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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Meet Sandeep Agarwal who lost it all but rose up to build Rs700cr Business Empire

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This entrepreneur early lost everything before rising to develop Rs 700 crore turnover firm.

Sandeep Aggarwal’s life has been a rollercoaster ride as the founder of two unicorns (privately held firms valued at more than USD 1 billion) – ShopClues, an e-marketplace, and Droom, an online platform for buying and selling new and pre-owned vehicles.

Droom had a GMV (gross merchandise value) of Rs 20,000 crore and revenue of Rs 700 CR in the previous fiscal year.

Sandeep leveraged his enormous network of contacts in the US to finance $1.95 million and create Shopclues from Gurgaon in 2011 after working for 12 years in the US, largely as a Wall Street analyst with some of the top firms (later renamed as Gurugram).

Sandeep was apprehended by the FBI in July 2013 in the United States, when he was on vacation with his family. The next day, he was granted bail, and the case was moved from San Francisco to New York. His passport, however, was taken, and he was asked to stay in the nation.

Sandeep returned Radhika to India with his two young boys, Ahaan and Arjit, to handle ShopClues. Sandeep spent the following 15 months visiting the FBI office in New York during the day and monitoring ShopClues-related operations from his home at night. However, the ruling was postponed for the following six years, and Sandeep was permitted to return to India in August of 2014.

They had witnessed his development from a schoolboy who struggled to speak in English to completing his post-graduate studies at Mumbai’s Institute of Management Studies and then obtaining his MBA from Washington University in St. Louis. His parents, however, had no idea that their son would rise again and recover his image and business.

Sandeep obtained numerous rounds of funding – $1 million in June 2014, $4 million in October 2014, and $11 million in May 2015 – to start his comeback business Droom, with the help of investors who continued to believe in him. A US court dropped all allegations against Sandeep in February 2020.

On a personal note, Sandeep and Radhika divorced in 2018. Their two boys, Ahaan (19) and Arjit (13), share time with both parents. Sandeep enjoys spending quality time with his children. ‘Fall Again, Rise Again,’ his autobiography, is also available. He owns 1000 plants and lives in a Gurgaon penthouse.

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