Radhika Ghai Aggarwal: Co-founder and CBO of ShopClues

Megha Rani Megha Rani Anik Banerjee Anik Banerjee
Sep 8, 2021 9 min read
Radhika Ghai Aggarwal: Co-founder and CBO of ShopClues

Radhika Ghai Aggarwal is the current Chief Business Officer (CBO) and Co-founder of the e-commerce ShopClues, which was established in 2011 with just 10 team members. She is the first woman Co-founder in India, whose company entered the Unicorn Club. Radhika's husband was Sandeep Aggarwal, who founded ShopClues with her and Sanjay Sethi. Sandeep served as the CEO of the company before resigning in 2013. Soon after that, Sanjay Sethi was made the CEO of the company, and he is currently continuing with the same designation.

Radhika Aggarwal- Biography

Name Radhika Ghai Aggarwal
Nationality Indian
Education Washington University
Profession Entrepreneur
Position CBO & Co-founder, ShopClues

Radhika Aggarwal- Personal Life
Radhika Aggarwal- Early Life
Radhika Aggarwal- Education
Radhika Aggarwal- Professional Life
Radhika Aggarwal- Women and Employee Empowerment
Radhika Aggarwal- ShopClues
Radhika Aggarwal- Kindlife
Radhika Aggarwal- Awards
ShopClues- Competitors


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Radhika Aggarwal- Personal Life

Radhika Ghai Aggarwal was born to an Army family. Her father was employed in the Indian Army and her mother was a dietician by profession. She got married to Sandeep Aggarwal, whom she met during her college days. However, the couple eventually got divorced in 2017. Their relationship started turning bitter when Sandeep was arrested by the FBI in 2013.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation charged Sandeep Aggarwal for insider trading. Sandeep worked as an analyst at the US-based Collins Stewart before he started the dotcom venture. This was when he was involved in leaking non-public information to a former SAC Capital portfolio manager. Sandeep was arrested by the FBI in San Jose, California after which he resigned from the company, giving way to Sanjay Sethi, another Co-founder of the company to become the CEO of ShopClues. The couple eventually saw their way to separation.

Radhika Ghai Aggarwal currently lives in Gurgaon, Haryana, as per her Twitter profile.

Radhika Aggarwal- Early Life

Being an Army ward, she grew up in ten different cities including Pathankot, Ahmednagar, and Jodhpur, and attended several schools throughout her childhood. Traveling to new places gave her the opportunity to meet new people and adapt to the formidable change, which further helped in running a business without getting affected by daunting changes and challenges.

Perseverance is yet another quality that she learned while growing up. Her attitude of not giving up helped her in standing against all odds in the startup world.

Radhika actively helped her father, who started his health club after he left the Army at the age of 45, in 1992. She served as a fitness trainer during the early days of her father's entrepreneurship venture. This way she also earned her first-ever pay cheque of Rs. 400. Following her father's entrepreneurial mind, she founded her very first advertising agency in Chandigarh in 1997. Though the entrepreneur in her was also there, founding her advertising agency happened primarily due to the dearth of options available there in Chandigarh, as she would like to put it.

Radhika Aggarwal on her success mantra

Radhika Aggarwal- Education

Radhika Aggarwal completed her graduation and eventually went for an MBA in 1999 after ending her brief stint as the founder of an advertising agency. Radhika pursued an MBA from Washington University, in St. Louis, US. She also holds another post-graduation degree in advertising and public relations. Furthermore, Radhika also participated in an executive program at Stanford University.


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Radhika Aggarwal- Professional Life

Radhika Aggarwal started her career in the marketing field at Goldman Sachs in 2001. However, the very next year she left the company to join Nordstrom, headquartered in Seattle, Washington. Along with strategic planning, she also learned the inverted pyramid structure there and studied how it works in reality. Nordstrom was a company where the customers were prioritized.

"Even the CEO would be seen on the floor being a shoe runner, just to understand the needs of the customer better. The entire company and its ethos revolve around this concept. It helps you understand what the customer wants,” recalled Radhika.

It was Nordstrom that founded the base of learning in her professional career, which was deemed to add an extra edge later while working on her startup.

She stayed with Nordstrom till early 2006 after which she took a pregnancy break. However, indomitable as her spirit was, Radhika rose up rather quickly from her break and resumed her career with Abhivyakti Infotech, where she worked as a marketing strategist.

With the start of the next year, Radhika started Fashion Clues in 2007, a fashion and lifestyle website that focused on the people of South Asia and the US, which she began to manage single-handedly.

Brimming with experience, Radhika decided to found another startup with her husband, Sandeep and Sanjay Sethi. She had quite an experience, close to 14 years by then, which she garnered while working at Nordstrom and during her stay in the US when she amassed considerable experience in diverse sectors like e-commerce, fashion, lifestyle, and retail. Radhika founded her e-commerce venture ShopClues with her husband, Sandeep Aggarwal, and Sanjay Sethi in 2011. She reportedly started with a team of 10 members. However, gradually the workforce kept on increasing as the company rose in popularity. Shopclues emerged as a unicorn company in January 2016, India's fourth unicorn company. She currently serves as the CBO and Co-founder of Shopclues.


