Fuzia is a startup co-founded by Shraddha Varma. It is a unique platform which helps talented girls and women to showcase their skills and share their stories across the globe.
It is also attempting to create a portal for trade and commerce for them in this era of complex media marketing. Fuzia hosts several live sessions with influential and inspiring women to give them a stage from where they can connect with our audience. We also organise several campaigns and contests for our users to test their abilities on a global scale, says Shraddha.
We at Bangalore Insider had an opportunity to have an interview with Shraddha. Here are the excerpts.
Give brief info about your startup?
Fuzia is a first of its kind social networking site which focuses solely on women. It is an organization run by a core team of young, talented, driven and ambitious women who are creating a space for women to express themselves without any inhibition or restrictions. It is also attempting to create a portal for trade and commerce for them in this era of complex media marketing. Fuzia hosts several live sessions with influential and inspiring women to give them a stage from where they can connect with our audience. We also organise several campaigns and contests for our users to test their abilities on a global scale.
What made you start your startup and what problem does it solve?
Online harassment and abuse is a terrible threat that faces all those following a creative path and we believe that this should never come in the way of people willing to challenge society’s status quo. Fuzia was established to provide a safe platform where creativity could bloom, it’s a place where women empower other women to follow their passions and build a strong network which supports a positive societal change.
Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before this startup?
I have been an active student throughout, always participating in plays, debates, elocutions and winning them too. I am a Pharmacy Graduate. I have always been interested in medicine and how they work on our bodies. I have always been a curious mind, questioning the status quo. I have worked for 3.5 years in Pharmacy Marketing, and then pursued MBA in marketing from Mumbai. After this, I got this opportunity to lead Fuzia with Riya.
Where is your startup based out of? Why do you think that is the best place for you?
The startup is based in San Francisco Bay in the Silicon Valley.
As a destination for development and innovation, SV has welcomed technology and talents with open arms. It is the place where young innovative minds come together for the benefit of the society as a whole. The valley has solved many crucial problems making existence a little easier.
As a startup founder, what are you paranoid about? What keeps you awake at night?
1) Since Fuzia wanted to break the stereotypes, i was mostly concerned how the idea would be received by the society and how much acceptance would it garner.
2) Finances obviously play a major role in any setup and a poor organisation would mean haemorrhaging money.
3) Team building was a major task and thankfully I always got in contact with the right people. My team is my most precious asset in fuzia.
4) Mistakes- Everyone is prone to making mistakes and so have I in the course of time but my team has always helped me in deciding the right path and from these mistakes i have learnt a great deal.
Who are your competitions and how are you better than them?
As cliched as it sounds, we are our own competition. The reason we felt the need to venture into this field, was the lack of thought being put up behind security of users and the lack of support they were getting. We wouldn’t name names but other mega platforms turn a deaf ear to people’s complaints or sometimes act indifferently. We are here to make social media personal, reliable and uplifting. We are here to bring a revolution in the way we use social media.
How hard is it to have a work-life balance as a startup founder and how do you manage it?
The phase “work-life balance” loses relevance for an entrepreneur, but in my case I have a very supporting group of family and friends. Fuzia is my obsession it is what drives me to wake up each morning. Fuzia has become a part of my life and I never feel like it burdens me.
Have you raised funding? If yes, then we would like to know the details. If no then please tell us if you are looking to raise.
We are self-funded as of now, but we have many plans to expand our business and we’re looking to raise funding as well.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about you? Why do they have that? What’s the reality?
This question makes me want to give you a hug, thank you for asking. The biggest misconceptions are all the sexist assumptions generally related to women, for instance, women are too emotional or they’re always in “cat-fights” etc.
That is so far from the reality, our team of all women co-exist in harmony and it’s absolute fun to be around them!
What gets you excited about this company?
The feedback we get from our users, all the love they give us makes us go an extra mile when it comes to working hard. Seeing them feel comfortable and explore their passions is the best thing ever!
Tell us how a day in your life looks like? Your schedule for a day right from the time you get up till you hit the bed at night.
I start my day with a glass of lemon water. After that, I create the list of To Dos for the day and interact with the team members. Then I brainstorm over creative, new and valuable ideas for our audiences to bring a smile to them.
Tell us about your team and how did you meet each other?
I am so proud to have a lovely bunch of talented, young, creative and passionate team. I discovered these gems through many interviews, screenings, short-listing and choosing. Now I am glad of the hard work I did to select the team members, as all the team members are very motivated to work towards the goal of the organization.
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