Malvika Rajagopal

Malvika Rajagopal wants to become a merchandiser for a luxury brand, and eventually start her own business. When she isn’t studying, she enjoys performing songs in Ames, as a professional singer. She also loves dancing, hiking, exercising outdoors, and cooking.

Get to know Malvika

  • Program: Apparel, merchandising, and design
  • Class: Second year master’s student
  • Hometown: Chennai, India
  • Career goal: Merchandiser for a luxury brand
  • Clubs/activities: Apparel, Merchandising, and Design Graduate Student Association (AMDGSA), Graduate and Professional Student Senate (GPSS)
  • Awards/honors/scholarships: Irene Beavers Scholarship, CHS Fellowship

Malvika Rajagopal uses eye in fashion and philanthropy, aims to start apparel business

Ever since Malvika Rajagopal was a child, the royal customer service treatment she experienced when shopping with her mother in large India department stores hooked her on the fashion industry and customer management. This led her to pursue her bachelor of commerce degree and master of business administration (MBA) in India, both with specializations in human resources.

Her interest in fashion, however, was not lost on her. Remembering the fascination she had of her mother styling herself in the many varieties of traditional Indian clothing, Malvika decided to take a step closer on her path to fashion; she came to Iowa State University to seek her master’s degree in apparel, merchandising, and design.

“I always thought I had to do design to learn fashion, but it was really interesting that I could use human resources and my management skills in an apparel company,” Malvika said.

Malvika would love to become a buyer for a luxury clothing brand that aligns with her core values, and later start her own business.

Malvika’s master’s thesis at Iowa State revolves around how small businesses use social media. Understanding how entrepreneurs use different techniques to market their products online is important to her, especially with hopes of starting her own business.

In becoming an entrepreneur herself, her main objective is to help people. Malvika is a part of multiple nonprofit organizations that have locations all around the world.

While in India, Malvika and her husband took it upon themselves to collect clothes from those who no longer needed them, and distributed them to underprivileged people there.

“It makes me incredibly sad that people don’t have primary necessities like food, clothing, and shelter, and that need for clothes sparked something in me,” Malvika said.

By starting her own business, Malvika wants to give those in need more than just clothing; she aims to go the extra mile to ensure proper wages, food, and shelter.

“I hope I can provide job opportunities for others,” Malvika said. “I think that’s primarily my motivation to start my own business.”

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