Once an Entrepreneur, Always an Entrepreneur
Sashi & Rekha Somavarapu — Marketfront
Sashi Somavarapu, founder of MarketFront and Redlily, is excited by technology and passionately applies entrepreneurial thinking to everything around him.
Sashi’s entrepreneurial streak can be traced to his undergrad days. He began his journey by developing a novel way to build circuits for nanotechnology -based instruments at an innovation lab at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT). The business plan he built around this solution was selected as one of the top five B-plans shortlisted from a pool of about 1000 participants.
A visionary from the beginning, Sashi dreamt big and joined Amazon’s internal startup called Warehouse Deals and created three technology products in the seven years that he worked there. This experience served as the perfect platform and boosted his entrepreneurial spirit as well as allowed him to learn the basics of building scalable products and enterprises.
Having accumulated learnings, Sashi, along with his wife Rekha, founded Redlily.com, a company that sells B2C products in the children and family category. Today, Redlily.com features as one of the top vendors for the biggest Indian online marketplaces. However, this was not the final goal for Sashi and Rekha. In their quest to make a bigger impact, the husband-wife duo decided to build Marketfront — a Software as a Service (SaaS) product aimed at solving the problems faced by retailers while selling products on multiple online channels. What started as a product built exclusively for Redlily.com is used by many sellers today.
“Every day you have either a tough moment or a joyful moment. Be with it!”
Sashi and Rekha have had more than their fair share of shocks. They faced a culture shock when they moved to India and faced difficulties in setting up the business. They found it challenging to explain their vision to the team. Such experiences made it clear to them that people in India view opportunities with a more pessimistic lens when compared to the West. They saw the manifestation of the term ‘risk aversion’ and the two industrious entrepreneurs were discouraged. However, their passion for building new products kept them going. It also helped that they had strong co-founders, who perfectly complemented their skill sets and shared a vision. While Sashi looks after the technology and operations, Rekha manages the HR, product, and project management aspects of the business. This division of responsibilities has helped them focus on what they want to deliver and keep the passion of pursuing their entrepreneurial dreams alive.
Riding on the Indian e-commerce wave, Sashi and Rekha are determined to make Marketfront a billion-dollar company in the next five years. The duo has learned their lessons well and are well placed on the path to success.