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Build A Meaningful Business Regardless Of What People Say

Tanya Gupta

Resale Future

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Build A Meaningful Business Regardless Of What People Say

Tanya Gupta

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Resale Future

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Tanya Saha Gupta ResaleFuture
Full transcript here

About Tanya Gupta

The BAE HQ welcomes Tanya Gupta, the founder and CEO of Resale Future. They provide a product to businesses to allow them to empower their customers to resell their items through their website to further the circular economy.

Tanya has always been interested in sustainability and wanted to build a company that helps the planet and is also place where people want to work.

She worked in investment banking for several years first before taking the plunge and is now backed by InnovateUK and has gone live on her first few client websites.

Tanya cares deeply about the impact she's making beyond the business and that passion shines through in this interview.

Tanya

Resale Future

Show Notes

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Tanya Gupta Full Transcript

Tanya Gupta: [00:00:00] Don't be afraid to fail in public, because amazing things happen when you're not afraid. We grew up in a culture where, you know, it's pretty common for people to say, log kya kahenge? Which means, what will people say? People are so crippled by their thought of what people will think of me. What's the worst that can happen?

Tanya Gupta: People think that what you were building didn't work out. And it's okay. As soon as I over claim that. I focus more on how do I actually solve this? And then my mindset just became more problem solving than thinking of the problem. Forget resale future. My dream would be where it's normalized to pass on your garments.

Amardeep Parmar: Welcome to the BAE HQ podcast, where we inspire, connect and guide the next generation of British Asian entrepreneurs. Today we have with us Tanya Gupta, who's the founder of Resale Future, which empowers fashion brands to include circularity. How are you doing today, Tanya? 

Tanya Gupta: I'm doing well. Thanks so much for having me.

Amardeep Parmar:So [00:01:00] you've got  really interesting background. You went from science to investment banking and so on. Did you ever think when you were growing up you'd ever become an entrepreneur and building your own business? 

Tanya Gupta: Surprisingly, yes, I definitely. So if you think back to where I grew up, so I grew up in India.

Tanya Gupta: I lived in Bombay until I was 14. Very luckily, I got a scholarship, which allowed me to move to the UK. So if you really think about where I started from, it sounds crazy to people when I say this, but I did have conviction that I would be a founder. Only because there were so many things, even as a child, like I wanted to fix and I wanted to do things.

Tanya Gupta: Oh, I saw things a bit different to how it was being done. And I very quickly noticed that in order to fix it, you just have to do it yourself. It's just the way I was, I was brought up. I didn't depend on people. And I think that's why I always thought I would be a founder. 

Amardeep Parmar: And what did you study at university?

Tanya Gupta: So I studied biochemistry. I was always very interested in genetics and [00:02:00] Bioengineering, and that's why I naturally gravitated towards, but there was always something that was inside me when I was growing up, especially at university, where I saw, you know, what was going on in the fashion world. And I saw what was going on in the way people were consuming, and it just didn't, I knew there was a better way of solving this, particularly with tech.

Tanya Gupta: There was so many inefficiencies. It was crazy that at university, there would be, you know, five of us who had the same top, but we would go out and buy it instead of just going to their door and asking them for it. And I didn't grow up like that. You know, I grew up in a culture where we did really use hand me downs and it was just something that was very normal and when you, when you grew up in India, you really see how fashion is affecting the environment, you know, people's working conditions, it is something that is your reality in terms of, you know, the water you drink or the air you breathe.

Tanya Gupta: So for me, it was something I knew [00:03:00] wasn't being done right and I knew I could fix it. 

Amardeep Parmar: So initially you went  into a more corporate career, right? 

Tanya Gupta: Yeah. 

Amardeep Parmar: And what was the thinking behind that? Was it because you said at university all you knew about this problem and you want to solve it, but like what made you go into a corporate career first and then run?

Tanya Gupta:  Yeah. Any entrepreneur who's watching this will know it's really difficult to have that, you know, just to make that jump.

Tanya Gupta: It's hard. Everyone needs to, you know, number one. I wanted to learn. I don't think I knew anything about business. I wanted to be as prepared as possible and finance seemed like the way I could actually, you know, understand different companies, different industries in a short period of time. It was also a job that was very demanding, similar to running a business.

Tanya Gupta: It was an opportunity to meet a lot of people and meet a lot of intelligent people. And that's just a career that made most sense to me. I did have the opportunity to work as a private equity consultant. There were companies that were in the high growth phase. [00:04:00] They were building something. It was very interesting to me.

Tanya Gupta: And that's when I went into, you know, investment banking for private equity transactions at the time and then into technology because that's what I ultimately was interested in doing. 

Amardeep Parmar: Were you ever thinking that maybe you'd get trapped in the corporate world where, because it was going well and you said you enjoyed it, right?

Tanya Gupta: Yeah.

Amardeep Parmar: If you're enjoying it, then taking that leap to do your own thing must be even scarier because it's not like you're leaving something which you hate and you want to escape. So how did that decision come about? When was the right moment for you to leave? 

Tanya Gupta: Yeah, I didn't think I'd get trapped in it.

Tanya Gupta: For me, it wasn't, I didn't feel trapped. The way I've always lived and wanted to work is I need to be constantly learning. And I felt like I always did that at my job. Like even when I got too comfortable, I would change teams or pick up new projects. And it was very important to me to constantly learn.

Tanya Gupta: And then it got to a point where, you know, my mission was too strong to, to, to ignore. It was also, [00:05:00] it's not just when I quit my job, it wasn't just because I hated my life and it was really long hours because it was, I was doing 4 AMs almost every day. It was because, like, I knew that, you know, the way people were consuming is, is a normal.

Tanya Gupta: It's something that we've never seen before. And unfortunately, it isn't. I'm not, I'm not someone who's going to shame people for consuming that much either. I think that there is a cultural reason why people are doing it. It's not right, but I think that we needed to solve it in a different way. Instead of shaming people for consuming, we need to think about why they're doing it and how can we make that process easier.

Tanya Gupta: And I think I sort of saw ways to do that, that people weren’t working on. And that for me was really exciting. And then the second thing was I wanted to build a company where people were [00:06:00] happy to work. And I worked in pretty male dominant, dominated industries. So even when I was at Imperial, it was pretty male dominated.

Tanya Gupta: And even when I was in finance, it was, and I felt like it wasn't an, like I wanted to build an environment where people could, they enjoyed working and they were building, they were working towards a mission. They knew what they were doing, why they were doing it. And, you know, it, it was supporting their creativity and their own ambitions and their own entrepreneurial spirit.

Amardeep Parmar: And what were the first steps you took when you started? You had the, you said you had different ideas you could do? What were the first steps you took to make it a reality? 

Tanya Gupta: So the first step I took was creating a pitch deck. You know, it's just, you, you write down, you know, what the problem is, what, how you're solving it, who the market is, why it's important, what the industry is.

Tanya Gupta: So I sort of, you know, after, on the weekends, so after working 4am's on the weekends, I would be working on this pitch deck. Even if I took [00:07:00] a holiday or days off, I was working on my pitch deck, because this was really important to me. And then I started speaking to people, so generally, like, I would go out and just speak to random people.

Tanya Gupta: I would go to a lot of networking events in the sustainable fashion space, as well as entrepreneur space. And just trying to, you know, learn as much as possible. Again, when I was going to the sustainable fashion space, you know, rental was really booming at the time and it was, it's a brilliant concept.

Tanya Gupta: It's a brilliant idea. I don't think it works for everyone. And that's what I noticed that people still found it pretty expensive. You know, the thinking about things as using it just once and spending, you know, 100, 100, 200 pounds is still for a certain segment of society, and it works. It's just not for everyone.

Tanya Gupta: And that's what I wanted. That's where, you know, I was just gathering all this information, speaking to people is the best advice I can give because there will be so many people who [00:08:00] are like, I don't understand what you're doing, but it gives you ideas of what, you know, they, people will not get what you're doing, especially if it's something innovative, especially if it's something that's not been done before and that's okay.

Tanya Gupta: But I think that's the best advice I can give is talk about your idea. I didn't do that very early on where I didn't want to tell people my idea. You know, I was, I always thought, Oh my God, someone's going to steal my idea. Um, that doesn't happen. It takes, when you, when you start a business, you kind of know how much work it takes to make an idea reality.

Tanya Gupta: So not everyone has that time, but that actually got me so much feedback. And in fact, the business I started off with eventually pivoted to what it is today. 

