Much before Shark Tank India – the TV reality show based on pitching startup ideas by budding entrepreneurs– captured the popular imagination, Dipti Vrijesh Pandey embarked on her entrepreneurship journey and launched ‘3d_fashionista’ – an online shopping boutique during the COVID-induced lockdown. With this start-up, she not only established a growing business for herself but in the process also generated employment opportunities for others.
When the nationwide curfew was imposed in March 2020, Dipti, along with her sisters, co-founded an online shopping boutique facilitating people to shop from the comfort of their homes with free deliveries. The sisters agreed to pool their savings to raise capital for their boutique. During her two years of the entrepreneurial journey, Dipti has provided employment opportunities to college-going students, ex-MNC employees, and housewives.
The success story of her start-up has been primarily built on the back of digital resources and social media. When the country went into lockdown, Dipti along with her sisters used social media to target the young and fashion-conscious audience. The sisters promoted their fashion products including bridal lehengas, festive clothing, and other fashion items and accessories on social media platforms, primarily on Instagram and YouTube. To ensure that her customers didn’t have to step out of the safety of their homes during the lockdown, Dipti offered free shipping on all her products to the customers. The online shop performed well and has been seeing increasing sales month-on-month.
Apart from her entrepreneurial ambitions, Dipti also has other talents and ambitions. On the technical side, Dipti has been working on special AI-based software that can perform Sentiment Analysis of Real-time tweets (which can help us to identify whether a particular tweet contains hate speech or not). The idea struck her when she was using Grammarly, Inc., a software company that uses AI to identify errors and suggest their replacements in text or sentences.
In addition to this, she is also working on a career guidance project. The platform plans to rope in experts from varied fields to help students choose the right career path. Being an environmentally responsible citizen, Dipti also did her bit to save the planet. In keeping with the practices recommended under sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Dipti celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi in an eco-friendly manner. The idol of Ganesha was made with soil and the pandal was decorated with reusable household props and biscuit wrappers.
Dipti Vrijesh Pandey is a finalist for Most Creative Use of Social Media because… during the COVID-induced lockdown, when most people lost their jobs, she provided employment opportunities through her online fashion start-up shop and used social media in constructive ways.