the best SMB stories of the week



Every entrepreneur’s goal is growth. But, the road to success is quite demanding.

This week, SMBStory uncovered the successful business recipes of Kolkata-based Chowman and New Delhi-based Woodman, who run successful businesses with one key ingredient: “faith in themselves”.

Chowman

Thirty nine years Debaditya Chaudhury, who opened his first Chinese restaurant, Chowman, in Calcutta in 2010, asked himself a question. How was he going to stand out from the crowd?

“Kolkata has the most densely populated Chinese restaurants. My plan was something else. It is based on the philosophy of Alfred Ford (great-grandson of Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company) to democratize cars for all. Likewise, I wanted to democratize gastronomy. I wanted to open small Chowman outlets with upscale decor, crockery and cutlery like lavish restaurants, and food comparable to any five star hotel at reasonable and affordable prices ” , did he declare. SMBShistory on a Zoom call from Kolkata.

This is how he initially promoted his brand: “Five-star quality food, one star price”. “From day one we had a great response. So much so that I was able to open a second place within four months of the first, ”he says.

First generation entrepreneur, Debaditya put his savings to start his first point of sale. Today he has 22, 18 in Calcutta and 4 in Bangalore.

Read the full story here

Woodman

Raoul Goel was still studying at Amity University, Noida, when he was helping his father with his auto accessories business located in Karol Bagh, New Delhi. The company manufactured car mats, speakers and other accessories. One day, while working in their office, he found out that his father had a registered trademark for a “Woodman” mark, but had never used it.

“Living in a time when the internet is so deep, I asked my dad if he wanted to use the brand and if we should sell our products online. My father was very supportive of me, but he guided me towards starting my brand, a separate entity rather than expanding the existing business, ”Rahul told SMBStory.

As Rahul already had a knack for entrepreneurship, starting a new business was not difficult for him. In 2015, he approached e-commerce platforms such as Flipkart and Amazon to market his Android car stereo system.

“Flipkart recently launched the car accessories category in 2015,” says Rahul, adding that right after listing their products, demand poured in. In seven months, he had done business of around Rs 60 lakh.

However, his business has seen several ups and downs. Rahul suffered a huge loss of Rs 1 crore and was heavily in debt in just two years after starting Woodman.

So what helped Rahul recoup his losses and restart the business that is so well positioned today that it is aiming for an ambitious expansion in 2022? Rahul says, “Concentrate”.

Today, Woodman achieves a turnover of Rs 5 crore, and Rahul expects the company to close fiscal 22 at Rs 7.5 crore.

Read the full story here

Other favorites of the week

Bakers at sunrise

In a busy alley in Dehradun market stands Sunrise Bakers. More than 60 years after its creation, the bakery has now grown and opened a second point of sale in the city. The expansion is notable as it comes after a particularly difficult year for the family business, with the passing of Amarjit Singh Jolly and Harmeet Singh Jolly, two second generation entrepreneurs who carried the legacy inherited from their father Harnam Singh Jolly.

“Everyone was saying, ab Sunrise Bakers ka kya hoga? (What will happen to Sunrise Bakers?) when my father and my youngest uncle, who together ran the business for years, have passed away. Everyone in the family was emotionally broken, but we also had a responsibility to come together and not let the legacy crumble, ”says Rishika Jolly, third generation entrepreneur and daughter of Amarjit Singh.

Harnam Singh Jolly had four sons – Didar Singh Jolly, Amarjeet, Harmeet and Jagjit Singh Jolly. While Didar Singh is based in Noida, Uttar Pradesh; Amarjeet and Harmeet ran the bakery at Paltan Bazaar; Jagjit was working with ONGC and helping his brothers next door. The sudden disappearance of his two brothers prompted Jagjit to take over the reins of the business with the help of the third generation.

Speaking to SMBStory, Jagjit and Rishika said that despite the challenges of all these years, the bakery has been operating profitably since its inception. Today, after nearly 65 years, they are on the path to expansion.

Read the full story here

Edited by Teja Lele Desai


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