Amardeep Parmar: And just on that point about the idea, because I get this all the time. People want me to sign NDAs for any idea they've had. And the ideas themselves are basically useless because it was all in the execution, right?

Tanya Gupta: Absolutely.

Amardeep Parmar: And when people think about this and they try to [00:09:00] stop the idea of getting out there, the problem is what happens is you don't then get the feedback you need. 

Tanya Gupta:Absolutely. 

Amardeep Parmar: Iterate it. 

Tanya Gupta: Yeah. 

Amardeep Parmar: And from that, that's where they actually come from. And the thing is, when you have an idea, if you then go to pitch to investors, but the first time anybody's hearing the idea is the actual investors themselves.

Amardeep Parmar: They're going to pick it apart because nobody's ever seen it. And what your advantage is, especially at the early stages. It's if you can say you've talked to a hundred people about this idea and they get it and they think it's valuable, that then helps you with investors because you actually know what the questions that people ask, what are the concerns people have.

Amardeep Parmar: So rather than it being an investor, it's like, Oh, why have you thought about this? No, I haven't. Then you're in trouble. But if it's already been out there, you've talked to so many people that's where it can get better. And you mentioned there about the pivot. Can you talk to us a bit more about that?

Tanya Gupta:Yeah, absolutely.   I quit my job just before the pandemic where I was working on You know, a B2C concept. So my idea was, you know, the reason why people don't use resale is because it's not fashionable. So often when [00:10:00] you look at eBay or back then, when you did look at eBay, it was sort of people putting clothes from five, 10 years ago, and that's not something that's fashionable.

Tanya Gupta: Or if you want, you know, when you have a certain amount of money that you want to spend on a new dress, you're going to want something new and unfortunately, that's just how our brains are. You know, we do get a dopamine hit when we do get something new. And I just thought about how can we reinvent, reinvent what new means to people.

Tanya Gupta: Right. And so the initial concept was about keeping things in season. So when people bought something and they were wearing it once and they were posting about it, you know, thinking about how can I pass it on immediately. So it's actually a value to someone. And then, you know, you make the you know, the maximum amount of money back as well.

Tanya Gupta: And then, you know, the more and more I talked to brands, it was very clear that brands wanted to be part of this conversation. They wanted to take part in this economy. [00:11:00] They just didn't have the bandwidth to, which is really fair. You know, there's some companies that they're so focused on creating well, you know, producing right, producing small quantities, not mass producing like fast fashion.

Tanya Gupta: And unfortunately they're the people that were missing out on this circularity opportunity. So that's when I started to think, how can I actually help them and help the customers? Because the two biggest hurdles customers have with resale is it's time consuming to sell products. I mean, we all have clothes in our wardrobe that you know we're not going to wear, but we don't have the time to, you know, sit and list it.

Tanya Gupta: And the second thing is authenticity. You know, you want to know that it's come from the right place. If I set out to solve those two problems through the brand, it was actually a way, you know, it was an easier way to do this. And the way it works now is when you buy clothes, you can go to your order history and resell products from there.[00:12:00] 

Tanya Gupta: So that takes out the time it takes. It's in 30 seconds, you can list a product. So, you know, we have the data of when you bought it, what size, what color. Everything is, is then, you know, that data wasn't being leveraged and the brands can do that because, you know, they have your order history and the customers, you know, we're very used to returning items.

Tanya Gupta: We go to our order history and to return items. So now, you know, it's just an added layer of circularity. So instead of going to the third party platforms that exist, you would just go to your order history. 

Amardeep Parmar: Yeah. And then how did you make this a reality in terms of actually building it? Because do you have the tech background yourself or?

Amardeep Parmar: How did you create the platform? 

Tanya Gupta: So very luckily, uh, I mean, I shouldn't say luck because I worked very hard for this, but I managed to do a successful crowdfunding and received two Innovate UK grants and, you know, people liked the idea. They liked the concept. They saw what it was doing to the environment [00:13:00] and how consumption was.

Tanya Gupta: You know, through the roof and that helped me, you know, hire someone who was very skilled at building these plugins. Um, and you know, a team, essentially the team is great and I don't have a technical background. I do know how to code, but it's not at the level required. But that being said, there are 10, 000 other things that needs to be done and I take care of that.

Amardeep Parmar: And like I said, it's, you need to have the different skills in the team.

Tanya Gupta: 100 % .

Amardeep Parmar:  And when people try to do everything by themselves. Sooner or later it's going to break, right? You need that different team around you. And there's two different interesting things you mentioned there. So first is the crowdfunding in Innovate UK.

Amardeep Parmar: And you always said you mentioned you were working on the pitch deck right early on and iterating on it. Is it the pitch deck that got you that funding or how did you go about that?

Tanya Gupta: The pitch deck was the concept, right? You need to get buy in from, you know, customers. You need to get buy in from even the people who work with, for you. 

Tanya Gupta: I mean, no [00:14:00] one's just going to take out their time and energy to work on a concept that they don't believe in. So the pitch deck was definitely a starting point to get buy in from people. But when it comes to innovate UK or applying, it's you know, it's a skill in grant writing. It's a lot of work.

Tanya Gupta: I've never paid anyone to write my grants, but I know it's a very common thing to do. And it's, it is something that most people do. It is a massive application form and fair enough, right? Like Innovate UK is taxpayer money. They need to know why this is an important thing and why you can't go to an investor and, and, you know, get that seed funding.

Tanya Gupta: And it needs to be something that's very innovative. So it might work, it might not work. And that's the, but if I do get the Innovate UK funding, it's something that has the opportunity to, to bloom. So it was, it's a, it's a hard process. The pitch deck [00:15:00] helped, but there are a lot of applications that you need to write.

Tanya Gupta: And the reality is most you won't get because there's a very strict criteria, but you, you sometimes you get them. 

Amardeep Parmar: Do you have any advice for anybody who wants to do their own, like apply to Innovate UK or similar organizations? 

Tanya Gupta: There is a skill to writing it. And unfortunately, it's, it's sort of like, you know, when you're writing an exam.

Tanya Gupta: There is a mark scheme, right? You can have all the knowledge in the world, and you can be really interested in reading all the books about it, but if you don't answer it in the way they want to receive it, you're not doing very well, and like, I learned that the hard way. I learned that the hard way, and I, that's the biggest advice I can say is really look at all the information there is available on mark schemes because there is, it is out there.

Tanya Gupta: Each, each award has, you know, a video where they will go through a presentation of who's [00:16:00] marking it. You can ask Q and A if you have anything specific. And I think you just need to prepare in advance before the deadline, because if you do have questions. Shoot them across to them and you'll get good guidance.

Amardeep Parmar: And you mentioned there as well, how the pitch deck also helps you to get the team on board. 

Tanya Gupta:  Yeah, absolutely. 

Amardeep Parmar: And when you're trying to get people on board to a new startup where it's just you at the beginning and you've got to convince them that this is something worth them leaving whatever they're doing right now to come and join you, that's obviously very intimidating for a lot of people, right?

Amardeep Parmar: To join a company at the early stages. And it's a two way street. Like how did you, one, pick the right people to join you, but also convince them that this is the right place for them too. 

Tanya Gupta: Yeah. So the pitch deck, right? I think people saw the mission and they saw that the way tech can change this. And I think it's very, you're, you're either someone who's excited about change or you're someone who's comfortable with how things are going.

Tanya Gupta: And I think [00:17:00] I managed to find people who were excited about change and that's been really important to me. So I worked in finance where there were some people who didn't enjoy what they were doing. And I was very clear that I can't have, it's just not good for anyone, right? If you're just doing it because you need to and you don't enjoy what you're doing,

Tanya Gupta: you're, it's not good for the company or the, or the person. And for me, it was very clear, you know, if you like what we're creating, you're going to figure out how to do it. I mean, there's so many things as an entrepreneur I've figured out how to do. Any entrepreneur will know this, that there's so many hats you have to wear and you figure it out.

Tanya Gupta: But what is important is that the why is always there. Um, and that's, that's how I found people.

Amardeep Parmar: And you mentioned like early on about part of the reason why you want to create your own company is about that culture and creating an [00:18:00] environment where people really enjoy their jobs. How are you going about that?

Amardeep Parmar: Like, how are you implementing that and making sure that your team are loving what they're doing still, because obviously they believe in the mission. There's so many other factors, making sure that they're happy and like their well being is really good as well. 

Tanya Gupta: So at the moment, the team is really small.

Tanya Gupta: It is an international team. So I do have someone who works in Canada because, you know, we're trying to break into the North America space. I do have someone in India and someone in London. So there are four of us. And it's hard, you know, it's, it's not, it's living in this, you know, remote world is pretty.