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Radhika Aggarwal- Women and Employee Empowerment

Radhika was once asked that whether she has been able to change the convention towards women employees across the industry she had served. On this, the Co-founder and CBO of Shopclues replied:

"The best way I deal with this is to avoid gender-based discrimination in the first place. At ShopClues, we empower a good worker and we provide equal opportunities that can help maximize potential. If you're an able worker, gender doesn't even come into the picture. At ShopClues, we have women leading our vibrant community of merchant partners. Our women employees know I have their back, and that they are at par with our male employees, with many of them in the leadership team."

Radhika Aggarwal encourages women to share their opinions, voice out their challenges and any other issues that bother them. She is known to have discussions with her women employees at the cafeteria, which helps her keep a track of her women employees and their grievances to address them duly.

Furthermore, Shopclues follows a no-door policy in the office, where there are no designated cabins differentiating the co-founders and the employees. Both Radhika and Sanjay sit with their employees, which helps them maintain a strong bond with their employees.

Radhika Aggarwal- ShopClues

ShopClues Logo

ShopClues was founded in July 2011 and is currently headquartered in Gurgaon. This was 2 years before the emergence of Amazon India. The company served as an Indian online marketplace and saw a steady rise in popularity, revenues, and funding. It once became the only choice for millions of Indians. Seeing the potential in Shopclues, the company saw funds pouring in Tiger Global, Helion Ventures, and Nexus Venture Partners. It also successfully registered a GMV of $400 million in 2015.

Being valued at $1.1 billion, Shopclues achieved unicorn status between late 2015 and early 2016 and was recognized as the 4th Indian unicorn company, which was in talks for an IPO. However, destiny had it the other way round, as the Co-founders of the company were caught in an ugly spat, following which the revenues of Shopclues started to slow down, while the losses started to pile up. The company's revenues increased by a feeble 5% in FY17, in contrast to the steady 50% with which it had been growing. Besides, the losses stood at around Rs 332 crores by then. Though the company started to cut costs, advertising expenses, and expenses on its employees in 2018, the competition was on a rise with Flipkart, Amazon, Paytm, and others, which were growing at dizzying speeds.

It also planned again for an IPO in 2018 but it didn't materialize. Furthermore, the company saw too many exits, firing of employees, coupled with the loss of a legal fight with L’oreal. All of these beat Shopclues down and its troubles to thrive became public. The rumors of a possible merger or sale were also doing the rounds. After talks of mergers with Snapdeal and ebay.in were dissolved, Shopclues was finally acquired by the Singapore-based Qoo10, which acquired the company in an all-stock deal.

Radhika Aggarwal- Kindlife

Radhika Ghai Aggarwal, Shopclues Co-founder has started Kindlife.in, her next venture, as of September 6, 2021. Kindlife is deemed to be a marketplace for organic products spanning across a range of categories.

The website of the brand is equipped with different spaces, pages, and forums of varying topics like nutrition, grooming, wellness, and others along with a list of products that can be bought.

According to the website of Kindlife, Alphacama is registered as the parent entity for the brand and Vidit Jain is listed as the director. Deltacama Pvt Ltd and Zetacama Pvt Ltd are two other entities incorporated by Ghai where Jain also serves as a director for the other two entities along with Ghai.

Radhika Aggarwal- Awards

Radhika has been conferred with numerous awards and recognition in her professional life. Here are some of the prestigious awards that she has won in 2016:

  • Outlook Business Woman of Worth at Outlook Business Awards
  • Woman Entrepreneur of the Year at Entrepreneur India Awards
  • Exemplary Woman Entrepreneur of the Year at CMO Asia Awards
  • CEO of the Year Award at CEO India Awards

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ShopClues- Competitors

It was obviously not a cup of tea to build an e-commerce website from scratch, especially with a good amount of competition that was already in a rage back then. ShopClues was established when Flipkart and Snapdeal were already in the business and had raised a considerable amount of money and popularity. Jabong was also founded in the same year along with ShopClues.

As of now, September 8, 2021, the competitors of ShopClues further multiplied with Flipkart and Snapdeal already cementing their positions as homegrown eCommerce giants along with Amazon India, which emerge together to be nothing less than household names in eCommerce. Some other competitors of Shopclues include Jabong, Myntra, Naaptol, HomeShop18, Yepme, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs

What is ShopClues net worth in FY20?

ShopClues has an operating revenue of INR 89 Crores in FY20, the year that ended on March 31, 2020.

Is ShopClues a unicorn?

ShopClues became India's fourth unicorn firm valued over a billion dollars at $1.1 billion in January 2016 within just 5 years after its launch.

Is ShopClues an Indian company?

Yes, ShopClues is an Indian company headquartered in Gurugram, India.

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