Co-founder and entrepreneur discusses his riskiest bets


A maverick is someone with an extraordinary imagination who challenges norms and forces people to think beyond the ordinary. YourStory goes backstage to discover the inspirations, secrets, and techniques of the remaining maverick within the enterprise globally: the entrepreneur.

This week, we examine a maverick of the e-commerce international: Rajiv Srivatsa, Co-founder of Urban Ladder.

“Everyone has two lives, and the second begins when you recognize you only have one.”

Rajiv Srivatsa, an IIT-Chennai and IIM-Bangalore graduate, took a significant chance with his Co-Founder and CEO Ashish Goel while the two determined to start Urban Ladder. In 2012, no one in India switched to shopping for fixtures online, but Rajiv reasoned that people would have balked at buying cellular phones and clothes online four years earlier.


Cut to 2019, and business is booming. The Indian furniture and furniture marketplace is growing steadily and is about to touch $44 billion in FY22, in line with a RedSeer report. Unlike other players, Urban Ladder focuses on private labels and offers premium offerings.

Through the highs and lows, the founders realized the cost of creating errors, the significance of touchdown on each ft, and using each 2d.

The biggest guess

Before Urban Ladder became possible, Rajiv spent over a decade operating with some multinational agencies, including Infosys, Cognizant, and Yahoo. When he changed to Switzerland, operating for Cognizant, Rajiv realized that he belonged within the internet area and joined Yahoo in Bengaluru.

At the same time, Ashish had wrapped up his stint at Amar Chitra Katha and moved to Bengaluru. The pals noticed there had been no reliance on fixture brands that supplied products of regular quality.

The duo decided to take a chance and release Urban Ladder, reasoning that they had enough cash to go years without revenue if it came down to it. Flipkart had become the dominant participant in the marketplace at the time, and Amazon hadn’t even entered India.

“Starting an enterprise became possibly the most important wager we took –as both Ashish and I didn’t have a heritage in eCommerce or fixtures.”

They released Urban Ladder with 35 designs from their catalog, going on a gut feeling that eCommerce has become an awesome bet. Since 2012, the business has raised approximately $112.8 million from buyers such as Ratan Tata, SAIF Partners, Kalaari Capital, and Sequoia Capital.

In 2017, it published a 70 percent growth in consolidated sales to Rs 95 crore for FY17 and narrowed its net loss to Rs hundred and fifty-five crore from Rs 182 crore inside the equal duration.

Rajiv says Urban Ladder views itself as an emblem rather than only a platform for others. It’s about controlling and tweaking their personal designs. Besides their mainstay furnishings, the employer also offers layout offerings indoors and is expanding into bodily retail as well.

“For me, very early on, whether or not I was in IIM-B or whether it was approximately beginning Urban Ladder or being in Yahoo, impacting millions of lives usually becomes a big a part of existence. Happiness on the give up of the day is pretty much what human beings want.”

Scale right down to scale up.

“If you’ve never failed in lifestyles, you’ll be a bad entrepreneur.”

Rajiv says that one of the first decisions the two co-founders ever made was not to go pan-India straight away but to be present simplest in three towns. In Bengaluru, Urban Ladder was using its own setup and delivery team, bringing in fantastic critiques. For the rest of India, however, it was using third-celebration vendors, inflicting some client lawsuits.

Eventually, Urban Ladder decided to pull out from those different cities, which wasn’t the best name to make, Rajiv notes. But he and Ashish have been clear that building a corporation in which clients had been complaining changed into no longer the form of legacy they wanted to go away at the back of. The circulate cost them approximately 1 / 4 of their revenue. However, in just a month, sales from Delhi and Mumbai closed the difference. This is revealed in the enterprise subculture: do a few matters; however, do them sincerely and properly.

“It is a tough selection for a startup to do this because when you’re one-month-antique, you want to do all kinds of business and ensure which you’re developing.”

Even after the business started growing, Urban Ladder allowed itself to make mistakes, learn from them, and move on. Rajiv lists the business enterprise’s missteps: spending plenty on marketing, growing products that weren’t proper to the logo, hiring too many people at once, spending plenty on a fancy workplace, etc.