Tanya Gupta: It's not easy to navigate, but luckily it's so far so good. There is a lot of flexibility, which is something that I thought was really important. And I think people value that, that they're not being, you know, treated for, you know, I, I don't believe in the whole, like, you have to wake up at nine and be at your desk to be someone who's a high achiever.

Tanya Gupta: And I think that's something that people really appreciate, especially post COVID [00:19:00] is giving them felxibility. 

Amardeep Parmar: And with the team being international, how are you bringing them together? How are you making sure their relationships with each other are strong as well? 

Tanya Gupta: I mean, it's, it's, again, that's a difficult one, but, you know, we have, we have our meetings and, you know, we have, uh, like weekly catch ups of, you know, what everyone's doing and that's how we're managing to do at the moment, but it's a very small team.

Tanya Gupta: And, you know, that's something that as the team grows, I'm going to definitely have to keep that in mind, but so far so good. 

Amardeep Parmar: And you mentioned before we started recording how you've got a few exciting launches coming up at the moment. 

Tanya Gupta: Yes. 

Amardeep Parmar: And like tell us about that. Share your, with us.

Tanya Gupta: Yeah, there is a multi brand, multi designer store in, based in Scotland that is about to launch.

Tanya Gupta: They have about five stores and, you know, online, but, you know, they stock brands like Basch or, you know, Stangoya or you know, just many designers and now that if [00:20:00] you shop with them or shop online on their store, you could very easily rotate these dresses or outfits. You know, you could sell them when you're done.

Tanya Gupta: Like, you know, this dress, for example, if I've worn it all winter and you know, when it comes to summer, I'm thinking, you know, I want something that's a bit more summery, I could resell it and get something, something new. But what that does is it passes it on to someone who actually is interested in that brand already.

Tanya Gupta: And, you know, is likely to wear it. Unfortunately, when, you know, when you do send things to charity shops, they're not always, I think there's, it's, it's only 25 percent of the garments that are actually resold, um, most go to landfill. Unfortunately, most are shipped over to, you know, developing countries to be burned.

Tanya Gupta: And it's, it's not something that, of course, there are clothes that are end of life. And, you know, I still haven't found a way what to do with those kind of clothes. And, you know, there are a lot of cool companies that [00:21:00] are working on, processing it, but, you know, if there's something that is of good quality and, you know, people, if you sell it to them, they're more likely to wear it.

Amardeep Parmar:  Yeah. And so you've got two launches coming up, right?

Tanya Gupta: Yes. So the second launch is a brand called Kanye London, and they are actually a South Asian brand. They sell these amazing outfits. They're, they're saris and, but they're also, you're able to wear them in a Western setting. They're kind of like these fusion garments.

Tanya Gupta: Amazingly, they also sell on ASOS. They're, they're pretty popular, but, you know, her, her mission, the founder's mission is very rooted in, you know, helping the people who create her garments and, you know, creating jobs for them, creating education opportunities for their children. And, you know, it was really exciting to work with them because, you know, unfortunately, in the Haitian community, our garments are people wear them once or twice because they are very heavy.

Tanya Gupta: They're [00:22:00] very, you know, ornate. And, you know, she she really understood that yes, I'm trying to create all of these things, you know, create the garments well, but unfortunately my customers are not wearing them that much. So I'd love to give them the opportunity to pass them on. So yeah, so we have those two brands that are launching this week and next week.

Tanya Gupta: Um, the first one biscuit and the second Kanye. 

Amardeep Parmar: So by the time this episode comes out, that should already be live, right? If somebody buys a product from there now, now as in the time this is released, then they can experience that, right? So seeing the audio history, they'll be able to resell it and they can experience it themselves.

Amardeep Parmar: And as you're talking, I'm thinking, obviously I know quite a few clothing brands. So remind me after this podcast to put you in touch with them and I can try and link you up there as well. Have you got other things in the pipeline or what's the exciting things you're working on?

Tanya Gupta: So there are other things in the pipeline that I won't reveal, but it is around the whole product authenticity piece, which is really exciting.

Tanya Gupta: Obviously, right now we are building something that is [00:23:00] easy to use and, you know, easy for the customers to use, easy for the brands to use. But, you know, we want to, we want to push the boundaries on the product because I do still see ideas, ways that we can solve it that companies aren't doing it yet. So I won't reveal what it is, but I will share it pretty soon, hopefully.

Amardeep Parmar: So one of the things I learned recently was that often venture capitalists will ask male founders about what their dreams are and they'll ask female founders about what their struggles are. So I want to make sure I give you opportunity here to talk about what is the big dream for this, like in like five years time, ten years time, what would be the perfect world of where Resell Future gets to?

Tanya Gupta: It would be where this is just a norm. Forget Resell Future. My dream would be where customers are very, it's normalized to pass on your garments. So if you think about it, returns weren't a normal thing until maybe seven, eight years ago. And for me, the dream would be in 10 [00:24:00] years, Resale is a normal thing.

Tanya Gupta: You know, forget like it doesn't have to be through resale future. It's just for me, it's the idea that you don't need a garment, um, a garment shouldn't be worn once or twice. And I think in the last 10 years that's become too common. So if you're not wearing it again, make sure someone else is. I think that's my dream.

Amardeep Parmar: And obviously lots of people listening, we all know that fast fashion isn't good for the planet, right? And sometimes there's this dissonance where people know that, but then still buy it anyway. And with you, is your journey... How is your journey in convincing some people who maybe are really used to fast fashion?

Amardeep Parmar: How do you kind of change their minds, say, that they do believe in what you're trying to achieve and to get them on board with reselling their clothes and also buying other people's clothes? Because I think sometimes people have this idea about stigma related to that. And how do you overcome that?

Tanya Gupta: Let's just looking at the data, people are buying fast fashion, even though, [00:25:00] you know, they're talking about the environment. You know, we are the most woke, you know, generation. But we're still buying fast fashion and the data shows that fast fashion is doing amazingly well. So for me, it was trying to understand why, right?

Tanya Gupta: There is no point shaming people because there is a reason this is happening and it's, it's everyone's, it's, it's because of a society that we all play a part of, you know, even the fact that, you know, we love the fact that celebrities wear clothes once on the, on the red carpet, um, to, um, the fact that influence, the rise of influencer culture, everything's playing a part to why people are wearing clothes less and why people are shopping fast fashion.

Tanya Gupta: So, the way I try to solve it is by understanding, and I really take this seriously, I talk to people who, you know, consume in this way. It's very easy for people who are in the sustainable space to live in an echo chamber [00:26:00] where they don't understand who these people are, okay, because I speak to a lot of founders to and they're like, Oh, I've never heard of that before.

Tanya Gupta: I'm like, well, it exists. If you look at the data, it exists where people aren't wearing clothes more than once. So for me, understanding why, right? So it's easy to buy and you know, It's great for pictures, are some reasons why people are doing it. And if you can solve this while also keeping it cheap, right?

Tanya Gupta: Because the reality is people care about how much money they're spending. And unfortunately, maybe, you know, rental isn't solving that yet. It is still much cheaper and I love rental. I love what it's doing. It's not something I could probably incorporate in my everyday life. But that is a reason why, right?

Tanya Gupta: And then that's how, you know, if I can explain to people why it's [00:27:00] very similar to them shopping on e commerce stores. So the whole concept of Resale Future is creating an environment that's secondhand, but it looks exactly like you were buying it firsthand on an e commerce store. I think that mentality really plays a part on, you know, people spending, you know, people's the culture of spending.

Tanya Gupta: Um, so that's one way I'm trying to solve it. And then the second way is, you know, trying to help people think about what they buy as assets in their wardrobe. And that, you know, comes to the cost aspect. You know, when you buy something, think about it like, Oh, I just bought a hundred pound dress. That is an asset that, you know, I can pass on and maybe recover 80 pounds.

Tanya Gupta: Um, So everyone is a hustler today. Everyone's an entrepreneur and really helping people see that and making it easy for them to make that money is how I'm solving it. And, and unfortunately we're living in tough times. It's not, it's, [00:28:00] it's, it's not fair to, it's not, well, it's not right what fast fashion is doing to the environment, but I think people are going through enough struggles where I don't think shaming is, is the answer.

Tanya Gupta: And I'll give you an example, Airbnb, the reason they did well in a time of the financial crisis is because people saw their homes as assets. They saw their spare bedroom as a way to make money. And I think that's going to happen with people, with what's in people's wardrobes. 

