“The creative adult is the child who survived” – Ursula Leguin
Creativity is one quality that is nurtured, respected, and sought after by every industry. The luxury home decor space is the canvas that attracts various professionals’ creative talents to achieve the rhythm of a continuous story that blends with the inmates’ personalities. The process of building this visual tale is long and tedious, and it sparks excitement when the home decor accessories like a coffee table, candleholders, table lamps, wall lights, game tables, wall decor, wall art, decor bowls, and the unending options of decorative accents are put together in harmony and brought to life.
The home decor market was valued at $727.6 billion in 2020 and is anticipated to reach $939.7 billion from 2021 to 2026. This competitive online luxury home decor segment is bubbling with catalogs that are not flexible to people’s preferences. Most customers want their personality sprayed across soft furnishings and create an authentic living space.
The Pink Champa dominates the luxury home decor space in Mumbai with its customized cushions covers that are woven with delicate and dainty details, art deco drapes, runners that bring Indian pop-art to the forefront, and indulgent textured spreads. Their forte is customization of soft furnishings to incorporate your vision and style on premium fabrics and textiles.
Kidskintha had the opportunity to interact with Ruchit Kapoor, the CEO of The Pink Champa, to talk about this entrepreneurial journey, how an entire family has to step up into entrepreneurial roles and how a business needs to be ready to pivot when fresh opportunities arise.
In conversation with Ruchit Kapoor of The Pink Champa…
Hi Ruchit. Thank you so much for being with us! How would you describe Pink Campa? What is its USP?
The Pink Champa is a nature-inspired luxury home decor label that has sustained over the decade with muscles of hard work and layers of creativity. Our clients want their upholstery to blend in with their style and decor. Today I can proudly say that customization has become our forte. I always tell my client, if you envision it, we will deliver it.
The variety and design of luxury home décor products that we provide, be it in drapes, runners, or decorative cushion covers, is unlike any catalog in today’s market space. While the products and their exclusivity are one aspect of our brand, the other prime focus for us at Pink Champa is the customer relationship we build with each project. Our ultimate goal is to have happy customers, and that is what we strive towards every day.
When and how did you set up your entrepreneurial venture?
We started Pink Champa in 2007. I always wanted to nurture the creative gene within me, and this proved to be the ideal opportunity. I didn’t know anything about this industry but learned it all on the job. My wife has been my “honest” rock all along. Whenever in doubt, she is the one I go to, and I know she will be brutally honest with her opinion.
When we started our label, we made only cushion covers. We then added dohars to our decor items. We advertised and sold our products through exhibitions, both big and small. Our offbeat products received overwhelmingly positive feedback, and that helped build our confidence. As we got more exposure, we started participating in exhibitions all over India. This was a milestone that multiplied the company’s revenues. There was a time where I had to increase production to keep up with the increasing demand.
How did you start with curtains and drapes?
A client who had seen us in an exhibition got his architect to our factory. She was so impressed with our product, its finishing, and our setup that she placed an order for curtains for her client. She came back the next day and placed an order for curtains for another client as well. Even today, we are working on various projects together.
After experiencing the success we had here, we started interacting and conducting business with other architects. This proved to be an easier setup with a larger platform as well. Today I work with one of the best architects in Mumbai.
How was the start of your venture? Please shed some light on the challenges you faced and what motivated you to overcome them?
The initial challenge was not in making or designing a unique product…it was finding the right platform to sell the product. We didn’t have a brick-and-mortar setup. So we were heavily invested in exhibitions. Exhibitions meant an easy ten-hour workday. This platform of marketing and sales was very demanding, physically and mentally. My wife and I would often travel together for exhibitions and handle the influx of potential customers. She helped me through these tedious times; if she wasn’t with me at the exhibition, then I knew I was going home to delicious food.
Even after receiving positive responses in almost every exhibition that we participated in, we realized that the exhibition cost was sucking in a significant chunk of our profits.The kind of exhibitions we wanted to take part in demanded a lot of capital. To meet up with the customer demands we had to keep increasing our production and it started to get very overwhelming. We wanted something more stable, and luckily, we had exposure to the curtain and drapes segment.
