envisaged- and indeed changed- the world, you would ask why we are concentrating on singing the laurels of Zilingo- that is in essence a e- commerce platform reimagining the fashion industry in southeast Asia. That’s because at barely four years old in the market, Zilingo is all set to be an enterprise worth billion of dollars that is headed by a woman- an Indian woman at that.

At a mere 27 years, Bose is not only the first ever Indian female to be the founder of a billion dollar startup but she will also be among the youngest of the female chief executives in Asia to lead such a size- able revenue generating startup. What’s even more striking about this obviously not any mean feat is that only a mere 10% of all the venture capital backed startups worldwide worth at least a billion, like Zilingo, have been founded by females. That makes Bose’s achievement all the more commendable, for not only being a part of the elite few but also because she had the zeal to envision the success at a tender age of 23, when she set about going Zilingo in 2015.

Specially in Southeast Asia, start- ups are supposed to be daring ventures, specifically because of the region’s reputation of being an emerging economy. However, the fashion potential of the region is unmatched. Be it the growing consumer demand or the rapidly growing and diversifying economy that led to higher incomes and more conscious preferences, Bose ensured that she made no wrong move while going about bring her dreams to life. With globalisation, people have understood the importance of fashion and are more open to procuring such style that stand in resonance with the expression of their selves. Bose saw this as an opportunity, but Zilingo wasn’t build as just another business to tap into consumer demands to yield the bucks for themselves.

In fact, Zilingo remains in essence an e- commerce platform that makes even small businesses make an impact in the fashion world with their fashion sensibilities. From helping local producers acquire their raw materials at reasonable rates to providing a larger platform for the sale of their products on the Zilingo website, Bose is ensuring that not only small scale businesses find it feasible to continue with their ventures but also enjoy the necessary exposure and gain sales on a larger scale that would otherwise have remain confined just to the local community, or within borders at best.

Yet in its pursuit of promoting locals, Zilingo does not loses its focus of being an enterprise. What’s perhaps heartening about this spunky sounding business is that it does not shy away from assisting producers even on rival platforms, while obviously intending, but not coercing, to have producers turn to their own. That itself speaks of the brilliance that Bose encompasses, not only in her acute business acumen but also in pursuing a world that is fair and free for all.


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