Rubans is a leading jewellery brand in India today. If you log in to Myntra or Rubans website, you will find lots of trending jewellery designs. Started in the year 2014, with an investment of INR 3 lakhs, today Rubans has a turnover of INR 13 crores.
With such growth in just a span of 6 years, this scale-up story leads by example for every entrepreneur. Chinu Kala, the founder has shared with us valuable insights on scaling up. We are sure, this will help you to prepare well for your scale-up journey.
Key Lessons from Ruban’s Scale-up story-
1. Know your customer
According to Chinu Kala, the first year was all about knowing the customer in detail. Rubans was started with an idea to be a one-stop solution for all jewellery needs. The first store of Rubans was just a 70sft kiosk. Just in the second month, Chinu Kala chased Forum Mall in Bangalore to get a space. When the waiting period at the Forum Mall was a minimum of 2 years, Chinu made it possible to convince the mall officials to grant her space.
This was an opportunity for her to study the customers closely who visited the mall. Chinu took about a month’s time in the mall studying her customers. By the time she opened her store in the mall, she knew that her designs would attract the mall visitors.
Likewise, Rubans had a whooping INR 1.25 lakh business on the first day at the Forum Mall. Rubans also opened 5 stores in different cities in the first two years.
2. Build a Team
Chinu opines that building a team is the most important factor for scaling up a business. It is often common amongst entrepreneurs to think that they can do it all. It may be true, however, it is important to delegate the work to a team. In her experience, Chinu hired the best people during the initial days. The person who took take care of her first kiosk was a highly experienced person in selling jewellery. She was confident of the hire and the rewards were great.
Chinu recommends trusting the hires and assigning them responsibilities. It does not mean, one should sit back and relax after the delegation. It is about trusting the other person and being available to them when they need you.
3. Adapt to the changes
During the fourth-year into the business, Chinu and her team had to completely transform from an online store. The transition happened quite naturally when the trend of online shopping was getting popular. Chinu and her team observed that the walk-ins had reduced. They noticed that their website had increased traffic from cities where their stores were located. They also had an increase in the enquiries on purchasing their jewellery via online medium.
At the same time, Myntra approached them to be on their website. This was a blessing to be noticed by a popular online platform to have their jewellery in their portal. There was no turning back when Rubans was on Myntra.
4. Focus on Unit Economics
Chinu emphasized on the importance of unit economics in business – which means one should focus on profitability of the business. She shared how in product business it is essential to have an equal focus on bringing new range of products and making sure one does not build deadstock.
The scale-up journey of Rubans
2015 – Investment of INR 3 lakhs
By 2016 – Turnover 50 lakhs
By 2018 – Turnover 3.50 Crores
By 2020 – Turnover 13 Crores
Other important take-away pointers from Rubans
- Commitment plays a crucial role. Give yourselves a defined period of time to be dedicated to your business.
- Be on top of the game. Research well on the latest developments in your product line.
- Build a good working relationship with your vendors