Sreejita Deb, founder and CEO of beauty-focused social commerce platform Raena, always knew that she would run her own company. With an MBA from Harvard Business School under her belt, and after stints at large tech companies such as Google, Amazon, and mobile advertising firm InMobi in India, her home country, she decided in 2018 that it was time to launch her own business.
“Social commerce was one of the trends I identified. With social media usage increasing [in the region], everybody essentially could open an online store, and social media platforms would only continue to grow,” Deb told KrASIA. “I saw that as a tailwind. It fits very well with what I did in the past working for e-commerce companies.”
Deb deliberated where she would launch her new venture. Two countries were options—India and Indonesia. She mainly considered these two markets as they were “very ripe” in terms of social media platform usage, with Indonesia counting 150 million active users and India tallying 230 million active users at the end of 2018.
After combing through Instagram user statistics, she decided to start in Indonesia, as it has a higher share of female users compared to India. “It was the ideal place to build a women-powered social network where women could buy from each other. That was the core idea. It’s something I’d like to work on for the next 15 years of my life,” Deb said.