RAMINA HAOROKCHAM / WHY GOJILOVE’S FOUNDER AND CEO IS ALL ABOUT BUSINESS, PLEASURE AND GUTSY DECISIONS
Whether it’s winning the #SheCEO award or being the first women in India (and definitely the first North-Eastern person) to start an online destination for intimate and erotic products, Gojilove’s Ramina Haorokcham has always known that she wanted to run her own company.
NeBuzz: How do you explain GojiLove to people?
Ramina Haorokcham: Gojilove.com
is India’s premiere online store for personal and intimate products, erotics and accessories, pleasurable objects and sexy luxury intimate wears, and recently we also introduced fashionable dresses.
What does the name mean?
I lived in China for over three years and I wanted to bring some Chinese elements into my company name as a remembrance of the warm feelings I had during my stay there. So Gojilove comes from the word ‘goji’, which is a Chinese berry. It’s called the “love berry” and is known to have aphrodisiac properties apart from its many other health benefits.
How did you come up with the idea of Gojilove?
The idea of Gojilove came after I went for a job interview in an erotic toys company in Shanghai when I was living there. It was the first time I had ever stepped into such an environment. I guess most people would be shocked, but for me I thought it was such an interesting category, because as a person I love being exposed to new things and learning about them. So after the interview, I started researching and the more I dug into it, I found out that this category in the Indian market was huge and still unexplored and this was in 2013.
So that’s when it all started?
Yes. The idea for Gojilove started then. I started making a business plan and shared it with some of my friends and mentor and they really appreciated the concept. Meanwhile, the start-up ecosystem with Modi’s government was also happening and the push from the government to encourage entrepreneurship made me decide to leave my job and China, and to start Gojilove in India ASAP. So, in December 2014 I moved from Shanghai to Delhi and by February 2015 I launched Gojilove and now we deliver all across India.
That was pretty gutsy!
I guess people might see that as a gutsy move but for me I had already done all the research and was quite sure that this is what I wanted to do. Plus this category has huge potential. Maybe the gutsy part is associated with the conservatism that exist in today’s society and how people perceive these types of products. I believe that through this platform and our products we can help raise awareness around intimacy and sexuality in our society.
So far how have people reacted?
We have had a lot of positive responses. Initially people were inquisitive since it was a new concept for most of them but now they are excited about it and love it since it addresses a very basic and necessary requirement.
What are some of the most popular products?
Our lingerie section, apart from condoms and lubes, is very popular and does very well. We also have a lot of queries on many pleasurable products and their usage, so we see great potential in this category. We have also added a bath and body section where we have introduced Kissable Massage Oils in four different flavours and the response and demand for them have been really good. The clothing section is also doing very well so we are expanding the product range in it because of encouraging customers’ feedback.
What are some of your personal favourite products?
The lingerie and accessories sections are my favorites as they are unique and not readily available in India (like pasties and C-strings). Also our Gojilove Kissable Massage Oils because you won’t find them anywhere else in India. So we are launching a new section called “Gojilove Exclusive” which will have all the exclusive items that is only found in Gojilove and nowhere else in India.
Where do you get your stuff?
We mainly source our products from big manufacturers outside of India. We also have tie-ups with lots of manufacturers around the world who have done work for big brands in US and Europe, so the quality assurance is high and the designs are very appealing and trendy. We don’t want to compromise our quality.
Setting up Gojilove, were there any problems?
Being a founder of any new company, I also underwent certain hurdles, which I am sure other founders may also have gone through. But having believed in myself, putting consistent effort every single day, and with all the blessings from my well wishers, Gojilove came to life. I seriously thank my parents, families and friends who believed in the vision and me, and are supporting me along the whole way.
Do you get a lot of traffic from the North-East?
Yes, we do and we really appreciate the fact that North-Eastern people are very fashion conscious, experimental and open-minded about it. Being from the North-East, we know the sentiments and also the choices regarding fashionable clothes and lingerie, so it’s good for us. Apart from the big cities, we also have lots of customers from second-tier towns like Chandigarh, Jaipur, Ludhiana and Bhopal. Currently, Karnataka and Punjab are two states we deliver to the most.
What are your future plans?
Our plan is to become the most trusted place for pleasurable products where you can find anything, and have it delivered to your doorstep the next day. We are working and trying to improve by implementing and delegating whatever is needed – be it in customer care, improving quality, or faster delivery. We are also really looking forward to bringing in more innovative and interesting products, which are not really available in the Indian market as we want to be a pioneer in bringing such amazing products, which have been tried, tested and enjoyed in other countries across the world. This will be our USP.
Ok, finally what are some things you wish you could tell your 21-year-old self?
Hmmm…I would tell my 21 year-old self to travel a lot, to try and live in as many countries as you can, learn new cultures and make new friends because you learn a lot from such experiences. There is no teacher like experience.
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