Amardeep Parmar: One of the studies that comes to mind, as you were talking about that as well, was the whole spotlight effect, right?

Amardeep Parmar: Where people might really wear the same clothes and there was somebody who she wore the same dress for a year to work every single day and nobody noticed and people compliment, Oh, really nice dress today. And they didn't remember that she wore it yesterday. I think sometimes there's this culture, maybe it's Instagram or social media, which makes people think that everybody remembers what you bought and a lot of time people weren't right.

Amardeep Parmar: And it's the idea of, let's say, like, [00:29:00] I wear a dress. Let's say you are a dress. Like the next week your friend wears it, people won't necessarily make the connection that's the same dress that your friend wore, but people have this worry that other people are judging them that much. 

Tanya Gupta:Yeah. 

Amardeep Parmar:And sometimes it's remembering that people aren't paying that much attention to you.

Amardeep Parmar: So you can do these things and like increase the lifetime of goods and dresses and fashion in particular, because actually people aren't judging you as much. And sometimes it's trying, it's trying to change that culture where it's not shaming people because I completely agree. If you shame people, it makes them more defensive and they don't listen to your ideas.

Amardeep Parmar: Whereas if you can explain, look, here's something which is helping the environment and also will help you save money. It will help you with other things. That's the way you're going to get them on board and listen to what you're just talking about as well in terms of what I really liked is where you said that it doesn't necessarily need to be a resale future.

Amardeep Parmar: And that's showing that your mission is bigger than like just making money or anything like that. And as you like go forward to this. Have you got any ideas of [00:30:00] different things you can do in terms of education or any other side projects you might do? Pre resale future, which then through the education piece could potentially bring people into the product too.

Tanya Gupta: Yeah. Like I said, I, I do live in an echo chamber where I'm surrounded by people who understand the effects of fashion on the environment. Unfortunately, that's not the reality. And I'm very excited about, you know, this piece of through the brands, you know, brands already have a very loyal following. And I think every time I speak to a brand, that's something that is

Tanya Gupta: the most exciting to them is, you know, this is amazing. Like, I get that, you know, now we get to be part of this whole circular conversation, but also, you know, we're making it easy for them. But how about, you know, we take this one step further, how, how about we educate, you know, what, why this is important to us and why this is important for the environment.

Tanya Gupta: And, you know, It's, it's, it's actually really exciting for me to see because that's not something I thought brands would be excited about because [00:31:00] ultimately everyone's running a business and, you know, the top line matters and it's something that to me is, is pretty exciting is through the brands loyal following, we're now able to reach more people to explain

Tanya Gupta: the mission, explain what we're trying to do and why it's important. 

Amardeep Parmar: And you mentioned as well how you had the pivots and you've had different things going on. Was there any points where maybe you did doubt yourself, you had imposter syndrome about whether this would succeed? And how did you get through that?

Amardeep Parmar: Because I think that's so important for people to hear is that it hasn't all just been smooth sailing. You've overcome these different things. And when other people hear hurdles, they know, well, Tanya did it. She had a hurdle when she got through it. And that makes people believe in themselves too.

Tanya Gupta: It is true that, you know, entrepreneurship is the hardest thing you're going to do.

Tanya Gupta: It, unfortunately, social media has made it look very rosy and easy. It's just not how it is. Um, during the pandemic, especially, so I quit my job before the pandemic and was working on an idea. And very quickly, you know, [00:32:00] started to understand there was a better way of solving it, a bigger way of solving it, a more efficient way of solving it.

Tanya Gupta: And to let go of an initial idea that frankly, I had from university was difficult, but so important, you know, knowing that I think the best advice. I can give anyone is don't be afraid to fail in public. We grew up in a culture where, you know, it's pretty common for people to say, log kya kahenge, which means what will people say?

Tanya Gupta: And I think people are so, um, I was so crippled by their, I was so, you know, the thought of what people will think of me and I think very early on when, you know, you are working just with yourself and that, that sort of thought can consume you. And then the day you realize no one cares, so earlier, you know, you were saying that no one really cares about wearing things twice.

Tanya Gupta: I completely agree with [00:33:00] that. No one cares. And I also think no one cares what you're actually, you know, taking a risk. It's not going to work out for years, maybe, or, you know, and or months and. That's okay if you're comfortable with it. Um, I think that we could, if you, if you're not afraid to fail in public, you can then overcome those, those lows and highs, right?

Tanya Gupta: Because there are so many lows and so many moments of self doubt and you know, what's the worst that can happen? People think that what you were building didn't work out and it's okay. I think for me, I, as soon as I overcame that. I focus more on how do I actually solve this? And then my mindset just became more problem solving than thinking of the problem.

Tanya Gupta: You know, it was, it was just every time there was an issue, the first thing you think about is problem solving. And it's really funny because my friends hate this about me because [00:34:00] they'll be ranting. And I'll be talking about the solution and they're like, no, he just went to rant, like tell us we're right and how we're thinking.

Tanya Gupta: And, and I think that if you can train your brain to think like that, you will always find a solution and overcome those laws. 

Amardeep Parmar: One thing I find interesting as well, you said about how, I'm not going to repeat the Hindi because I've got terrible Hindi, but the idea of the different cultures. And a lot of people from like Asian backgrounds in this country also think the same way as like Indian background, um, back home.

Amardeep Parmar: But in terms of like how people have perceived your business, I found a difference in like your circles back home versus your circles, your circles in India versus circles in London. Have they reacted differently? Was it been quite similar in the way that they're looking at your product. 

Tanya Gupta: In our generation, people see why this is important, but maybe in the older generation, they don't.

Tanya Gupta: And that's okay. I think it's fair. I think everyone had their own experiences growing up. I think we're quite privileged right in our [00:35:00] generation where we have the opportunities to we've seen people. For me, I think having role models is  a big privilege that people don't have. And it gives you that confidence, it gives you that energy and, you know, someone you could reach out to if you have a problem and ask questions.

Tanya Gupta: And I think in the older generation or my parents generation, they didn't have that. So I get, I get why people may not understand what I'm doing or why they think it's so crazy. I left finance or left science and started to work in fashion and tech and something that is a second hand, which maybe they would never use.

Tanya Gupta: So I get those questions all the time, but not from our generation, actually. 

Amardeep Parmar: So we're going to have to move on to a quick five questions out of the time, but I could talk forever. So the first one is, so who are three British Asians that you'd like to give a shout out to?

Tanya Gupta: One of my really good friends, Akesh Mehta, he has been someone I went to university with, had many lows and highs together, but he's been a great help in just, you know, he's someone [00:36:00] that is really helpful and you could you know, go on his, his Instagram and he's always giving business advice and that's someone, he is the founder of Fable in Mane.

Tanya Gupta: The second person who was personally very helpful to me growing up because I saw a role model who could, you know, achieve all these great things was my cousin, Roma Agrawal. She is the, you know, the head engineer who helped build the Shard at the time. So, you know, just, she's also an author, doing a lot to help, you know, women get into STEM subjects.

Tanya Gupta: Someone who's super inspirational to me, and I recommend, you know, you read her books and just watch her videos. And a third person would be, oh, someone I actually follow on Instagram. I don't really know her well, but I, I'm not very good on Instagram. I'm not very good in social media. So she's an inspiration.

Tanya Gupta: She is a founder. It's a fashion brand. [00:37:00] Her name's Rokeya and she's from, she has, she's of Bangladeshi descent and, you know, just the work she's doing and the way she's building her brand and, you know, how ethically she's trying to help, you know, the artisans that build, like make her clothes. And it's just very inspirational.

Tanya Gupta: Also, I think she's amazing because she's a mother and does wear so many hats and inspiring to me. 

Amardeep Parmar: Yeah. So make sure you give them a follow. And the next question is, what's something that people could reach out to you for if they're looking for help? 

Tanya Gupta: I think overall just. You know, taking that first step of starting a business, it's, it's a really hard decision.

Tanya Gupta: I didn't do it in a way where I got help from people. I sort of learned it myself. So, you know, whether it's, you know, grant writing or applying, finding where they exist or, you know, helping with the pitch deck, I would be very happy to help people in that. 

Amardeep Parmar: And then on a flip side, what's maybe somebody's decision right now, how could they help you?

Tanya Gupta: So I'm very terrible at social [00:38:00] media and PR and anything to do with, you know, talking about how amazing the business is, or i'm not very good at that. So if anyone can help in that aspect, then I would welcome it. 

