Rakhee Mehra and Astha Dodrajka: A Humble Beginning with a Bold Vision

In the ever-shifting landscape of business, the most extraordinary tales often spring from the heart of adversity. Meet Rakhee Mehra and Astha Dodrajka, co-founders of Trophykart, a daring pioneer of retail and e-commerce, whose astounding journey embodies the very essence of resilience, innovation, and adaptability.

Trophykart’s roots trace back to September 2009 when Trophykart was known as Frontfoot Sports, already a shining star in the corporate sports event scene. However, beneath their triumphant exterior lay a daunting obstacle: the unprofessional and chaotic trophy market. Their quest for reliable printing services and the cumbersome task of sourcing trophies from various suppliers ignited the spark for their transformation into Trophykart.

Within just a year of inception, Trophykart’s success was evident. What started as a modest operation in a garage with a team of only four, soon expanded to occupy multiple floors of a building. The opening of their flagship store at Pune’s illustrious Phoenix Market City became a symbol of their ascent. Fueling their expansion, Trophykart ventured into Chennai and established a cutting-edge production unit in Bangalore, equipped with state-of-the-art printing facilities. By 2019, their team boasted 33 dedicated individuals, an impressive 8,000-square-foot production unit in Bangalore, and flourishing stores in Pune and Chennai.

Yet, even the most remarkable journeys encounter unexpected storms. The COVID-19 pandemic struck, severely impacting Trophykart’s business, which predominantly relied on products for events. However, they swiftly adapted, diversifying their product range to include COVID-related items. Recognizing the need for corporate gifts to uplift employee spirits during the pandemic, they ventured boldly into new terrain.

Connecting with corporations and establishing their presence in corporate procurement processes presented a formidable challenge. It was during 2018 and 2019 that Trophykart discovered a transformative partner in WEConnect International. Through this alliance, they secured prestigious partnerships with Exxon Mobil, Procter & Gamble, Accenture, and Sagility. Notably, their collaboration with Wells Fargo shone as a beacon of resilience during the pandemic. In the fiscal year 2022 to 2023, more than 25% of their revenue came from Wells Fargo, effectively doubling their pre-pandemic earnings.

“WEConnect International didn’t just bring in prestigious clients; it also offered invaluable mentoring and networking opportunities,” says Rakhee Mehra. “This partnership allowed us to connect with other women-owned businesses, fostering the exchange of experiences, networks, and insights.”

The year 2022 ushered in a turning point. The State Department funded conference in New Delhi became the stage for a remarkable breakthrough. At this event, they were connected to several corporate representatives. In 2023, they were onboarded as a vendor with Sagility and secured their first order. Discussions were also initiated with two notable buyers, JP Morgan and EY, a promising sign of the exciting potential that lay ahead.

Through grit and constant innovation, Trophykart transformed a struggling venture into a thriving enterprise. As they continue to grow and evolve, their journey stands as a resounding testament to the limitless possibilities that await those who dare to chase their dreams.

Learn more about Trophykart at www.trophykart.in