If you’re an aspiring or even a fast-growing D2C brand, you’ve probably had questions around hiring the right people for the job and growing your team to enable your business to scale to new heights. 


Building the right team has been a point of struggle for most startup founders, however the right team has the potential to make the business worthwhile as well as successful in the long run.


In the second episode of the “Learn with Simpl” webinar series, we bring to you Chakradhar Gade of Country Delight and Neha Kanth of Clovia alongside Simpl’s Nitya Sharma as they take you through their journey in the Indian D2C space and try to answer questions around building a dream team for your business and help you tackle your hiring dilemma.


There’s no success without challenges


Chakradhar Gade talks about his aha moment and he saw an opportunity in the mass market of food essentials – delivering essentials to customers straight from the farmers. 


It was not always easy going for Country Delight which was founded in 2013 and bootstrapped for a good part of the last 9 years. However, as Chakradhar emphasises, a good initial team made all the difference – sharing similar passion for the business. Now Country Delight is a household name, serving more than 2 million customers in the top 12-13 cities of India, simply because they chose to solve a deep rooted problem in India and remained persistent with the right people to navigate the ship.


Clovia is a lingerie brand that was founded way back when the term D2C didn’t exist. Intimate wear for women was sold over the counter – which didn’t make a lot of sense because these pieces were intimate and personal to women. 


Neha Kanth’s aha moment came when she travelled to Germany and came across fitted intimate wear. This was when she realised that the problem in India was with the supply chain as well as how lingerie is sold over the counter. And now, 10 years later, Clovia is a household name in India’s womens’ wear market.


Key learnings:


  • Hire for passion – always pick passion over talent because talent can be acquired but the passion for work is something that has to be instilled in someone. But one must also understand that there might be some mistakes which shouldn’t bring them down.
  • Have a flat work culture – build a work culture where everyone feels like they belong and everyone is approachable. 
  • Focus on a bottoms up approach – speak to the employees on the ground on a regular basis and understand how they are feeling as opposed to talking to top level managers.
  • Identify essential job functions and plan for them – a mistake often made by founders just starting out is not budgeting for the right talent for essential job functions. Ensure that you have the requirements mapped out 
  • Don’t expect top-performers to work under market-value – Besides being passionate, employees expect fun and money from work. You must ensure that they’re happy because they’re the flag bearers of your brand for the long run.


Trust is a major factor


Food and intimate wear are two categories that require a lot of trust and building trust in D2C is a whole different ball game.


  • Keep listening to your customers to find out what they feel and where you’re lacking.
  • It always helps if your team is a part of your target audience because it will help solve pain points before it even impacts a customer.
  • Transparency and communication is key – it’s okay to make mistakes but it’s important to communicate that to your customers and be transparent about it.


The importance of culture 


As a company grows, it can be difficult to instil the right culture throughout. Some might even say that it’s not sustainable to build a great culture at scale. However, there are certains things you can do to ensure a good culture throughout.


  • Solve small problems for your employees while doing business, this will ensure that they’re giving it their all
  • Retention is a sign of good culture
  • Empathy is key to a great work culture
  • Build a direct connection with your employees and team members 
  • Never mix a positive and a negative message at once


The energy you carry as an entrepreneur or a founder is the energy you give out to your audience who are your employees.


“Entrepreneurs are like actors on a stage” – Neha Kanth


Wrapping up


The session ended with a Q&A session where Chakradhar Gade and Neha Kanth answered some of the questions from the attendees with regard to ESOPs, recruitment, organisational structure, delegation, etc.


To learn more insights such as these, watch the webinar recording now!


Wednesday, October 12th, 2022

11:00 AM Onwards

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