Amardeep Parmar: So, really love chatting today. Have you got any final words? 

Tanya Gupta: Don't be afraid to fail because amazing things happen when you're not afraid of what people think of you and what, because no one's really thinking of you.

Amardeep Parmar: Thank you for listening to the BAE HQ podcast today. In our mission to inspire, connect, and guide the next generation of British Asian entrepreneurs, it would mean so much to us if you could subscribe to our channel, leave a review, and share this with your friends.

Tanya Gupta: [00:00:00] Don't be afraid to fail in public, because amazing things happen when you're not afraid. We grew up in a culture where, you know, it's pretty common for people to say, log kya kahenge? Which means, what will people say? People are so crippled by their thought of what people will think of me. What's the worst that can happen?

Tanya Gupta: People think that what you were building didn't work out. And it's okay. As soon as I over claim that. I focus more on how do I actually solve this? And then my mindset just became more problem solving than thinking of the problem. Forget resale future. My dream would be where it's normalized to pass on your garments.

Amardeep Parmar: Welcome to the BAE HQ podcast, where we inspire, connect and guide the next generation of British Asian entrepreneurs. Today we have with us Tanya Gupta, who's the founder of Resale Future, which empowers fashion brands to include circularity. How are you doing today, Tanya? 

Tanya Gupta: I'm doing well. Thanks so much for having me.

Amardeep Parmar:So [00:01:00] you've got  really interesting background. You went from science to investment banking and so on. Did you ever think when you were growing up you'd ever become an entrepreneur and building your own business? 

Tanya Gupta: Surprisingly, yes, I definitely. So if you think back to where I grew up, so I grew up in India.

Tanya Gupta: I lived in Bombay until I was 14. Very luckily, I got a scholarship, which allowed me to move to the UK. So if you really think about where I started from, it sounds crazy to people when I say this, but I did have conviction that I would be a founder. Only because there were so many things, even as a child, like I wanted to fix and I wanted to do things.

Tanya Gupta: Oh, I saw things a bit different to how it was being done. And I very quickly noticed that in order to fix it, you just have to do it yourself. It's just the way I was, I was brought up. I didn't depend on people. And I think that's why I always thought I would be a founder. 

Amardeep Parmar: And what did you study at university?

Tanya Gupta: So I studied biochemistry. I was always very interested in genetics and [00:02:00] Bioengineering, and that's why I naturally gravitated towards, but there was always something that was inside me when I was growing up, especially at university, where I saw, you know, what was going on in the fashion world. And I saw what was going on in the way people were consuming, and it just didn't, I knew there was a better way of solving this, particularly with tech.

Tanya Gupta: There was so many inefficiencies. It was crazy that at university, there would be, you know, five of us who had the same top, but we would go out and buy it instead of just going to their door and asking them for it. And I didn't grow up like that. You know, I grew up in a culture where we did really use hand me downs and it was just something that was very normal and when you, when you grew up in India, you really see how fashion is affecting the environment, you know, people's working conditions, it is something that is your reality in terms of, you know, the water you drink or the air you breathe.

Tanya Gupta: So for me, it was something I knew [00:03:00] wasn't being done right and I knew I could fix it. 

Amardeep Parmar: So initially you went  into a more corporate career, right? 

Tanya Gupta: Yeah. 

Amardeep Parmar: And what was the thinking behind that? Was it because you said at university all you knew about this problem and you want to solve it, but like what made you go into a corporate career first and then run?

Tanya Gupta:  Yeah. Any entrepreneur who's watching this will know it's really difficult to have that, you know, just to make that jump.

Tanya Gupta: It's hard. Everyone needs to, you know, number one. I wanted to learn. I don't think I knew anything about business. I wanted to be as prepared as possible and finance seemed like the way I could actually, you know, understand different companies, different industries in a short period of time. It was also a job that was very demanding, similar to running a business.

Tanya Gupta: It was an opportunity to meet a lot of people and meet a lot of intelligent people. And that's just a career that made most sense to me. I did have the opportunity to work as a private equity consultant. There were companies that were in the high growth phase. [00:04:00] They were building something. It was very interesting to me.

Tanya Gupta: And that's when I went into, you know, investment banking for private equity transactions at the time and then into technology because that's what I ultimately was interested in doing. 

Amardeep Parmar: Were you ever thinking that maybe you'd get trapped in the corporate world where, because it was going well and you said you enjoyed it, right?

Tanya Gupta: Yeah.

Amardeep Parmar: If you're enjoying it, then taking that leap to do your own thing must be even scarier because it's not like you're leaving something which you hate and you want to escape. So how did that decision come about? When was the right moment for you to leave? 

Tanya Gupta: Yeah, I didn't think I'd get trapped in it.

Tanya Gupta: For me, it wasn't, I didn't feel trapped. The way I've always lived and wanted to work is I need to be constantly learning. And I felt like I always did that at my job. Like even when I got too comfortable, I would change teams or pick up new projects. And it was very important to me to constantly learn.

Tanya Gupta: And then it got to a point where, you know, my mission was too strong to, to, to ignore. It was also, [00:05:00] it's not just when I quit my job, it wasn't just because I hated my life and it was really long hours because it was, I was doing 4 AMs almost every day. It was because, like, I knew that, you know, the way people were consuming is, is a normal.

Tanya Gupta: It's something that we've never seen before. And unfortunately, it isn't. I'm not, I'm not someone who's going to shame people for consuming that much either. I think that there is a cultural reason why people are doing it. It's not right, but I think that we needed to solve it in a different way. Instead of shaming people for consuming, we need to think about why they're doing it and how can we make that process easier.

Tanya Gupta: And I think I sort of saw ways to do that, that people weren’t working on. And that for me was really exciting. And then the second thing was I wanted to build a company where people were [00:06:00] happy to work. And I worked in pretty male dominant, dominated industries. So even when I was at Imperial, it was pretty male dominated.

Tanya Gupta: And even when I was in finance, it was, and I felt like it wasn't an, like I wanted to build an environment where people could, they enjoyed working and they were building, they were working towards a mission. They knew what they were doing, why they were doing it. And, you know, it, it was supporting their creativity and their own ambitions and their own entrepreneurial spirit.

Amardeep Parmar: And what were the first steps you took when you started? You had the, you said you had different ideas you could do? What were the first steps you took to make it a reality? 

Tanya Gupta: So the first step I took was creating a pitch deck. You know, it's just, you, you write down, you know, what the problem is, what, how you're solving it, who the market is, why it's important, what the industry is.

Tanya Gupta: So I sort of, you know, after, on the weekends, so after working 4am's on the weekends, I would be working on this pitch deck. Even if I took [00:07:00] a holiday or days off, I was working on my pitch deck, because this was really important to me. And then I started speaking to people, so generally, like, I would go out and just speak to random people.

Tanya Gupta: I would go to a lot of networking events in the sustainable fashion space, as well as entrepreneur space. And just trying to, you know, learn as much as possible. Again, when I was going to the sustainable fashion space, you know, rental was really booming at the time and it was, it's a brilliant concept.

Tanya Gupta: It's a brilliant idea. I don't think it works for everyone. And that's what I noticed that people still found it pretty expensive. You know, the thinking about things as using it just once and spending, you know, 100, 100, 200 pounds is still for a certain segment of society, and it works. It's just not for everyone.

Tanya Gupta: And that's what I wanted. That's where, you know, I was just gathering all this information, speaking to people is the best advice I can give because there will be so many people who [00:08:00] are like, I don't understand what you're doing, but it gives you ideas of what, you know, they, people will not get what you're doing, especially if it's something innovative, especially if it's something that's not been done before and that's okay.

Tanya Gupta: But I think that's the best advice I can give is talk about your idea. I didn't do that very early on where I didn't want to tell people my idea. You know, I was, I always thought, Oh my God, someone's going to steal my idea. Um, that doesn't happen. It takes, when you, when you start a business, you kind of know how much work it takes to make an idea reality.

Tanya Gupta: So not everyone has that time, but that actually got me so much feedback. And in fact, the business I started off with eventually pivoted to what it is today. 

Amardeep Parmar: And just on that point about the idea, because I get this all the time. People want me to sign NDAs for any idea they've had. And the ideas themselves are basically useless because it was all in the execution, right?

Tanya Gupta: Absolutely.

Amardeep Parmar: And when people think about this and they try to [00:09:00] stop the idea of getting out there, the problem is what happens is you don't then get the feedback you need. 

Tanya Gupta:Absolutely. 

Amardeep Parmar: Iterate it. 

Tanya Gupta: Yeah. 

