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How Richa Kar has brought a revolution in lingerie shopping with her startup: Zivame

Zivame Founder - Richa Kar
Zivame Founder – Richa Kar

Talking about lingerie, which is still somewhat a hush-hush topic among the people of India, some people have brought a revolution in this cause. Moreover, if we compare with about this a decade back then, people took at as a taboo, which is now taken gracefully yet a bit privately.

Talking about revolution, one cannot overlook the contribution made by Richa Kar, the founder of Zivame, for the women who face issues while going through their personal needs and are embarrassed for them instead of embracing it. Hence, as a boon to the women, Zivame has solved many issues that one faces while buying lingerie.

About Zivame

Zivame Founder - Richa Kar
Zivame Founder – Richa Kar

Zivame (1) was founded in 2011 by Richa Kar came up with this idea when she came to know that Victoria’s Secret annually gets a forth of their revenue through online sales. As the women of India goes through a much embarrassment and awkwardness, she decided to establish the online lingerie brand for women.

Zivame is India’s leading online lingerie store with a wide variety and more than 5000 styles, 50 brands, and over 100s of size to cater to the needs of women. The word Zivame has the meaning of radiance, and hence likewise Richa Kar didn’t want any women to feel any shame while buying lingerie. Although this portal was also considered as a taboo at first and people couldn’t digest it soo well and aimed to fire questions all around Richa and her family. However, with a healthy mindset, Richa proved her concept and made her business a successful one to which women look forward as a youthful brand and saves them from embarrassment.

The Story of Zivame


Richa Kar, who was just an MBA graduate, wanted to do something for women to satisfy their calls, herself being a woman she knew what every girl or woman feels when they head to a lingerie store. All of us have at least once experienced the awkwardness and the embarrassment of going into a lingerie shop with male staff lingering all around and wanted to rush out from that store as soon as possible. And to solve all these problems, Richa Kar came up with the idea of building up an online lingerie store.

Although this idea initially wasn’t digested by many of us, Richa Kar being an engineering and MBA graduate, this idea was absurd also to her mother. When first she came up with this, her mother exclaimed to her horror of selling lingerie online, but as all of us can see the success of Zivame, her mother indeed is proud of her right now!

Business Model & Revenue


Zivame has a B2C business model and has partnered brands who feel about selling their products on the portal of Zivame, and interested people can buy them. It functions like every other online shopping brand but is focused on lingerie more than anything else and wishes to carter to women’s needs as their priority.

They charge with almost 15-20% commission on every transaction and have a 50 to 60% margin over their sales, generating a large amount of revenue. As their online portal is a success, they are planning to come up with about 100 offline walks in stores with the best service to women and to fulfill their needs.

Climbing the steps


Zivame was started with a collection of money of approx Rs. 35 Lakhs which included Richa Kar’s savings and the offerings and contribution through family and friends. In the first round of fundings, they got about 3 million dollars by the Kalaari Capitals and IDG Ventures.

The second round of funding was taken up in December 2015, and the company raised $6 million by Ronnie Screwvala, Unilzer Ventures, IDG Ventures, and Kalaari Capitals. But the biggest fundings occurred with 40 million dollars in 2016 through many big companies who saw the strength and boldness in Zivame and made it capable of achieving heights.

Although Zivame earns nicely through their users but as for the record, they reported an 85% increase in a net loss as Rs. 55 Crore in FY 2016 but with 40% growth in Rs. 63 Crore. They have an inventory cost of approximately Rs. 48 Crore and spends a fortune on advertising and attracting people but somewhat gets covered through their revenue.

Benefits and Pros of Zivame


Zivame understands the needs of women of different sizes and ages. Hence they develop in-house brands for women of different ages. For instance, Pen.ny for urban women, Cou Cou for younger developing women and Rosaline for premium cotton products, these are specially hand-sewn in parts of the world like Europe, India, China, Latin-America, and contributes about 2/3rds of the revenue.

Zivame stocks various sizes and shapes for every kind of woman, as one of the most significant problems a woman faces in lingeries, is that they don’t have appropriate sizes available. Brands tend to keep stock of sizes that are worn by most of the women, but for the women with odd proportions, it isn’t straightforward for them to find an appropriate fit. Through applying proper filters and sorting out their needs, one can find a suitable fit. Moreover, the company understands that it is not easy to find a perfect fit, and hence the return option of Zivame is also pretty attractive, and one can easily send back the item if they don’t think it fits well onto them.

Buying lingerie is somewhat an intimate business of one’s body and made women feel comfortable about their needs, Zivame has undoubtedly set an example for women to feel free and safe about their needs and has established a healthy and successful model.