Covid-19 came like a tsunami and swept us off our feet without anyone could figure out what was happening. As we arise from its impact and adapt to survive, we hear heartwarming stories about how people and their businesses adapted and evolved to survive the pandemic. In many cases, it wasn’t just about survival, but a story of growth and evolution in the face of inevitable demise.
Of all these stories, most extraordinary are those of women entrepreneurs owing to the fact that Covid-19 has had a disproportionate impact on women all over the world. Below we list four such women-led companies that either pivoted or evolved to write a new growth story:
1. Mobikwik: Mobikwik has pivoted from being a wallet operator to a full-stack fintech player bringing Financial Inclusion to the Indian masses and delivering on the promise of Digital India. Today it is one of the biggest survival stories of the fintech space. The company has overcome various hurdles over the years and has demonstrated how to scale revenue even in a highly competitive space like fintech.
Since the pandemic began, Mobikwik has created its own niche in the Indian fintech ecosystem with its digital credit card model. At a time where even conglomerates are struggling to survive, Mobikwik has raised ₹52 crores in a fresh round of funding led by Hindustan Media Ventures, the investment arm of HT group.
2. Advantage Club: Advantage Club is known as India’s largest employee engagement platform that creates a mutually beneficial relationship between companies and brands to offer exclusive rewards to employees. Since the pandemic began, Advantage Club stayed true to its commitment to understanding employees’ necessities and requirements. It curated more than 100 work from essentials like Tables, Chairs, UPS, Wireless headphones, etc. that employees of their partner organisations could get through a prefilled dedicated wallet. More than 110 companies are already using this platform, and Advantage Club aims to onboard many more by capitalising on the ease this product category will bring to employees and their respective companies.
Previously the company also helped businesses get back into the office by launching a Fight-COVID programme. This multi-step action plan made offices COVID proof and connected businesses to health insurance firms.
3. Nykaa: Nykaa has become a household name today. This women-led company is currently one of the most prominent retailing fashion and cosmetics players and boasts a consumer base of more than 5 million people. However, the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdowns meant that its catalogue’s non-essential products could not be sold or delivered. Therefore, the company pivoted to include essential personal care and hygiene products like handwashes, masks, and hand sanitisers under its private label.
4. ZoloStays: ZoloStays is a market leader in its segment of co-living space in India. The company helps students and working professionals find shared accommodation with food. Considering that the company is built on the foundation of shared living space, COVID-19 has been a significant challenge for its survival. To bide time and ensure sustainability in the future, it built a digital community and launched a SaaS platform for rental housing management.