Amardeep Parmar: And from that, that's where they actually come from. And the thing is, when you have an idea, if you then go to pitch to investors, but the first time anybody's hearing the idea is the actual investors themselves.

Amardeep Parmar: They're going to pick it apart because nobody's ever seen it. And what your advantage is, especially at the early stages. It's if you can say you've talked to a hundred people about this idea and they get it and they think it's valuable, that then helps you with investors because you actually know what the questions that people ask, what are the concerns people have.

Amardeep Parmar: So rather than it being an investor, it's like, Oh, why have you thought about this? No, I haven't. Then you're in trouble. But if it's already been out there, you've talked to so many people that's where it can get better. And you mentioned there about the pivot. Can you talk to us a bit more about that?

Tanya Gupta:Yeah, absolutely.   I quit my job just before the pandemic where I was working on You know, a B2C concept. So my idea was, you know, the reason why people don't use resale is because it's not fashionable. So often when [00:10:00] you look at eBay or back then, when you did look at eBay, it was sort of people putting clothes from five, 10 years ago, and that's not something that's fashionable.

Tanya Gupta: Or if you want, you know, when you have a certain amount of money that you want to spend on a new dress, you're going to want something new and unfortunately, that's just how our brains are. You know, we do get a dopamine hit when we do get something new. And I just thought about how can we reinvent, reinvent what new means to people.

Tanya Gupta: Right. And so the initial concept was about keeping things in season. So when people bought something and they were wearing it once and they were posting about it, you know, thinking about how can I pass it on immediately. So it's actually a value to someone. And then, you know, you make the you know, the maximum amount of money back as well.

Tanya Gupta: And then, you know, the more and more I talked to brands, it was very clear that brands wanted to be part of this conversation. They wanted to take part in this economy. [00:11:00] They just didn't have the bandwidth to, which is really fair. You know, there's some companies that they're so focused on creating well, you know, producing right, producing small quantities, not mass producing like fast fashion.

Tanya Gupta: And unfortunately they're the people that were missing out on this circularity opportunity. So that's when I started to think, how can I actually help them and help the customers? Because the two biggest hurdles customers have with resale is it's time consuming to sell products. I mean, we all have clothes in our wardrobe that you know we're not going to wear, but we don't have the time to, you know, sit and list it.

Tanya Gupta: And the second thing is authenticity. You know, you want to know that it's come from the right place. If I set out to solve those two problems through the brand, it was actually a way, you know, it was an easier way to do this. And the way it works now is when you buy clothes, you can go to your order history and resell products from there.[00:12:00] 

Tanya Gupta: So that takes out the time it takes. It's in 30 seconds, you can list a product. So, you know, we have the data of when you bought it, what size, what color. Everything is, is then, you know, that data wasn't being leveraged and the brands can do that because, you know, they have your order history and the customers, you know, we're very used to returning items.

Tanya Gupta: We go to our order history and to return items. So now, you know, it's just an added layer of circularity. So instead of going to the third party platforms that exist, you would just go to your order history. 

Amardeep Parmar: Yeah. And then how did you make this a reality in terms of actually building it? Because do you have the tech background yourself or?

Amardeep Parmar: How did you create the platform? 

Tanya Gupta: So very luckily, uh, I mean, I shouldn't say luck because I worked very hard for this, but I managed to do a successful crowdfunding and received two Innovate UK grants and, you know, people liked the idea. They liked the concept. They saw what it was doing to the environment [00:13:00] and how consumption was.

Tanya Gupta: You know, through the roof and that helped me, you know, hire someone who was very skilled at building these plugins. Um, and you know, a team, essentially the team is great and I don't have a technical background. I do know how to code, but it's not at the level required. But that being said, there are 10, 000 other things that needs to be done and I take care of that.

Amardeep Parmar: And like I said, it's, you need to have the different skills in the team.

Tanya Gupta: 100 % .

Amardeep Parmar:  And when people try to do everything by themselves. Sooner or later it's going to break, right? You need that different team around you. And there's two different interesting things you mentioned there. So first is the crowdfunding in Innovate UK.

Amardeep Parmar: And you always said you mentioned you were working on the pitch deck right early on and iterating on it. Is it the pitch deck that got you that funding or how did you go about that?

Tanya Gupta: The pitch deck was the concept, right? You need to get buy in from, you know, customers. You need to get buy in from even the people who work with, for you. 

Tanya Gupta: I mean, no [00:14:00] one's just going to take out their time and energy to work on a concept that they don't believe in. So the pitch deck was definitely a starting point to get buy in from people. But when it comes to innovate UK or applying, it's you know, it's a skill in grant writing. It's a lot of work.

Tanya Gupta: I've never paid anyone to write my grants, but I know it's a very common thing to do. And it's, it is something that most people do. It is a massive application form and fair enough, right? Like Innovate UK is taxpayer money. They need to know why this is an important thing and why you can't go to an investor and, and, you know, get that seed funding.

Tanya Gupta: And it needs to be something that's very innovative. So it might work, it might not work. And that's the, but if I do get the Innovate UK funding, it's something that has the opportunity to, to bloom. So it was, it's a, it's a hard process. The pitch deck [00:15:00] helped, but there are a lot of applications that you need to write.

Tanya Gupta: And the reality is most you won't get because there's a very strict criteria, but you, you sometimes you get them. 

Amardeep Parmar: Do you have any advice for anybody who wants to do their own, like apply to Innovate UK or similar organizations? 

Tanya Gupta: There is a skill to writing it. And unfortunately, it's, it's sort of like, you know, when you're writing an exam.

Tanya Gupta: There is a mark scheme, right? You can have all the knowledge in the world, and you can be really interested in reading all the books about it, but if you don't answer it in the way they want to receive it, you're not doing very well, and like, I learned that the hard way. I learned that the hard way, and I, that's the biggest advice I can say is really look at all the information there is available on mark schemes because there is, it is out there.

Tanya Gupta: Each, each award has, you know, a video where they will go through a presentation of who's [00:16:00] marking it. You can ask Q and A if you have anything specific. And I think you just need to prepare in advance before the deadline, because if you do have questions. Shoot them across to them and you'll get good guidance.

Amardeep Parmar: And you mentioned there as well, how the pitch deck also helps you to get the team on board. 

Tanya Gupta:  Yeah, absolutely. 

Amardeep Parmar: And when you're trying to get people on board to a new startup where it's just you at the beginning and you've got to convince them that this is something worth them leaving whatever they're doing right now to come and join you, that's obviously very intimidating for a lot of people, right?

Amardeep Parmar: To join a company at the early stages. And it's a two way street. Like how did you, one, pick the right people to join you, but also convince them that this is the right place for them too. 

Tanya Gupta: Yeah. So the pitch deck, right? I think people saw the mission and they saw that the way tech can change this. And I think it's very, you're, you're either someone who's excited about change or you're someone who's comfortable with how things are going.

Tanya Gupta: And I think [00:17:00] I managed to find people who were excited about change and that's been really important to me. So I worked in finance where there were some people who didn't enjoy what they were doing. And I was very clear that I can't have, it's just not good for anyone, right? If you're just doing it because you need to and you don't enjoy what you're doing,

Tanya Gupta: you're, it's not good for the company or the, or the person. And for me, it was very clear, you know, if you like what we're creating, you're going to figure out how to do it. I mean, there's so many things as an entrepreneur I've figured out how to do. Any entrepreneur will know this, that there's so many hats you have to wear and you figure it out.

Tanya Gupta: But what is important is that the why is always there. Um, and that's, that's how I found people.

Amardeep Parmar: And you mentioned like early on about part of the reason why you want to create your own company is about that culture and creating an [00:18:00] environment where people really enjoy their jobs. How are you going about that?

Amardeep Parmar: Like, how are you implementing that and making sure that your team are loving what they're doing still, because obviously they believe in the mission. There's so many other factors, making sure that they're happy and like their well being is really good as well. 

Tanya Gupta: So at the moment, the team is really small.

Tanya Gupta: It is an international team. So I do have someone who works in Canada because, you know, we're trying to break into the North America space. I do have someone in India and someone in London. So there are four of us. And it's hard, you know, it's, it's not, it's living in this, you know, remote world is pretty.

Tanya Gupta: It's not easy to navigate, but luckily it's so far so good. There is a lot of flexibility, which is something that I thought was really important. And I think people value that, that they're not being, you know, treated for, you know, I, I don't believe in the whole, like, you have to wake up at nine and be at your desk to be someone who's a high achiever.

