Zilingo: The Messy Startup in Singapore Provides Lessons for Entrepreneurs


Zilingo Pte was until recently a rising star in the world of fashion e-commerce, and its glamorous leader Ankiti Bose was a model young achiever. But in less than three months, the Singapore-based company has become a dumpster fire threatening to consume its sacked chief executive. The Indian-born co-founder says she’s still trying to figure out why she was removed from the Singapore-based startup by shareholders, including Sequoia Capital India, the largest. “I just turned 30,” she told the Straits Times in a video interview. “This is my life, this is my reputation.”

Bose is right to fear for her reputation. The confident, charismatic businesswoman ran a burgeoning empire that spanned from Indonesia and Bangladesh to Sri Lanka and India, connecting Asian factories with global brands. Bose was so successful in cultivating a high public image that seasoned financiers — including Sequoia — let the CEO have her way until whistleblowers accused her of padding Zilingo’s revenue.


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