Interview: Garima Luthra, Woman Entrepreneur & CO-Founder of Vaaree

Garima Luthra

Interview with Garima Luthra, Woman Entrepreneur & CO-Founder of Vaaree, India’s Best Home Décor Store

Vaaree was founded in 2022, by the very energetic, driven, and ambitious Garima Luthra (BTech from
Punjab University).

Before starting her venture, she worked with top-tier start-ups like CRED and Acko where she drove revenue and growth by leveraging both technology and operations.

When looking for products for her own home, she found the online experiences broken and good aesthetics being overpriced. In pursuit of a solution to these challenges, Vaaree was born – to provide aesthetically pleasing home decor at reasonable prices.

Can you tell us a little bit about your background and what inspired you to start Vaaree?

Garima Luthra: Coming from an entrepreneurial background, I have always been inspired by the stories of my mother, father and close family members who are entrepreneurs. But I had not thought that one day I too would be an entrepreneur.

Prior to starting Vaaree, I worked with consumer internet start-ups such as Groffers (now Blinkit), Acko, and CRED wherein I managed growth and marketing.

The story about starting Vaaree is a personal one, it comes out of my own experience. After getting married when I was setting up my home, I started looking for home decor products that were of good quality and affordable at the same time.

However, I could not find such products. Either, the quality was not up to the mark or the price was too high.

So, I started digging deep into this and realized that Indian manufacturers  make premium products but they all get exported.

Most of it is not available for Indian customers. We have good quality manufacturers, but they all cater to international or luxury Indian markets.

That’s when I decided to make available these premium products at affordable prices to Indian customers. Therefore, Vaaree was born.

Please tell us a little about your entrepreneurial journey

Garima Luthra: Vaaree is the only curated marketplace for home products. Since its inception on 30th April 2022, we have shipped over 50,000 products and have more than 3,300 verified reviews with an average rating of 4.5.

We offer 10,000+ SKUs across multiple categories – bedding, furnishings, kitchen, dining, decor, bath and garden.

We invest our resources on what is most important to our customers – price, quality, designs and variety. 

Additionally, we minimize costs on packaging and advertising. This helps us in keeping our costs low and list products that deliver more value to the customers. We want our customers to get more from Vaaree each time they make a purchase.

Our journey has been quite exciting. We are learning everyday, working alongside an amazing team. Everyday has been special and dedicated towards ensuring that Vaaree makes decorating homes easy and convenient!

Kindly brief us about Vaaree & its specialization

Garima Luthra: At Vaaree, we want everyone to have authentic and beautiful homes. Our aim is to offer great quality home products at affordable prices.

We have an amazing curation of stylish and innovative products as well as designs which are sourced directly from the manufacturers.

We have an Inspiration section on our website which is one of a kind. Our in-house designers put in time and effort into curating the perfect set of products and themes for our customers.

This way customers don’t have to break their head over what designs and colours match! We want to make decorating a home easy and convenient.

Additionally, this team of experts also offer personalised curation service for our customers free of cost. We are the only ones offering this kind of a service. Thus, Vaaree is the go-to store for all home decor needs.

How did you come up with the idea for a curated home furnishing marketplace, and what sets Vaaree apart from other similar platforms?

Garima Luthra: We identified the pain point of customers which was not having access to good, premium quality home products at affordable prices.

Either the quality of the products was not good or the prices were too high. There was no middle ground for Indian customers.

Although Indian manufacturers produced top-notch home products, they all were exported and not made available domestically.

That’s where the idea to start a curated marketplace that made available these premium home products at affordable prices for Indian customers came into existence.

We started with products for just 2 categories – bedroom and living room which had 100 SKUs. But today, we have expanded product offerings for 75+ categories across kitchen, dining, home décor, bath and garden categories which have 10,000+ SKUs.

Vaaree is the only curated marketplace wherein we test and then onboard manufacturers. There is a 32+ steps Quality Check and Control process that we follow before onboarding a manufacturer/trader on the platform.

The quality control team also does monthly surprise checks to ensure that the products are of the quality which we have promised to our customers. Every team at Vaaree works hard to ensure that our customers get the best products and experience.

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced while launching Vaaree, and how did you overcome them?

