Pearl Uppal, co-founder and CEO of Smile Group’s flash sales site Fashionandyou.com, has put in her papers. Pearl partnered with Harish Bahl, CEO of Smile Group, in early 2010 to start Fashionandyou.
Speaking to techcircle, Pearl said her future plans have not been finalised yet. Asked whether she will venture into fashion e-commerce again she said, “It is really premature right now. I would not like to comment on it. I have a few ideas but nothing is final as of now.”
The announcement of Pearl’s exit comes just a week after Smile Group’s dealsite DealsandYou co-founder Gaurav Kachru, who is also her husband, quit Smile Group.
So, is their exit just a coincidence or will she join him in his venture? “I don’t want to comment on where I will be venturing and our exits though have come soon one after another. They are not really co-related,” she said.
Interestingly enough, few weeks back when Techcircle caught up with Pearl, she had talked about her plans and how they are looking to break-even in the next two years (watch out the full interview here). This time she stated that the vision remains the same and she will still be a part of fashionandyou.
Pearl will continue to give inputs on fashionandyou in an advisor and shareholder capacity and will keep on contributing in “part-time kind of fashion”, said Harish Bahl. On being probed further Bahl said, “It is a common phenomenon in the US where founders hand over the responsibility after a certain period of time and venture out. So, Gaurav and Pearl have not decided to go out and it’s also not yet final that Smile will not be a part of their new venture. Nothing is decided Smile might or might not be a part of their project.”
Has Smile become a platform where entrepreneurs come and learn the trade and then leave to start other ventures? “At Smile, our mission is to promote entrepreneurship. We are probably the only group supporting such a phenomenon,” Bahl said.
In an earlier interview to techcircle also he had similar views where he had stated, “I will feel happy and excited if all our partners and entrepreneurs stay with us, not only for their first ventures but also for other ones. But if someone wants to go solo and do something on his own, we feel happy and proud. That’s our culture.”
No names have been announced as to who will be taking over from Pearl at Fashionandyou. Bahl said it would be announced shortly.
(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)