Rubans Fashion Accessories is one of India’s only fashion companies to offer the widest range of ethnic and western jewellery designs. It is a fast growing company and has had a very challenging yet inspiring journey. The founder of the company, Chinu Kala, has a story of her own. She overcame a difficult childhood and went through extradorinary struggles. Her ambition was doing something big. She always liked the idea of setting up a business. And today, she runs one of the most renowned fashion accessory companies of India.
Chinu Kala had to leave her house at the age of 15 due to some family issues. She left her house with just 300 rupees and some clothes. Initially she was uncertain. But then she thought of working as a salesperson to earn some money. She used to go from door to door selling knives, coaster sets and other household items. People would often shut the door on her face when they did not wish to deal with her. But every rejection she got only strengthened her resolve to do something big. She never received proper formal education as she had left her home at such a young age. She learnt everything through practical experience. Over the years, she worked at a variety of jobs. These enriched her skills for becoming a successful entrepreneur.
After marrying in the year 2004, she participated in the Gladrags Mrs. India Pageant in 2008. She made it to the final round of the competition. From there she started a career in modelling. It was while she was working as a model that she got insight into the fashion industry. Having understood the fundamentals of fashion, she founded Fonte Fashions India Pvt Ltd in 2014. It is the parent company of Rubans Accessories.
The jewellery market of India was vast. But it offered designs which did not cater to the needs of the customers. People usually had to buy jewellery from abroad because of greater variety of designs. This created a dilemma of either buying attractive jewellery from abroad but at higher prices, or buying locally produced jewellery of low quality. Chinu sensed this gap and decided to bring in Rubans Accessories to provide the kind of jewellery that customers wanted. She travelled to several places, undertaking extensive market research to develop her jewellery according to the needs of the buyers. The USP of the brand is a wide variety of western and ethnic designs.
She started her business in a 36 sq. ft. kiosk at Fourm Mall. The mall attracted a lot of customers and Chinu felt it was the ideal destination for her store. She got the store on rent but she could not arrange for the deposit money. Chinu had to pay it within one month. She had her stock of jewellery so she started her store. The sales began from the very first day. Within fifteen days she was able to sell jewellery worth rupees fifteen lakh. Her sales have been increasing ever since.
After a while she felt her consumer base falter. This was the time when online shopping became the new trend. People preferred to purchase goods online as it was more convenient. They could do it from their homes without having to step out. Sensing this newer trend, Chinu quickly adapted to the changing scenario. She started operating her business through online platforms like Myntra. The company also set up its official website.
The fashion industry is one of the most dynamic industry in today’s world. New trends flow in and flow out every now and then. In order to survive in such a rapidly changing market, the fashion hubs need to keep bringing new and innovative designs more and more often. At Rubans Fashion Accessories, there is a team for this purpose alone. They launch a new collection every two to three weeks to offer something fresh to their customers every time they visit their website.
The Covid-19 pandemic brought difficulties in the initial period for Rubans Accessories, but as people adjusted their lives to the new conditions and festive seasons came, their demand picked up again.
The company set itself upon a journey to earn a turnover of 150 crore by the end of 2024. Its turnover increased from rupees 56 lakh in 2016-17 to rupees 3.5 crores in 2017-18 and then to rupees 7.5 crores in 2018-19. If the company continues to expand at this pace, it might soon turn its vision into a reality.
The story of Chinu Kala is a standing example of what a woman entrepreneur is capable of. Determination, perseverance and innovation are the characteristics which set her apart from others and led to Rubans becoming a renowned brand in India. These qualities truly make Rubans Fashion Accessories one of the best businesses ever.
By Pranav Alok Garg, New Panvel