Chinu Kala, who left her home at 15 and made a jewellery brand Ruban

Chinu Kala - Rubans Accessories

Chinu Kala is the founder of the jewellery brand Ruban. She faced a lot of hurdles, Her story is one of unwavering determination and inspiring success. Let’s find out how a 15-year-old girl left home with 300 rs made a brand worth over 40cr.

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Early Days and Challenges

Chinu was born on October 10, 1981, in a humble family in Mumbai. Her mother left her when she was only a year old child. Chinu lived with her father and stepmother while her birth mother was moved to Saudi. Due to differences with her stepmother and father, she often faced a challenging home environment.  One day, She and her father argued. He said to Chinu, “If you don’t want to live the way I want, then you can leave my house”. 

Young Chinu was full of anger, she left the house with only Rs 300 in her pocket and some clothes. She took a train from Nanasupara to Central Railway without ticket. She went to the station and tried to sleep there but she couldn't. She was worried about where she would go and what she would eat the next day. She cried all night, In the morning, a woman, noticed her distress. 

She came and asked her problem. She listened to her story and suggested door-to-door sales ideas for commission earnings. Despite the odds, 15-year-old Chinu knew that she had to earn money to live. She was determined to succeed. 

Chinu began with a door-to-door sales job and lived in a dormitory that charged 25 rs a day. During her first sales attempt, a woman slammed the door in her face. Heartbroken, she cried for hours but did not give up. This was the first encounter of Chinu towards the real world.  She took on various jobs to survive, working as a waitress, receptionist, etc.

Her first real break came when she found a job at a clothing store, where she learned invaluable lessons about customer behaviour and the importance of exceptional service.

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Turning point 

The turning point in Chinu's life came in 2002 when she secured a position as a telemarketing executive at Tata Communications in Mumbai. Here, she met her future husband, Amit Kala, an MBA holder who became a crucial support in her entrepreneurial journey. They married in 2004 and moved to Bengaluru, where Chinu's love for modeling led her to compete in the 2008 Gladrags Mrs India Pageant, where she was placed in the top 10. This was the time when Chinu learnt about accessories and jewellery.

Inspired by her modeling experiences, Chinu ventured into the corporate merchandise business, establishing Fonte Corporate Solutions. The company quickly gained traction, producing merchandise for renowned brands such as Sony, ESPN, and Airtel. However, Chinu's true calling lay elsewhere. In 2014, recognizing a gap in the Indian jewellery market for stylish and branded accessories, she launched Rubans Accessories with a modest investment of Rs 3 lakh. 

Rubans Accessories started in a small 36-square-foot space at Phoenix Mall in Bengaluru.  She wanted to make it big and decided to open its 2nd store at Forum Mall which is a very famous mall in Banglore. She approached the manager many times and asked him to visit her store. Finally, the manager agreed to her store in Forum mall.

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Chinu's approach was meticulous: she conducted extensive research on consumer needs, ensuring that 80% of the designs were unique and catered to both Western and ethnic tastes. This strategy, coupled with a wide range of options, quickly set Rubans apart from its competitors.

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The business grew rapidly. By 2014, Rubans Accessories had achieved a revenue of Rs 56 lakhs, which skyrocketed to Rs 35 crore by 2022. The brand expanded to five offline stores and significantly benefited from the rise of e-commerce platforms, becoming a bestseller on Myntra and driving 75% of its sales online. In 2023, Rubans Accessories reached a remarkable Rs 65 crore in annual revenue.

Chinu Kala's entrepreneurial journey gained widespread recognition. She secured Rs 1.5 crore in funding from the popular TV show "Shark Tank India" season 2 and was invited to speak at prestigious institutions like IIM Ahmedabad. Despite not completing school, Chinu's net worth now stands at a staggering Rs 40 crore. Her story is a testament to her hard work and determination.

Chinu Kala's journey from a struggling teenager with Rs 300 to the founder of a multimillion-dollar jewellery empire is nothing short of inspirational. Her story exemplifies the power of resilience, hard work, and an unwavering belief in oneself. Chinu's success serves as a beacon of hope for anyone with big dreams and the courage to pursue them, proving that no matter how humble one's beginnings, greatness can be achieved with determination and passion.

Also Read: The Inspiring Journey of Dr. Arokiaswamy Velumani: From 500rs to 5000cr

Written by Manvi