Tanya Gupta: And I think that's something that people really appreciate, especially post COVID [00:19:00] is giving them felxibility. 

Amardeep Parmar: And with the team being international, how are you bringing them together? How are you making sure their relationships with each other are strong as well? 

Tanya Gupta: I mean, it's, it's, again, that's a difficult one, but, you know, we have, we have our meetings and, you know, we have, uh, like weekly catch ups of, you know, what everyone's doing and that's how we're managing to do at the moment, but it's a very small team.

Tanya Gupta: And, you know, that's something that as the team grows, I'm going to definitely have to keep that in mind, but so far so good. 

Amardeep Parmar: And you mentioned before we started recording how you've got a few exciting launches coming up at the moment. 

Tanya Gupta: Yes. 

Amardeep Parmar: And like tell us about that. Share your, with us.

Tanya Gupta: Yeah, there is a multi brand, multi designer store in, based in Scotland that is about to launch.

Tanya Gupta: They have about five stores and, you know, online, but, you know, they stock brands like Basch or, you know, Stangoya or you know, just many designers and now that if [00:20:00] you shop with them or shop online on their store, you could very easily rotate these dresses or outfits. You know, you could sell them when you're done.

Tanya Gupta: Like, you know, this dress, for example, if I've worn it all winter and you know, when it comes to summer, I'm thinking, you know, I want something that's a bit more summery, I could resell it and get something, something new. But what that does is it passes it on to someone who actually is interested in that brand already.

Tanya Gupta: And, you know, is likely to wear it. Unfortunately, when, you know, when you do send things to charity shops, they're not always, I think there's, it's, it's only 25 percent of the garments that are actually resold, um, most go to landfill. Unfortunately, most are shipped over to, you know, developing countries to be burned.

Tanya Gupta: And it's, it's not something that, of course, there are clothes that are end of life. And, you know, I still haven't found a way what to do with those kind of clothes. And, you know, there are a lot of cool companies that [00:21:00] are working on, processing it, but, you know, if there's something that is of good quality and, you know, people, if you sell it to them, they're more likely to wear it.

Amardeep Parmar:  Yeah. And so you've got two launches coming up, right?

Tanya Gupta: Yes. So the second launch is a brand called Kanye London, and they are actually a South Asian brand. They sell these amazing outfits. They're, they're saris and, but they're also, you're able to wear them in a Western setting. They're kind of like these fusion garments.

Tanya Gupta: Amazingly, they also sell on ASOS. They're, they're pretty popular, but, you know, her, her mission, the founder's mission is very rooted in, you know, helping the people who create her garments and, you know, creating jobs for them, creating education opportunities for their children. And, you know, it was really exciting to work with them because, you know, unfortunately, in the Haitian community, our garments are people wear them once or twice because they are very heavy.

Tanya Gupta: They're [00:22:00] very, you know, ornate. And, you know, she she really understood that yes, I'm trying to create all of these things, you know, create the garments well, but unfortunately my customers are not wearing them that much. So I'd love to give them the opportunity to pass them on. So yeah, so we have those two brands that are launching this week and next week.

Tanya Gupta: Um, the first one biscuit and the second Kanye. 

Amardeep Parmar: So by the time this episode comes out, that should already be live, right? If somebody buys a product from there now, now as in the time this is released, then they can experience that, right? So seeing the audio history, they'll be able to resell it and they can experience it themselves.

Amardeep Parmar: And as you're talking, I'm thinking, obviously I know quite a few clothing brands. So remind me after this podcast to put you in touch with them and I can try and link you up there as well. Have you got other things in the pipeline or what's the exciting things you're working on?

Tanya Gupta: So there are other things in the pipeline that I won't reveal, but it is around the whole product authenticity piece, which is really exciting.

Tanya Gupta: Obviously, right now we are building something that is [00:23:00] easy to use and, you know, easy for the customers to use, easy for the brands to use. But, you know, we want to, we want to push the boundaries on the product because I do still see ideas, ways that we can solve it that companies aren't doing it yet. So I won't reveal what it is, but I will share it pretty soon, hopefully.

Amardeep Parmar: So one of the things I learned recently was that often venture capitalists will ask male founders about what their dreams are and they'll ask female founders about what their struggles are. So I want to make sure I give you opportunity here to talk about what is the big dream for this, like in like five years time, ten years time, what would be the perfect world of where Resell Future gets to?

Tanya Gupta: It would be where this is just a norm. Forget Resell Future. My dream would be where customers are very, it's normalized to pass on your garments. So if you think about it, returns weren't a normal thing until maybe seven, eight years ago. And for me, the dream would be in 10 [00:24:00] years, Resale is a normal thing.

Tanya Gupta: You know, forget like it doesn't have to be through resale future. It's just for me, it's the idea that you don't need a garment, um, a garment shouldn't be worn once or twice. And I think in the last 10 years that's become too common. So if you're not wearing it again, make sure someone else is. I think that's my dream.

Amardeep Parmar: And obviously lots of people listening, we all know that fast fashion isn't good for the planet, right? And sometimes there's this dissonance where people know that, but then still buy it anyway. And with you, is your journey... How is your journey in convincing some people who maybe are really used to fast fashion?

Amardeep Parmar: How do you kind of change their minds, say, that they do believe in what you're trying to achieve and to get them on board with reselling their clothes and also buying other people's clothes? Because I think sometimes people have this idea about stigma related to that. And how do you overcome that?

Tanya Gupta: Let's just looking at the data, people are buying fast fashion, even though, [00:25:00] you know, they're talking about the environment. You know, we are the most woke, you know, generation. But we're still buying fast fashion and the data shows that fast fashion is doing amazingly well. So for me, it was trying to understand why, right?

Tanya Gupta: There is no point shaming people because there is a reason this is happening and it's, it's everyone's, it's, it's because of a society that we all play a part of, you know, even the fact that, you know, we love the fact that celebrities wear clothes once on the, on the red carpet, um, to, um, the fact that influence, the rise of influencer culture, everything's playing a part to why people are wearing clothes less and why people are shopping fast fashion.

Tanya Gupta: So, the way I try to solve it is by understanding, and I really take this seriously, I talk to people who, you know, consume in this way. It's very easy for people who are in the sustainable space to live in an echo chamber [00:26:00] where they don't understand who these people are, okay, because I speak to a lot of founders to and they're like, Oh, I've never heard of that before.

Tanya Gupta: I'm like, well, it exists. If you look at the data, it exists where people aren't wearing clothes more than once. So for me, understanding why, right? So it's easy to buy and you know, It's great for pictures, are some reasons why people are doing it. And if you can solve this while also keeping it cheap, right?

Tanya Gupta: Because the reality is people care about how much money they're spending. And unfortunately, maybe, you know, rental isn't solving that yet. It is still much cheaper and I love rental. I love what it's doing. It's not something I could probably incorporate in my everyday life. But that is a reason why, right?

Tanya Gupta: And then that's how, you know, if I can explain to people why it's [00:27:00] very similar to them shopping on e commerce stores. So the whole concept of Resale Future is creating an environment that's secondhand, but it looks exactly like you were buying it firsthand on an e commerce store. I think that mentality really plays a part on, you know, people spending, you know, people's the culture of spending.

Tanya Gupta: Um, so that's one way I'm trying to solve it. And then the second way is, you know, trying to help people think about what they buy as assets in their wardrobe. And that, you know, comes to the cost aspect. You know, when you buy something, think about it like, Oh, I just bought a hundred pound dress. That is an asset that, you know, I can pass on and maybe recover 80 pounds.

Tanya Gupta: Um, So everyone is a hustler today. Everyone's an entrepreneur and really helping people see that and making it easy for them to make that money is how I'm solving it. And, and unfortunately we're living in tough times. It's not, it's, [00:28:00] it's, it's not fair to, it's not, well, it's not right what fast fashion is doing to the environment, but I think people are going through enough struggles where I don't think shaming is, is the answer.

Tanya Gupta: And I'll give you an example, Airbnb, the reason they did well in a time of the financial crisis is because people saw their homes as assets. They saw their spare bedroom as a way to make money. And I think that's going to happen with people, with what's in people's wardrobes. 

Amardeep Parmar: One of the studies that comes to mind, as you were talking about that as well, was the whole spotlight effect, right?

Amardeep Parmar: Where people might really wear the same clothes and there was somebody who she wore the same dress for a year to work every single day and nobody noticed and people compliment, Oh, really nice dress today. And they didn't remember that she wore it yesterday. I think sometimes there's this culture, maybe it's Instagram or social media, which makes people think that everybody remembers what you bought and a lot of time people weren't right.

