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From Rs. 300 and Spending Night at Railway Station to Rs. 100 Crore: Story of Chinu Kala

  • Aditya 
  • 3 min read
From Rs. 300 and Spending Night at Railway Station to Rs. 100 Crore: Story of Chinu Kala

Chinu Kala left home with only Rs. 300 in her pocket after an argument with her father at just 15 years old. Little did she know then that this act of defiance would spark an entrepreneurial journey that would one day see her build a Rs. 100 crore fashion jewelry empire.

From Rs. 300 and Spending Night at Railway Station to Rs. 100 Crore: Story of Chinu Kala

The Early Struggle

Chinu spent her first night on the streets of Mumbai’s railway station. To survive, she took up a job as a door-to-door salesgirl selling knives and coasters, earning a mere Rs. 20 per day. Her earnings were so meager that she could afford only one meal a day.

“When I left my house, I didn’t know what lay ahead for me. I could earn only Rs. 20 a day selling knives and coasters door-to-door, and people used to slam the door on my face, refusing to buy the products. But I had the determination and I knew there is no substitute for hard work,”

She took up odd jobs like being a receptionist and waitress to supplement her income as she was determined to make it on her own.

“I have learnt that running a business is no rocket science; it’s a simple way of meeting consumer demands … I could not study entrepreneurship so I decided to jump into it,”

Her big break came when she landed a job as a telemarketing executive at Tata Communications in Mumbai, where she met her future husband Amit Kala, an MBA graduate.

Start of Entrepreneurial Journey

Chinu participated in the Gladrags Mrs. India beauty pageant and was a top 5 finalist in 2007. This opened doors for her modeling career and exposed her to the world of fashion and jewelry. She started her own corporate merchandising firm Fonte Corporate Solutions in Bengaluru in 2008 with inspiration from early success.

However, her true calling was jewelry design. In 2014, she took the plunge and launched Rubans Accessories with just Rs. 3 lakh in savings. Rubans started from a humble 36 sq ft kiosk in Phoenix Mall, Bengaluru but was an instant hit, making Rs. 1.5 lakh on the very first day.

“Like any other business story, Rubans was just a thought that I had been nurturing for years in my head. Finally, in 2014, I took the plunge to start my fashion jewelry business,”

Rise of Rubans

By 2016, Rubans had expanded to 7 stores across multiple cities with a turnover of Rs. 50 lakhs. Spotting the e-commerce trend early on, Chinu Kala transitioned Rubans to an online brand by 2018. The brand was selected for Myntra’s accelerator program and quickly became one of the top sellers on the platform.

From a modest Rs. 56 lakhs in 2016, Rubans‘ revenue grew exponentially to Rs. 35 crores by 2022. Chinu now aims for Rubans to capture 25% of India’s estimated Rs. 21,000 crore fashion jewelry market.

Also Read: One of India’s Youngest Entrepreneur Who at 13 Built Rs 100 Cr Company: Tilak Mehta

In 2023, Chinu’s entrepreneurial journey and inspiring story of grit caught the attention of investors on Shark Tank India. She received an investment of Rs. 1 crore in equity and Rs. 50 lakh in debt, valuing Rubans at a staggering Rs. 100 crore.

Looking back on her journey from poverty to building a Rs. 100 crore brand, Chinu shares some invaluable wisdom:

“Always have a bigger canvas to play, customize, bring-in the unique quotient, and optimize to make it affordable.”

Aditya Farrad

Aditya Farrad

Aditya is a seasoned business expert and the founder of Moneymint. He became a self-made millionaire at a young age thanks to his various online businesses. With years of experience running his own successful businesses, Aditya understands the unique challenges and opportunities that come with entrepreneurship.

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