US-based technology start-up Rokitt, founded by Rohit Mahajan and Oksana Sokolovsky, launched its platform for women entrepreneurs in India called Women Entrepreneur International (WEI).
The platform, which already has 4,000 women members in India, provides all services required to start a business, including providing educational tools, skill workshops, legal and accounting services, marketing and web development support and even help with securing funding for business initiatives.
“We started last year with an aim to bring to the market 10 products that are different and will add value to the said segments. One of the areas we wanted to focus was women, as it will have a social impact, too. With WEI, we are helping women become entrepreneurs and providing a better platform to scale for those who have already started,” said Sokolovsky, co-founder and president, Rokitt.
While WEI was launched in India first, it will be a global platform targeted at women in the US and Europe.
The response in India has so far been encouraging said Sokolovsky. “We launched the platform in May and since then we have 4,000 women entrepreneur becoming our members. Our target is to get 100,000 women on to this platform by this year-end and in over two years take the number to a million.”
Mahajan and Sokolovsky want more women from tier-II and III to join the platform.
“We have women entrepreneurs from the top-five metros, but the target is smaller towns. We are having a workshop in Trichy and already have 5,000 registrations for it. We are targeting regions like Meghalaya, Shillong, Haryana and Pune, among others,” said Mahajan.
Other than creating a network for women entrepreneurs, WEI will also give them access to funds for which Rokitt has tied up with banks and so far has four large banks part of the platform, they are also setting up network of legal advisory so that members can get easy access to understanding legal issues or starting a business.
“For any start-up more than funding it is about the right mentorship. We are in the process of identifying Champions from within the WEI network. We are also reaching out to successful women entrepreneurs to be part of this platform,” added Sokolovsky.
Rokitt has been setup with an intention to create products that can then be leveraged for a larger base of users. Other than WEI, Rokitt will launch nine other products both for India and the global markets.
Some of these include ROAR, which is an augmented reality product that caters to industries such as real estate, health, education and media and ToFrom, an online travel platform and GoLokal, an app for hyper local business.
“India is a central part of our business. We will have products that will first be released in India and then to the global market. Our goal is to transform through innovation,” said Mahajan.
So far both the founders have invested $2 million dollars in the business and have not approached any investors for funding. “We wanted to first create a strong technology foundation. We didn’t want to approach an investors when we were either in beta stage or with a prototype. All our platforms are release one,” said Mahajan.
Both Mahajan and Sokolovsky come from the financial industry having worked with banks like Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, United Health Group and Deutsche Bank. Sokolovsky is confident that their start-up, Rokitt, will break-even in the first quarter of 2016. “All the products cater to the global market. I think by the first quarter of 2016 we will have revenue of $2 million.