Entrepreneurial Story of Swati Bhargava, Co-founder of CashKaro

Swati Bhargava is the co-founder of CashKaro, India’s leading coupon and cashback app and also EarnKaro which is an affiliate marketing platform.

Swati was born and raised in a small town called Ambala in Haryana. Being exceptionally intellectual ever since she was a kid, she topped the state of Haryana in her 10th board exams and got a 100% in the math exam.

This smart little brain of hers made her secure a scholarship from the Government of Singapore to study for her 11th and 12th grades, and eventually get into the London School of Economics for a BSc Hons degree in Mathematics and Economics. She had also been accepted into Oxford University, but she decided to decline the offer due to the lack of financial aid. 

CashKaro Startup Story

Swati absolutely lights up while talking about her journey so far, and she has all the right in the world to do so.

Right after graduating from the LSE, she worked a tedious but financially rewarding job from 8 a.m. to midnight at Goldman Sachs for 5 years and did investment banking there. This is where she met her husband, Rohan who’s also an alumnus of the London School of Economics, and interestingly, he was the one who introduced her to cashback sites.

Intrigued by the concept, she, along with her husband, launched Pouring Pounds, a cashback business which worked with trade unions and great newspapers in the UK – the Daily Mail, the Metro Newspaper, etc.

But the plan was to eventually come to India as she knew that people in India were always thrilled to save money whenever possible. So, she, along with her husband, moved to Gurgaon, India and launched CashKaro in 2013.

What is CashKaro?

It is essentially a cashback app which allows a customer to earn great loads of cash back to their account each time they purchase any item from any store – CashKaro works with more than 1,500 sites across all domains.

If you’re wondering how CashKaro benefits you, here is what their website has to say about it – “Essentially, you go to CashKaro, visit your favourite retailer on their app and website, shop as usual with the usual payment options, and get rewarded with real Cashback that you can transfer into your account. Right? Sounds almost magical. But it all works on the affiliate marketing business model.” 

From CashKaro to EarnKaro

Before the onset of Covid, CashKaro’s entire business model was based on e-commerce. But unfortunately, as the lockdown hit and took away our sanity, e-commerce businesses took a turn for the worse and CashKaro faced financial challenges.

This forced them to expand their scope and include educational sectors such as Byjus, Coursera, Vedantu, Udemy, UpGrad, etc. Hence this goes to show that the pandemic really helped with the diversification of their business.

Along with Cashkaro, Swati, with her husband, co-founded a platform called EarnKaro, which means exactly what it says, earn karo! With such an enticing proposition, people were automatically drawn to the platform.

It is basically an affiliate marketing platform which allows users to earn money by promoting deals and products from various online retailers. Hence, users can create affiliate links for products and share them on social media or other platforms. If someone clicks on the link and makes a purchase, the user earns a commission. Oh, how easy and convenient it is to make money now!

How she met her husband?

We’ve mentioned her husband quite a few times now, and there lies an interesting story about how they actually met.

Rohan Bhargava, the other co-founder of CashKaro and also the husband of Swati, was her senior in college and her Indian friends invited her to go to his house, and Swati was charmed by the sight of Indian food prepared by Rohan. This is how they officially met, and after a few friendly conversations, Swati asked Rohan to be her flatmate.

They were flatmates for 3 whole years until on Valentine’s Day, Swati finally made her move and they started dating. And today, they’ve been married for 13 years now! 

Her achievements worth mentioning

With tremendous amounts of genuine and hard work, come great achievements. Swati has been featured in the Fortune India 40 under 40 list for young and bright entrepreneurs.

She also represented India at Blackbox Connect, at the Female Founders Edition, which is the first program by Blackbox that focused on female entrepreneurs. She won India’s first Digital Women Award issued by SheThePeople for the category – Best Service Offering Company in the E-commerce Industry.

Additionally, in 2022, Swati witnessed massive financial growth, scaling CashKaro from Rs. 100 crores in revenue in 2021 to 225 crores in 2022.

Her advice to people for building a brand

From being from a tiny town to working her way up to building one of the most resourceful and successful platforms, Swati never failed to galvanize us all.

She shares some tips for youngsters who are leaning in the same entrepreneurial direction as her; and putting yourself out there would be her first and foremost advice, along with consistency and persistence.

She also encourages people to be their authentic selves and build a brand out of that very authenticity, creating content that aligns with their own selves, and connecting with similar brands to establish their place in the market. 

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