“You have to remember that this was in the late 90’s and it was a very different time. One could just go and ring the doorbell to approach the people. However, with every door that was shut on my face and every rejection I faced, I became almost shock-proof and immensely strong”, says Chinu Kala.
By Ashba Rizvi/The Newster
In life, the way your dreams hold an importance, similarly to believe in them is also important. As they say “You have to be a believer first, and then you become an achiever.” Your dreams are your own and you are not answerable to anybody for them whether they are big or small. Neither does your financial conditions decide whether how big shall they be. The only thing that matters is how far you want to take them along with you and guess what? They are all yours, your best friend.
The very similar story is of a successful entrepreneur of a brand “Rubans Accessories”, Chinu Kala who like every other girl had big dreams but, life didn’t go the way she had planned. She is not an IIM graduate, nor did she get any chance to complete her basic education but today, she is counted amongst India’s top female self-made business women. Her company is recognised on both national and international levels and had clocked 15 crores in India. It retails in ethnic and western jewellery which targets customers of all tastes. On Myntra, it is one of the top leading fashion jewellery brands and on every 21 seconds, they sell a piece of their product to the customers.
At the age of 15, she had no idea what leaving home was all about until, she realized that money is what makes all the difference. With only Rs 300 in hand which she had saved from her pocket money, she decided to leave home over a heated argument with her father. With no plans to where she would go, all she knew was that she does not have to return back to the place she had left, her home. In most of her interviews, Chinu said that this was a turning point in her life when she got to know that when we are kids, we are totally dependent on our parents who work diligently to make our ends meet. As kids, we do not even know whether there is somebody who is earning in our families. All we know is the enjoyment of life.
“If you ask me today where I got the courage from, I genuinely do not have the answer. I just knew I had to do something. I only had two pairs of clothes and a pair of slippers. The first two days I was lost and scared. It took me two to three days to get my bearings right. I then found a dormitory to live in.” Said Chinu in an interview with The Better India.
Chinu met an old lady at Mumbai’s railway station who told her about door-to-door sales. The work was daunting but since Chinu had no substitute for that, she decided to take up this for the sake of living. When she visited the office, the manager explained her that the work comprises of sales of items that come in daily use like utensils etc. She later found a place in a dormitory with the help of some people that charged her Rs 20 per night.
On her first day of work, Chinu had hopes but to her despair, the moment she rang the door-bell, the lady who opened the door recognised her to be a door-to-door sales girl and slammed the door at her face. “That broke me from inside, the confidence and everything else. I felt disrespected. Honestly speaking, I didn’t feel that bad when my father asked me to leave home that I felt bad when the lady slammed the door on my face.” Chinu said in a talk show with Josh Talks. Chinu consider this as her first encountered with the world and the hardships. She took this as a challenge and decided that at no cost this shall happen again. With this determination, she was able to make her first sale and her achievement in life.
“You have to remember that this was in the late 90’s and it was a very different time. One could just go and ring the doorbell to approach the people. However, with every door that was shut on my face and every rejection I faced, I became almost shock-proof and immensely strong.” Chinu told The Better India.
A year later, because of her hard-work, she was promoted as a Supervisor in her office and was given the responsibility to train three other girls under her. This eventually brought an upgradation in her pay scale as well. Today when she remembers those times, it only gives her a feeling which no words can express. She always said that amongst all her fellow peers, she always had to do her best and prove herself right as there was no fallback plan.
After some years Chinu got employed in a clothing store, since she knew the skills of a sales person, things went smooth after that. She learnt many new things she always wanted to like interacting with the customers, persuading them. “People who master in ‘customer behaviour’ as a subject, I was getting to know it by performing it practically.” Said Chinu in Josh Talks
Two years after getting married, in the year 2006, she participated in Gladrags Mrs India Pageant. Chinu extends her thanks to her Husband, Mr Amit Kala and her friends for believing in her. This was a whole new experience for her as she stood with those who were extremely talented and skilled, unlike her. “Imagine being in a room with super achievers- I hadn’t even completed my education and accomplished so much. It was scary! I was with people from very solid educational backgrounds but some-how I held my own. My experiences held my in great stead.” Chinu said in an interview with The Better India
She bagged the finale and there was no looking back then. This experience gave her an understanding that what a piece of jewellery could do to a woman by transforming her entire look. She started exploring about fashion industry and different designs available in the markets. As she always dreamt of becoming a successful woman, she decided to explore more in the field of fashion. She loved fashion but didn’t had money to spend on herself.
The Beginning of Rubans Accessories
Rubans started with a basic idea that was stuck in Chinu’s mind to bring a revolution in Indian fashion market. She researched on the available designs in the market and got to know that there were no competitors who were offering extra ordinary designs in the markets. She eventually saw a huge gap in the market and that is when she came up with Rubans Accessories.
Rubans started with a very small store in Phoenix Mall Bengaluru with an initial investment of just 3 lakhs. Everything went perfect but Chinu was unstoppable. Her ideas knew no limits and the urge to establish something big made her chase the manager of the Forum Mall of the city for six months. The difficult part was to convince him for the allocation of a space in that. Since Rubans was new, it was asked to wait for two years. But Chinu was adamant and determined.
“Forum Mall in Bengaluru is a famous mall and getting a place there was difficult. It was because even if a well-known brand wanted a space there, the minimum waiting time was of two years and I did not want to wait at all. For six months, I persuaded, requested the manager to least come and see my store. I assured him of my big plans and ideas and to my surprise, he agreed. He came and was highly impressed by my work and Rubans got it’s another hub in the Forum mall now.” Said Chinu in Josh Talks
This was a dream that came true and whatever she had learnt in all the years, she applied on the customers who visited her store in the Forum Mall. It was the result of her hard work that the first day sales closed at 1.5 lakhs. Few years later Rubans launched its retail website and an online store on Myntra.
Rubans is determined to hit the turnover of 100 crores by the year 2024 and Chinu who worked for it plans to extend her brand to other countries as well. She has always advocated hard-work and says that no work is big or small. What matters is how you do it. Efforts For Good was highly impressed by Chinu and exhorts all the readers to take risks in life and keep going like Chinu did.