Every time someone goes abroad, they have to set aside a considerable amount to buy souvenirs, such as attractive fridge magnets for their friends and family. But what if someone wanted to buy products from India that are equally eye-catching? There are no options. This gap gave birth to Chumbak, arguably the most striking brand for clothing, collectibles, gift items, and much more.
Indeed, it is a gift to have such a powerful observation and to find a niche in the growing market in India. But it is a great blessing to have the courage and take the initiative to be that bridge. Entrepreneurship is a territory full of opportunities and uncertainties that lead a person on the best journey of their life.
Staring at the idea
“One day I was looking at my refrigerator, looking at the decorative magnets that my husband and I had brought from several of our trips. Suddenly I realized that there were no souvenirs or products that truly represented India that one could proudly gift to friends and family, ”Chumbak co-founder Shubhra Chadda tells.
Both Shubhra and her husband Vivek were living comfortable lives when this idea began to boil in their heads. She discussed it with her husband and she agreed. After much research, they decided to jump into the non-traditional souvenir market, and since then there has been no turning back.
The couple sold their house for 45 lakh rupees, which was a great risk. This money became seed capital for her own company. They aptly named the firm Chumbak because of the origin of this idea. This was Shubhra’s brain, who knew about the kinds of funny and wacky things that could grab people’s attention.
Step by Step
Shubhra Chadda has always been an enthusiast with a keen interest in the aesthetic sense. Her spirit is contagious, which brought Vivek into the business a year after Chumbak was established.
She had no prior business knowledge, so she took a year to research the product range, designs and manufacturers. After being satisfied with trying, in 2010, she launched Chumbak, fridge magnets based on the Indian theme with 12 product categories. However, it was not as easy as it sounds.
During the interview, she says: “The challenges came in a number of ways. Some small and some very large. Some were related to finding the right supplier, and others were about refining a design. But I think the key is your attitude and approach to overcome these challenges. Despite the shortcomings, I never thought about quitting.”
Shubhra had the support of her close group of friends and family. In addition, she found her inspiration in her husband, who believed in Shubhra’s dreams and helped her get started.
Hit the mark
It took Chumbak a while to expand its employee base, but now it has a staff of 70 to 75 professionals. Shubhra says, “Success doesn’t come in a day, it takes time to grow and prove yourself.”
Born in Secunderabad to an Air Force family, she knew that discipline plays an important role in success. Her mother, who ran an NGO, inspired her and also showed her the importance of being humble. Driven by these values, Shubhra now has 18 stores in India and already plans to double this number soon. Today, Chumbak shines like this couple’s dream come true. They have an exhaustive product range both online and offline, and they show no signs of stopping. Based in Bangalore, the company has now established itself in the industry.
Shubhra attributes all her success to guts, risk-taking, and passion. After all, it’s not easy to voluntarily say goodbye to a safe life and plunge into an uncertain but rewarding corporate group. Today, the brand shines as much as its striking, unique and extravagant range of products.