Garima Luthra: One of the biggest challenges that we faced was not being prepared for growth. We had systems in place when we launched and they were designed to ensure that our customers have the best experience when shopping at Vaaree.

However, a couple of months later when the number of customers grew rapidly, we weren’t able to delight every single customer.

It took us a few months to make changes to our fulfillment capabilities and ensure that we are back to delighting every customer.

Can you talk about some of the unique features or products that customers can find on Vaaree, and how you source them?

Garima Luthra: We have a dedicated section on our website – Inspiration that features themes, our newest additions and curated looks. One can find new products across categories and ideas for decorating their homes.

Our specialised in-house design team spends hours finding products that blend in terms of style and color, taking away the hassles and pressure that comes with decorating one’s home. The Inspiration section makes it easy for our customers to shop, be on-trend and mix & match.

This specialised design team also offers personalised curation of home products to our customers free of cost. There is no one else in the market offering a service like this. At Vaaree, we make decorating homes stress-free, effortless and convenient.

India is a large and diverse market – how do you ensure that Vaaree caters to the needs and preferences of customers across the country?

Garima Luthra: India is a dynamic and value conscious country. While the home products market is thriving with growth and potential, we realised the gap in this market which was to find good and premium quality home products at affordable prices.

Hence, by getting manufacturers’ list the good and premium quality home products which were earlier only exported directly on Vaaree, we opened up a whole new segment for Indian customers.

Because of our F2C (Factory to Customer) model, the price of the products is staggeringly low and we are able to cater to diverse customers from various parts of the country.

Since our inception a year back, we have witnessed rising numbers of shoppers who are looking for quality products and honest pricing.

Additionally, we add new products every week across categories for our customers to explore and shop.

Our curators work round the clock to ensure that we have all the globally trending designs listed to offer to our customers.

We keep refreshing the products and designs and ensure that our customers get what they are looking for.

Today, Vaaree has 10,000+ products at amazing price points. “Quality at honest cost” is the motto for our sourcing team!

How do you see the home furnishing market in India evolving in the coming years, and what role do you see Vaaree playing in that?

Garima Luthra:  Home is a $38bn market growing at the CAGR of 8% with just $16bn in furnishings and tableware.

Socio-economic changes and rapid urbanisation have led to the evolution of this market. Factors such as higher disposable incomes and conscious customers looking for a better lifestyle are contributing to the growth and boom.

Furthermore, factors such as growing internet penetration, increasing number of smartphone users and rising preference for online shopping are creating significant shifts in customer behaviour and opportunities.

These days everyone is more inclined towards shopping online as it’s easy, convenient and comfortable.

However, a lot of customers feel that shopping online for home products is hard as you don’t get what you see.

Many times the quality and colour does not match. So, here’s where Vaaree will play a critical role in changing this perception and experience of customers.

We want to solve issues related to home products available online – price, quality, designs and variety. We also want to improve customers’ shopping experience and add delight to it.

What was the inspiration behind turning an entrepreneur

Garima Luthra: I truly believe that home is where the heart is and since home holds such a special place for me, it also needs to be special.

Having a beautiful home is a dream for everyone. The designs we aspire to have, are only available with luxury brands which makes it very difficult for most of the Indian customers

(just like me) to afford it.

For all those who love decorating their homes, I didn’t want price, quality, design and variety to be a barrier. In fact, I wanted to create a platform that offers these together without compromising on any of them.

And with Vaaree we are proudly doing so!!

As a woman founder, what advice do you have for other women entrepreneurs looking to start their own businesses in India?

Garima Luthra: Starting a business is never easy, there will be challenges and uncertainties. Also, there will be times when you will be trying to break into a highly competitive market or a male-dominated space, but don’t ever let it get to you. Be fierce, be strong!! There is nothing you cannot achieve.

What are some of your future plans and goals for Vaaree, and how do you plan to achieve them?

Garima Luthra: Our goal is for Vaaree to be the one-stop shop for everything home. We want to cater to every space in the home, anything and everything that one needs. Whenever anyone thinks of HOME, they should think of VAAREE!!

In the future, we want to have offline experiential stores. However, at the moment we will continue to operate as an online store.

What is your success tips for women entrepreneurs

Garima Luthra: Don’t let others tell you what you can or cannot do and achieve. Just believe in yourself and go for it.

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