Quirky, colorful and eccentric are the perfect adjectives to describe Chumbak products. Chumbak has redefined what a good souvenir should look like. Have you ever wondered how this business came to be what it is today?
Vivek Prabhakar and Shubhra Chadda started Chumbak in 2009 in their apartment. The husband-wife duo put Rs. 40 lakhs of their savings into starting Chumbak. A couple that struggles through a startup together stays together. The travel crazy marketing professionals saw immense opportunity in the souvenir market and grabbed it. They were tired of looking at the same old Taj Mahal replicas and handicraft items tourists carried back home. It was time for a change.
After using their own savings to start the company, they secured first round funding from Seed Fund of USD $2 million. The second round of funding saw them secure an undisclosed amount from Matrix Partners. What began as a company selling only fridge magnets turned into a full-fledged business selling home décor and apparel in 2014.
Chumbak Head Quarters
Chumbak HQ is one of the most unique headquarters of our times. Startups prefer establishing operations in the middle of all the action, which means paying a hefty rent for a location in the middle of a metropolitan city. But this couple decided to take an unusual decision and go to the Bengaluru suburbs in their hunt for the perfect headquarters. As a startup in the early stages, they had limited funds. They ended up falling in love with an abandoned plywood factory. The land all around grows bananas, lentils, and even lemons!
Chumbak’s office space and location seem to be as much a part of their identity as their exceptional designs and products. The warehouse is located inside the 18,000 sq. ft. building, which also houses a glass office. Recognizing the need for a physical store, the first Chumbak store opened in September 2014 in Bengaluru. With over 35 pop-up stores across the country, Chumbak has become a household brand.
Team + Designers
Chumbak employs around 150 people in all capacities. About 16 designers work to create some absolutely fantastic designs that consumers see in stores and online. Chumbak, as most popular brands do, has faced its share of copyright issues. Despite the lack of legal aid, they keep pushing to create better designs that remain unique to the brand. Some truly talented people work at Chumbak who have contributed to the growth of the company (300% in the last five years).
Fun fact: Employees get a 30% discount on all products. Don’t you wish you worked at Chumbak? We sure do!
Mission And Vision
The founders of Chumbak have always maintained that their mission is to redefine how India is represented. They are pretty successful at it by bringing together modern and contemporary India in their designs, be it a colorful owl or an illustration about helmets.
The company’s aim is to open 50 stores by the end of 2016. With the tremendous growth they have seen in their retail locations, the new stores will definitely attract more sales. Currently, about 70% of their sales come from retail stores and 30% from online stores.
The Indian youth has been extremely receptive to these products, proudly flaunting them as a way to represent their motherland. Chumbak has never disappointed its fan base. Coming up with new products all the time is not an easy feat to accomplish, but they do it and how!
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