Interview: Alisha Chouhan, founder of IKIRU & Women Entrepreneur

Alisha Chouhan

An interview with Alisha Chouhan, founder of IKIRU, a curated platform for Wooden Furniture, Home Decor, and Designer Lights

Meet Alisha Chouhan, the visionary founder of IKIRU, a platform that originated from the ethos of Japanese minimalism and has blossomed into a hub for design-centric products from India. A passionate advocate for elegant simplicity, Alisha’s journey embodies a fusion of cultural inspiration and entrepreneurial spirit.

Tell us a little about yourself

Alisha Chouhan: I am Alisha Chouhan, founder of IKIRU, a platform inspired by the Japanese culture of minimalism and now evolved to showcasing design-led products from across India. Coming from a business class family, father has been in the construction industry, my upbringing instilled in me a deep appreciation for interior design industry.

In November 2021, IKIRU was born with a singular mission: to offer a seamless online shopping experience for furniture and home decor, emphasizing ease of discovery through various thematic categories.

With a degree in Btech and MS in Management from NYU and a background in Global Sales at an IT firm , I spent nine years refining my skills in the industry. Combining my engineering and management qualifications, I envisioned something greater: a technologically advanced platform that transcends traditional e-commerce boundaries.

Please tell us a little about your entrepreneurial journey

Alisha Chouhan: My entrepreneurial journey is a blend of diverse experiences that have shaped my vision and approach. Before founding IKIRU, I had the opportunity to delve into the IT industry, working with an IT product firm where I played a pivotal role in facilitating the company’s global expansion into key markets such as the USA, UK, and UAE.

This experience provided me with invaluable insights into business operations on an international scale and honed my skills in strategic planning and execution.

Additionally, my stint in an AR/VR firm during the early stages of my career exposed me to the vibrant startup culture. Immersed in a dynamic environment, I gained firsthand knowledge of the challenges and opportunities that come with building a successful venture from the ground up.

This experience fueled my entrepreneurial aspirations and instilled in me a deep appreciation for innovation and disruption.

Combining my background in IT with a passion for design and interior decor, I founded IKIRU with a clear vision to revolutionize the way people engage with their living spaces. Drawing inspiration from the Japanese philosophy of minimalism, IKIRU aims to offer not just products but a curated experience that resonates with modern lifestyles.

As I continue on this entrepreneurial journey, I am driven by a relentless pursuit of excellence and innovation. Each experience, whether in the IT industry or the world of startups, has contributed to my growth and shaped my entrepreneurial mindset. With IKIRU, I am committed to pushing boundaries, creating value, and making a meaningful impact in the world of interior design.

Kindly brief us about your company, its specialization, and the services that it offers

Alisha Chouhan: IKIRU is a forward-thinking platform that specializes in curating design-led products. Our mission is to provide customers with a seamless and inspiring shopping experience for furniture and home decor items sourced from artisans across India and to make the selection process super simple for them!

Specialization: We focus on curated, theme-based furniture and home decor with a focus on Quality, minimalism and functionality.

Products: We offer a variety of furniture and decor products including:

  • Kitchen and dining furniture
  • Living room furniture (sofas, chairs, etc.)
  • Lighting
  • Soft furnishings
  • Decorative items


  • Secure and hassle-free delivery
  • Exceptional customer support
  • Complimentary interior styling consultation

What is your biggest USP

Alisha Chouhan: Curated Minimalism with Artisan Support: We curate a collection specifically designed to work together seamlessly. We also supporting up-and-coming designers. 

Theme Inspirations Across the World: Japandi, Bohemian, Scandinavian, Moraccan, Indian etc. to make it effortless inspiration for the direct customers and interior and architect community as well

What inspired you to become an entrepreneur and start your own business?

Alisha Chouhan: Realizing the cluttered nature of the furniture market during my time in New York was a pivotal moment. When my family built our home in India, I struggled to find quality design-oriented products both online and locally.

These experiences underscored the need for a streamlined, design-focused approach to furnishing spaces, fueling my determination to create a solution.

What was your mission and vision at the outset?

Alisha Chouhan: At the outset, my mission was twofold: to simplify the process of furnishing spaces by offering a curated selection of design-oriented products, reduce the time for selections of furniture and decor products, and to provide customers with a free consultation service

to address their interior style-related confusion quickly and effectively. My vision was to create a platform that not only provides access to high-quality home goods but also empowers individuals to confidently design spaces that reflect their unique tastes and preferences

How do you stay up-to-date with the latest technology and industry trends, and how has innovation played a role in your success?

Alisha Chouhan: We actively attend relevant conferences and expos, and participate in networking events to stay informed about emerging technologies and trends. Additionally, we maintain close relationships with industry experts and thought leaders to gain insights into future developments.

We maintain and provide industry-related materials, including research papers, magazines etc. to our team as well to keep them up-to-date with the latest trends and developments.

What’s your company’s goals?

Alisha Chouhan: Our company’s goals are simple:

Customer satisfaction
Social responsibility
Employee development

By focusing on these key objectives, we aim to build a successful and sustainable business that creates value for all stakeholders.

What was the inspiration behind turning an entrepreneur

Alisha Chouhan: Inspiration behind becoming an entrepreneur as a woman often stems from a desire to challenge norms, create opportunities, and make a positive impact while pursuing passions and addressing challenges and also to create opportunities for others. My biggest inspirations are Vinita Chaitanya, Sara Blakely from Spank.

What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?

Alisha Chouhan: Consumer patterns of purchasing have taught us the importance of listening to their feedback and working on continuously improving our platform.

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced when starting your business, and how did you overcome them?

Alisha Chouhan: Limited resources and market competition were the biggest ones, where Strategic partnerships and remaining adaptable helped us.

What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?

Alisha Chouhan: Not prioritizing personal well-being and ineffective delegation

If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?

  • Develop a clear framework for your business.
  • Build a strong and diverse team.
  • Conduct thorough market research.
  • Visualize your first 10 customers – be it your mom, friend etc.
  • Allocate your budget wisely to avoid overspending.

Your success tips for young and aspiring entrepreneurs

  • Network as much as possible.
  • Surround yourself with friends, colleagues, and acquaintances who have an entrepreneurial mindset.
  • Read and watch thought leaders and their stories.
  • Be punctual and disciplined.

Through IKIRU, Alisha Chouhan has not only championed the principles of minimalism but also celebrated the rich diversity of Indian design. Her innovative platform serves as a testament to the power of blending cultural influences and entrepreneurial vision to create something truly unique and inspiring.

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