Amardeep Parmar: And it's the idea of, let's say, like, [00:29:00] I wear a dress. Let's say you are a dress. Like the next week your friend wears it, people won't necessarily make the connection that's the same dress that your friend wore, but people have this worry that other people are judging them that much. 

Tanya Gupta:Yeah. 

Amardeep Parmar:And sometimes it's remembering that people aren't paying that much attention to you.

Amardeep Parmar: So you can do these things and like increase the lifetime of goods and dresses and fashion in particular, because actually people aren't judging you as much. And sometimes it's trying, it's trying to change that culture where it's not shaming people because I completely agree. If you shame people, it makes them more defensive and they don't listen to your ideas.

Amardeep Parmar: Whereas if you can explain, look, here's something which is helping the environment and also will help you save money. It will help you with other things. That's the way you're going to get them on board and listen to what you're just talking about as well in terms of what I really liked is where you said that it doesn't necessarily need to be a resale future.

Amardeep Parmar: And that's showing that your mission is bigger than like just making money or anything like that. And as you like go forward to this. Have you got any ideas of [00:30:00] different things you can do in terms of education or any other side projects you might do? Pre resale future, which then through the education piece could potentially bring people into the product too.

Tanya Gupta: Yeah. Like I said, I, I do live in an echo chamber where I'm surrounded by people who understand the effects of fashion on the environment. Unfortunately, that's not the reality. And I'm very excited about, you know, this piece of through the brands, you know, brands already have a very loyal following. And I think every time I speak to a brand, that's something that is

Tanya Gupta: the most exciting to them is, you know, this is amazing. Like, I get that, you know, now we get to be part of this whole circular conversation, but also, you know, we're making it easy for them. But how about, you know, we take this one step further, how, how about we educate, you know, what, why this is important to us and why this is important for the environment.

Tanya Gupta: And, you know, It's, it's, it's actually really exciting for me to see because that's not something I thought brands would be excited about because [00:31:00] ultimately everyone's running a business and, you know, the top line matters and it's something that to me is, is pretty exciting is through the brands loyal following, we're now able to reach more people to explain

Tanya Gupta: the mission, explain what we're trying to do and why it's important. 

Amardeep Parmar: And you mentioned as well how you had the pivots and you've had different things going on. Was there any points where maybe you did doubt yourself, you had imposter syndrome about whether this would succeed? And how did you get through that?

Amardeep Parmar: Because I think that's so important for people to hear is that it hasn't all just been smooth sailing. You've overcome these different things. And when other people hear hurdles, they know, well, Tanya did it. She had a hurdle when she got through it. And that makes people believe in themselves too.

Tanya Gupta: It is true that, you know, entrepreneurship is the hardest thing you're going to do.

Tanya Gupta: It, unfortunately, social media has made it look very rosy and easy. It's just not how it is. Um, during the pandemic, especially, so I quit my job before the pandemic and was working on an idea. And very quickly, you know, [00:32:00] started to understand there was a better way of solving it, a bigger way of solving it, a more efficient way of solving it.

Tanya Gupta: And to let go of an initial idea that frankly, I had from university was difficult, but so important, you know, knowing that I think the best advice. I can give anyone is don't be afraid to fail in public. We grew up in a culture where, you know, it's pretty common for people to say, log kya kahenge, which means what will people say?

Tanya Gupta: And I think people are so, um, I was so crippled by their, I was so, you know, the thought of what people will think of me and I think very early on when, you know, you are working just with yourself and that, that sort of thought can consume you. And then the day you realize no one cares, so earlier, you know, you were saying that no one really cares about wearing things twice.

Tanya Gupta: I completely agree with [00:33:00] that. No one cares. And I also think no one cares what you're actually, you know, taking a risk. It's not going to work out for years, maybe, or, you know, and or months and. That's okay if you're comfortable with it. Um, I think that we could, if you, if you're not afraid to fail in public, you can then overcome those, those lows and highs, right?

Tanya Gupta: Because there are so many lows and so many moments of self doubt and you know, what's the worst that can happen? People think that what you were building didn't work out and it's okay. I think for me, I, as soon as I overcame that. I focus more on how do I actually solve this? And then my mindset just became more problem solving than thinking of the problem.

Tanya Gupta: You know, it was, it was just every time there was an issue, the first thing you think about is problem solving. And it's really funny because my friends hate this about me because [00:34:00] they'll be ranting. And I'll be talking about the solution and they're like, no, he just went to rant, like tell us we're right and how we're thinking.

Tanya Gupta: And, and I think that if you can train your brain to think like that, you will always find a solution and overcome those laws. 

Amardeep Parmar: One thing I find interesting as well, you said about how, I'm not going to repeat the Hindi because I've got terrible Hindi, but the idea of the different cultures. And a lot of people from like Asian backgrounds in this country also think the same way as like Indian background, um, back home.

Amardeep Parmar: But in terms of like how people have perceived your business, I found a difference in like your circles back home versus your circles, your circles in India versus circles in London. Have they reacted differently? Was it been quite similar in the way that they're looking at your product. 

Tanya Gupta: In our generation, people see why this is important, but maybe in the older generation, they don't.

Tanya Gupta: And that's okay. I think it's fair. I think everyone had their own experiences growing up. I think we're quite privileged right in our [00:35:00] generation where we have the opportunities to we've seen people. For me, I think having role models is  a big privilege that people don't have. And it gives you that confidence, it gives you that energy and, you know, someone you could reach out to if you have a problem and ask questions.

Tanya Gupta: And I think in the older generation or my parents generation, they didn't have that. So I get, I get why people may not understand what I'm doing or why they think it's so crazy. I left finance or left science and started to work in fashion and tech and something that is a second hand, which maybe they would never use.

Tanya Gupta: So I get those questions all the time, but not from our generation, actually. 

Amardeep Parmar: So we're going to have to move on to a quick five questions out of the time, but I could talk forever. So the first one is, so who are three British Asians that you'd like to give a shout out to?

Tanya Gupta: One of my really good friends, Akesh Mehta, he has been someone I went to university with, had many lows and highs together, but he's been a great help in just, you know, he's someone [00:36:00] that is really helpful and you could you know, go on his, his Instagram and he's always giving business advice and that's someone, he is the founder of Fable in Mane.

Tanya Gupta: The second person who was personally very helpful to me growing up because I saw a role model who could, you know, achieve all these great things was my cousin, Roma Agrawal. She is the, you know, the head engineer who helped build the Shard at the time. So, you know, just, she's also an author, doing a lot to help, you know, women get into STEM subjects.

Tanya Gupta: Someone who's super inspirational to me, and I recommend, you know, you read her books and just watch her videos. And a third person would be, oh, someone I actually follow on Instagram. I don't really know her well, but I, I'm not very good on Instagram. I'm not very good in social media. So she's an inspiration.

Tanya Gupta: She is a founder. It's a fashion brand. [00:37:00] Her name's Rokeya and she's from, she has, she's of Bangladeshi descent and, you know, just the work she's doing and the way she's building her brand and, you know, how ethically she's trying to help, you know, the artisans that build, like make her clothes. And it's just very inspirational.

Tanya Gupta: Also, I think she's amazing because she's a mother and does wear so many hats and inspiring to me. 

Amardeep Parmar: Yeah. So make sure you give them a follow. And the next question is, what's something that people could reach out to you for if they're looking for help? 

Tanya Gupta: I think overall just. You know, taking that first step of starting a business, it's, it's a really hard decision.

Tanya Gupta: I didn't do it in a way where I got help from people. I sort of learned it myself. So, you know, whether it's, you know, grant writing or applying, finding where they exist or, you know, helping with the pitch deck, I would be very happy to help people in that. 

Amardeep Parmar: And then on a flip side, what's maybe somebody's decision right now, how could they help you?

Tanya Gupta: So I'm very terrible at social [00:38:00] media and PR and anything to do with, you know, talking about how amazing the business is, or i'm not very good at that. So if anyone can help in that aspect, then I would welcome it. 

Amardeep Parmar: So, really love chatting today. Have you got any final words? 

Tanya Gupta: Don't be afraid to fail because amazing things happen when you're not afraid of what people think of you and what, because no one's really thinking of you.

Amardeep Parmar: Thank you for listening to the BAE HQ podcast today. In our mission to inspire, connect, and guide the next generation of British Asian entrepreneurs, it would mean so much to us if you could subscribe to our channel, leave a review, and share this with your friends.

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