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The Indian Amazon story is unfolding
Manali Rohinesh | June 26, 2006
An achiever, a dreamer, a team player and a voracious reader. One woman several avatars. Misha Dange is the 34 year old CEO of India's biggest one-stop shop for books, online, www.firstandsecond.com. Armed with a BE in Electronics and Communication and a Management degree from IMT, Ghaziabad, Misha started her career with Korean car giant Daewoo Motors.
Stints with Escotel Mobile Communication, Dishnet DSL, Sodexho and her very own event management company, Cloud 9 followed. But in 1999, she decided to give e-commerce a shot and took over firstandsecond.com.
She told CNBC-TV18, "My work has to be my passion and can't be a routine 9 to 6 job. If you see my career graph, I've been associated with cutting edge technologies and now eith a dotcom. Now, if you see the way e-commerce is moving, I thought I could use my engineering and MBA degrees in a better way."
The idea for the portal occurred to her when she was in the US and she set one up as a challenge. With more than 4 million titles on offer, Misha is now planning to drive the company to the 100 crore milestone in the next 2-3 yrs. Her current mission is to build the firstandsecond.com brand and make their services accessible in B & C grade cities as well. On the agenda are innovative tie-ups with Reliance Webworld, Hughes Internet kiosks to tap into the digitally deficient market.
She is a survivor of the 1999-2000 dotcom boom and then bust era and now she's getting offers from venture capitalists. She took over from the promoters of this portal, when it was not doing so well and today, she's built a success story.
She says the other portals didn't survive because of their business model but she has found a good model which pays. She explains, "We are the only ones in the space of selling only books and we don't have any competition in this line. As a model, it can definitely generate a lot of revenues. So customising your needs and finding new methods to target the right channels is very important."
With a keen eye on investments, Misha is talking to international venture capitalists, VCs. With a customer base of more than 7,00,000, Misha is gearing up to make firstandsecond.com, India's answer to Amazon.com. Juggling between work, and her other interests, which vary from yoga to modelling to even trying her hand at deejaying, Misha is making sure her story is a bestseller.
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