We are looking to expand to 15-20+ additional stores in FY 2017-18within India: Vivek Prabhakar, Chumbak

In an exclusive conversation with Vivek Prabhakar, CEO, Chumbak highlights the growth strategy of the brand
We are looking to expand to 15-20+ additional stores in FY 2017-18within India: Vivek Prabhakar, Chu

How do you see the market of specialty retailing is growing in India?

Speciality retail is on a constant path of growth with consumers looking to shop specific specialised categories at stores that give great value for quality and design.At Chumbak, we are focused on building a brand that encompasses products that are companions to a woman’s every day. From her mug for coffee to the cushion covers she sleeps on at night, to expressing her style through Chumbak fashion, Chumbak is a multi-category category brand, that specialises in design.

Kindly shed light on journey of your brand to Indian market?

In 2010, Chumbak was launched as a design led souvenir brand with approximately 15 product sub-categories ranging from cushion covers to magnet & keychains. In 2012-2013, Chumbak started opening pop-up stores across malls which eventually lead to opening its first flagship store in 2014 at CMH Road in Bangalore and the launch of a brand-new home collection. This further led to more stores being opened across the country along with a revamped webstore. In October 2015, Chumbak launched its Fashion Collection and has been expanding its retail presence ever since.

Kindly highlight the current distribution including online and offline. Also, shed light on strategies to scale-up the distribution?

The current split between online and offline is 30-70. Within online, 70% sales comes from www.chumbak.com and the remaining comes from marketplaces. We are looking to expand to 15-20+ additional stores in FY 2017-18within India. We are constantly improving the features on our website to make it as user friendly as possible. We are now working on re-launching our App which will be a combination of shopping and have some interesting features to keep consumers further engaged.

Presently, how many categories the brand Chumbak is retailing, also shed light on your biggest category?

Chumbak retails fashion, home and accessories – these being the larger, umbrella categories. Under these categories, we periodically introduce new products. Accessories is the largest category right now which encompasses collectables, travel, tech and fashion accessories.

Also shed light on your starting and exiting price point?

Products like notebooks start at Rs. 125 and the price range can go up to Rs. 40000 for a double seater sofa.

Do you see fashion majors like H&M, Zara as potential competition or your lifestyle category?

There will always be competition for every category that we retail, but we will always stand for unique designs.

Also share few words on your design and manufacturing team?

Chumbak is not just a design led brand, but also a design studio, and all our designs are created in-house. We go through a stringent interview and test process to hire some of the best talent to design and illustrate at Chumbak. Albeit not too big, the design team at Chumbak brings their unique styles to create designs that keep in tone with the brandlanguage that we have evolved to and will continue to. The team is constantly experimenting with new designs to keep our audience engaged, whether it be through the Indian themed designs on magnets and keychains or the more contemporary thematic and trendydesigns on apparel.

The product team at Chumbak is divided into merchandising and sourcing teams. Both teams along with the design team under Shubhra’s guidance decide on the product lines for the brand. We don’t have a manufacturing team as such, as the sourcing team manages the manufacturing of products with our in-house and external vendors.

At last, kindly mention the brand’s growth plans? Also comment on Chumbak’s international foray? 

Mentioned above. Working on the international plan, so would prefer not to comment on this just yet.


Vivek Prabhakar