Ruchi Varma: Women Entrepreneur and Founder of Aaruvi Ruchi Verma
Ruchi Varma is a fashion designer by education. She had a dream to create her own brand. During the pandemic, she started researching online and gathering insights/trends based on product popularity, customer reviews etc.
On the bases of the research, she rolled out her first set of 10 designs targeted to expecting and nursing mothers spending their time online.
Ruchi was born & raised in Darbhanga, Bihar, India. She had a passion for the arts. After some gentle prodding from her encouraging father, she went to National Institute of Fashion & Technology (NIFT) Mumbai.
There she learned about Indian designs. She focused her dissertation on women’s, girl’s and kid’s wear. She joined ‘The Shirt Company’ in Navi Mumbai for designing the dresses for Barbie dolls. She worked there for two years. Later she joined ‘Westside’.
There they put her in charge of the kids wear (boy’s) section, though her interest lay in designing outfits for little girls.
For two years, she worked on research and development for this section, travelling to Dubai and researching trends and enjoying my work.”
She worked in the fashion industry with brands like Tata Westside etc. for 7 years before deciding to quit the corporate world. She had to quit her job to move to Delhi because her husband was transferred.
She joined Spencer’s and then the pandemic struck in 2020. As of Ruchi, “After working in corporate houses for three years, she realized that work life was hectic for her as a woman and she was finding it difficult to continue.”
This is when she decided to launch her own online fashion brand, Aaruvi Ruchi Verma, from home, with minimal investment and zero employees.
By using a small investment and a network of local vendors, she produced her first collection of maternity wear dresses and tunics.
She listed them on Amazon and Flipkart and started seeing sales and good reviews. She wanted to invest & expand more to raise money, open an office, hire employees etc. but the pandemic & lockdowns forced her to think differently.
Later, she decided to focus on her core competency like rolling out a strong product. She was confused about failure & ecosystem. But later, she decided to give it a try and completely focus 100% on rolling out styles that her customers loved.
Very soon, she started expanding her range from 10 styles to 50 styles. The order volumes grew disproportionately and so did good reviews and repeat users. More marketplaces began to work with her.
She continued focusing on rolling out new designs every month. She partnered with external companies for everything else like manufacturing, sales, marketing, logistics, photoshoot, GST management etc.
As a result, she learnt that running a profitable business is hard but there already is a huge ecosystem of companies that are willing to partner & grow creators and entrepreneurs like her & that makes it possible.
Using a completely ecosystem driven model, she was able to work on her own passion while growing her business manifold to be on track to 5Cr revenues this year and a healthy profit margin.
Today “Aaruvi Ruchi Verma” is a top maternity wear brand on marketplaces with sales growing 30% MoM.
It’s a completely bootstrapped startup with 0 capital raised so far, 0 employees and 0 fixed cost investment.
She has been able to fund her entire expansion using profits created from her sales and continue to rollout new products every month.
Today, her range is live on Myntra, Ajio, Nykaa fashion, Firstcry etc. Recently, she opened her website and rolled out the first collection of casual wear (non-maternity) dresses last month.
The response is great. She is willing to continue to scale her business to new heights. Her story will be relevant for all the budding entrepreneurs with a passion to create things.
The message she wants to share is nothing is impossible and there are many opportunities out there now to achieve your dream. Ruchi worked on these aspects and made sure her line was comfortable, chic, and also convenient.
“My outfits are dispatched with a personalised card wishing the user ‘Happy Motherhood’ and other emotional messages. I think this has touched a chord,” she says.
Ruchi noticed that most women complained that the maternity wear available in the market was not comfortable, the prints were not attractive, and design elements like zippers in feeding dresses were visible.
Her mission was to make her customers delighted with comfortable and chic designer yet affordable clothing.
The unique part about her business is this is a completely ecosystem driven model. It’s a completely bootstrapped startup with 0 capital raised so far, 0 employees and 0 fixed cost investment. She had always wanted to start out on her own and this proved to be the right time for it.
She quit her job and started researching online and gathering insights/trends based on product popularity, customer reviews, etc., on what works in the market. As of Ruchi, there are some key things to be considered before starting a startup.
She noticed that one should spend time to understand what users need and then create products that fulfil those needs.
She learnt that running a profitable business is hard but there already is a huge ecosystem of companies that are willing to partner & grow creators and entrepreneurs like her & that make it possible.