She is bold, fierce and beautiful. Her story put in one word screams of strength. Meet Ramina Haorokcham.
I was born and brought up in north eastern city of Imphal, Manipur. I did my schooling from Nirmalabas High School and went on to pursue my graduation in Botany from Delhi University. I was always a communications person hence my next stop was Advertising & PR studies from IIMC.
Ramina worked in the field of Advt. & Media, planning for homegrown Indian companies and MNCs for around 7 years before she decided to move on.
Brands fascinated me. I wanted to give brands more than just direction. So I decided to study the nuances of branding and core business knowledge, which I pursued from Hult International Business School, Shanghai.
Ramina worked in the Chinese market for three years and that’s when she was exposed to startups and their operations.
While working in China, she was called for an interview with Lelo, a Swedish designer brand and the world’s leading provider of intimate lifestyle products. The hard work she had put onto the research for the interview proved to be a turning point of her life. She started researching on how the industry was doing in India and found that the industry, though, had the traces of presence, wasn’t fully explored. She saw this as an opportunity and decided to return to India with a new venture idea of gojilove.
I am a fan of Mr. Narendra Modi and I used to follow all the activities of the Modi Government from China. That is when I heard about the Make In India initiative. It gave me the much needed push to quit my job in Shanghai and return to India to establish my own entrepreneurial venture.
After returning to India in December 2014, Ramina started working on her business plan. She was motivated all along her journey to establish Gojilove because she felt the shift in people’s behavior towards the idea of startups and entrepreneurship.
Gojilove is India’s premiere online store for personal and intimate products, erotics and accessories, pleasurable objects and luxury intimate wear . It recently introduced fashion dresses to its wide variety of collections.
Founded in February 2015, Ramina’s venture focuses on creating awareness and educating society by stating the benefits of pleasurable objects and bringing change in the society in terms of controlling population, having better and safe sex lives.
So how was her experience in the new world of entrepreneurship, especially in an industry such as this?
There is a thin line between sexuality and vulgarity. With Goji love, I wanted people to see it as something that helps them build better personal and intimate relationships with their partners.
Answering why she started with an e-commerce website and not a brick-and-mortar store, she revealed that though India is changing, people, especially in the 2nd and 3rd tier cities of the country, are still hesitant in even talking about it. Goji Love addresses the needs of these people without them being embarrassed about it. It places the products as classy and elegant and gives its customers the options of discrete delivery.
If all goes well and we see the winds of change supporting our initiative, we may go with the flow and setup a brick-and-mortar establishment complimentary to the website.
Considering that people of India are hesitant on exchanging words on sex, Ramina knew that a lot of challenges awaited her. But she did not falter.
I am daddy’s girl. I got all the determination from his encouraging words of being true to myself and being courageous.
She faced a lot of problems when it came to registering the website. It generally takes 10 to 15 days for registration; however, it took longer for Gojilove since the authorising officials were skeptical about the products that would be sold on the website. This delayed the launch of the website.
It was really challenging to find the right vendors. Being a female in this industry comes with its own kind of limitations. I’ve had vendors who would harass me with inappropriate texts and flirty messages on Whatsapp.
However, this didn’t deter Ramina from pursuing her venture. She set her foot firm and eventually learnt the art of shooing away unnecessary conversations and getting her work done anyhow.
Ending the interview with the woman who was featured in the Top 10 list of the BBC India’s 100 strong women who changed the rules, set examples and opened new paths for others to follow, we could not help but admire her strength and determination, to go against the stereotypes and do something that she feels passionate about.