Somdutta Singh, a serial entrepreneur from Kolkata, lives in India, the US, and Dubai. A billion-dollar e-commerce accelerator? How did she start Assiduus Global Inc.?
Somdutta Singh aspired to build out a career of her own. Born in Kolkata to doctors, the first-generation entrepreneur has founded various businesses.
“Despite being born into a typical Bengali household, I opted not to follow in my medical parents’ footsteps,” Somdutta tells Future Sharks.
“I knew this was not the life and future I wanted for myself from a young age,” she says. I want choice. I want globe travel and a better work-life balance. I vowed to defy convention and pursue my dreams.”
Her current venture, Assiduus Global Inc, is an AI-powered cross-border ecommerce accelerator that helps D2C firms begin, build, and thrive across ecommerce marketplaces and regions.
She founded Assiduus in 2018 after selling D2C private labels including Amplicell, The Real Boss Lady Beauty, Biotevia, and Irotica on global marketplaces like Amazon and Walmart.
“It helped me grasp the major hurdles of extending a brand outside particular geographies,” adds Somdutta. Regulations, integration, and language issues arose since each platform performs differently across geographies and is bound by local laws and regulations on data protection, etc.”
“I realised individuals had to deal with cross-border issues, and selling online was not straightforward. “Ranking, decoding user data, price, consumer behaviour, keyword, and listing automation are all aspects of the process,” she says.
Somdutta’s Assiduus focuses on brand centricity, cross-border data and intelligence.
For example, Assiduus fulfils and maintains online orders for Cipla, Bulletproof, Swiss Image, Strive, and Poorna Gummies from Japan, the US, and the GCC.
The Bengaluru-based firm has operations in Delaware, the US, and Dubai.
Before Assiduus, she founded many companies, including her first, Unspun Group, an adtech business in 2013.
“We utilised to maximise ROI for startups, SMEs, and businesses by using technology. We used a market discovery technology to scan, analyse, and propose marketing channels for businesses.
It helps us construct profiles, analyse target consumers’ behaviour across live data sources, rate their online actions, and propose the best marketing channel.
A female entrepreneur
Somdutta has founded multiple enterprises, served on the boards of many notable organisations, and is a member of the Forbes Business Council. To be respectable, she had to overcome gender-based biases across regions.
She says the fact that she was running numerous firms and wearing multiple hats added to her struggles as a young female entrepreneur in a male-dominated and patriarchal profession.
Women entrepreneurs struggle to get money, she says.
“You are continually looked at differently than men,” says Somdutta. When I ask male investors how many women-run businesses they’ve invested in, the response is usually negligible.”
“Women entrepreneurship is an untamed stronghold, and investors must treat women as equally as men. Their approach should be gender neutral and focused on talents and abilities,” she says.
The concept of women competing with males may not always sit well with Somdutta.
She recommends women to draw into their inherent qualities — patience and tenacity — and create a no-nonsense approach towards gender discrimination.
An entrepreneur must be able to take risks and not allow the unknown scare them! Entrepreneurship is much more than just leadership. “It’s about the drive and will to accomplish the unthinkable,” she says.
Somdutta wants Assiduus Global to be a billion-dollar ecommerce accelerator partner by 2025.
“We also aim to become the most chosen partner for digital-first D2C businesses, enterprise D2C brands, and roll-up brands wanting to go global,” she adds.