Cushion covers generated small orders that needed customization too. This was getting very tedious. So I stopped taking part in exhibitions and pushed myself to collaborate with architects. We have even taken dealerships of various companies, allowing us to source materials directly from the manufacturer. Our team is up to date with the design trend and we offer every kind of window treatment like roller blinds, wooden blinds, motorization, and many more.
The entire production process takes place in our facility. The final product exudes luxury and pristine quality.
As a startup, what were your channels of marketing?
When we started with Pink Champa, social media marketing wasn’t common. We advertised our brand and products through exhibitions alone, and the rest happened with word of mouth. Even to date, we get a lot of new clients through our old customers.
What is your business model?
We started with dohars and cushion covers, and today we also offer drapes, bedspreads, and runners.
In our first meeting with the client, we understand their needs and requirements. The architects show us the client’s space – flooring samples, wall colors, design elements, etc., through 3D views. We get a good understanding of the aesthetics and the home accessories that we are working with. We then prepare mood boards and display the various promising designs to our clients. The client’s feedback and preferences are of utmost importance. We finalize the theme with swatch samples and then the final decision is made. We don’t leave anything to the imagination.
The client provides an approximate window size. Once we narrow down on the fabrics and the design, we prepare a budget and wait for the approval.
The Vision becomes a Live Concept
Once the financials are approved, our team visits the site to rule out any technical draping issues. We use Toso (Japanese) or Forest (Netherlands), or Somfy (France) mechanisms for best output, and the company itself does the fitting of these mechanisms.
We start the production process after procuring the fabrics. The entire production takes place in-house, allowing us to achieve finesse at every stage of production.
The company ships the entire mechanism directly to the client’s site. Their personnel does the fitting. There’s a warranty provided on all the mechanisms. We fit and steam iron all the drapes to give a crisp final look.
We always deliver what we promise. All the architects who work with us know that we ensure our client is happy and content with the final look and feel of the product. I don’t mind altering the product to make the client happy or even starting the design process again if that is what our client needs from us.
We provide exquisite products and excellent service. Our relationship with our client is of utmost importance to us. We cherish them and provide after-sales service sometimes, years down the line without any hesitation. With the brand value that I have created, I know my clients will always think of Pink Champa when they dig into the luxury home decor segment.
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Who is your clientele for your luxury home decor brand? And what channels of marketing do you employ to reach them?
Our clientele would be anyone who wants an offbeat one-of-a-kind look in their soft furnishings. Every room tells a story and the Pink Champa team helps you narrate it with our intrinsic designs.
We have just launched our e-commerce platform and haven’t started marketing it yet. On our website, the client can tailor his order as per his preferences. We want to deliver a custom-made look. Through our online portal, we hope to revive the business that we had when we participated in exhibitions.
What is the most important lesson you have learned over the years?
My family has been by my side through my entrepreneurial venture. Through good days and bad days, they have managed to bring a smile to my face. Their love and support have multiplied my confidence through the years.
I’ve realized that any business works only on relations. I build a good relationship and provide quality service, and in the end, that is what gets me a substantial amount of work.
What is your one habit that you think every entrepreneur could use?
I always maintain a good rapport with everyone I work with, from artisans, small business holders, interior decorators, architects, and clients. I never look at it as a one-time interaction. When I work with someone, I give them a premium product and service and maintain a good relationship. We deliver the product to the client only and only if we are happy with it. This is how we have maintained a high standard of quality products over the years.
What would your advice be for our Kidskintha parents who are looking to start their entrepreneurial journey?
Gear up for the hardships that lie ahead of you. Before you start a venture, be sure to have passion for the business that you are investing in. Through the difficult times, it is your passion that will keep you going. The business will take time to reflect all the hard work that has gone into it, so keep your patience soaring high. And remember to go after the products or service that adds value to your clients. That is how you will create a niche, and then you can demand your price for it!.
I am the only company in Mumbai that provides hand-painted sheers.
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