Interview with Jp shukla
Who are your founding team, and their background?
JP Shukla, Founder & CEO
- Mr. J P Shukla has a successful career of over 20 years in the Retail Industry. He has worked with companies like Vishal Retail, BigBazaar, Salasar Retail, Adani Retail and Indiabulls Retail. Mr. Shukla has also worked in key leadership roles, such as full-time Director and CEO for Vishal Retail, before starting his own venture.
- Mr. J P Shukla holds a B.Com degree from Bhawanipur Education Society College, Kolkata.
Ravinder Singh, Founder & COO
- Mr. Ravinder Singh has more than 12 years of rich and diverse experience in top management roles across companies and industries. He started his career in channel sales distribution and worked for HLL and Reliance Communications. He operated as COO for Starfin India Private Limited, a company engaged in the business of Financial Inclusion under SBI. As a team leader he handled the Operations, Marketing and HR Departments successfully.
- Mr. Ravinder Singh graduated in science from M D University, Rohtak, and completed his MBA from the Institute of Management and Technology, Faridabad.
Nilesh Chandra, Buying and Merchandising – Head
- Mr. Nilesh Chandra is a first generation entrepreneur backed by 6 years of extensive buying and merchandising experience, with India’s leading retail houses. He is a Graduate from the Patna University and has completed a Diploma in Apparel Manufacturing Technology from ‘The Apparel Training and Designing Centre’. He is an expert in Vendor Management. He can effectively manage all the activities right from the initialization stage to the analysis of time and action calendars, and capacity management.
What is the biggest challenge you faced as an entrepreneur while establishing your startup? How did you overcome it?
We always knew that we wanted to do something on our own. Jay quit as the full-time Director, CEO – Merchandise of Vishal Retail. He knew that working for a brand and its suppliers is one thing and setting up his venture and seeking support from the same set of suppliers is another. When he started to reach out to his suppliers, they were all a bunch of skeptics for just one reason: They were unsure of whether JP would pay them or not. This was just one part of his struggle. He still needed money to launch his store. His friend and co- founder Ravinder mortgaged his land to raise some money, however that was not sufficient. They reached out to many people, finally they found support in Ravinder’s friend Pankaj Gupta, who lent them 5 crores in a debt and equity model. Despite all the odds again, he was able to convince his ex- team members to join hands with him. The rest is history. Today 1-India Family Mart has over 80 stores and measures more than 600,000 sq.ft. across North and East of India and by the end of this calendar year will have touched a 100-store mark. Jay founded 1-India Family Mart with only one objective, to be the bellwether company in the value retail space.
Happy employee = Happy Profit.
What is the biggest learning so far in your entrepreneurial journey?
Nysaa and 1-India
Family Mart believe
in creating economic benefits for all their
partners and employees thus establishing a
beneficial relationship. They encourage sustainable and profitable growth. Their belief is to create
long-term value for all the people they
are associated with,
the business partners, customers and shareholders.
They place high emphasis on using the best practices in corporate governance and ensuring a firm financial stewardship. The brand believes in a fair and transparent approach in all their relationships with partners as well as stakeholders. 1-India Family Mart has the lowest attrition rate in the Retail Industry.
Who is your mentor/role model? What’s the best lesson you learnt from them?
My role model has always been Mr. Ramchandra Agarwal, who is also known as the founding father of Value Retail in India. We learned in great depth about the different retail principles. What’s your revenue model?
We have placed our stores at strategic locations throughout the country, we work and lower gross margins, and keep the cost of operations relatively low, thus earning profits.
Journey so far (When you launched, how far the traction is so far?)
We started young, having a vision which realized the needs of 75% of the population of the country – those who reside in small towns and cities. That we would understand all the details of the business at the beginning was naiveté, but we were still focused as there was an innate enthusiasm about the possibility of business that could be extracted from these towns.
On the basis of this belief Nysaa Retail Private Limited was established in November 2012 with a vision to launch its own retail chain. It started from UP in October 2013 and then expanded its business to Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and North East.
When the first store was opened at Ghazipur, we didn’t have many people serving us and a lot of importance was placed upon the manual execution of tasks. It actually helped a lot to understand the operations and grass-root challenges involved in primary marketing and store operations. The Sales and Merchandising divisions were still new. A cordial relationship with our vendor helped smoothen the path for us.
As the demographics had not been mapped, the sales had gone haywire, and there was a difference between the planned and actual figures. However, with time and tremendous effort by every team member, the numbers soon aligned.
4 months later we opened our fourth store at Basti and in next four years in March 2018 we opened our 50th store in Ranchi. By the end of 2019 our vision is to operate at 100 stores across the country.
The story will continue…
“Patience is not simply the ability to wait, its how we behave while we are waiting.” – Joyce Meyer.
What are your future plans with your startup?
Our stores are currently present in the North and we are at present exploring the eastern market. After reaching a certain number we are planning to expand across the Western and Southern regions as well, but there is still time to that.
In 5 yrs we have managed to open 80 stores. We aspire to increase the number in doubles in the coming years.
Have you raised funding before? If yes, how much and from whom? (Optional if confidential)
It’s always necessary to find appropriate funding for the organization. Recently in Jan 2018, we raised funding from Carpediem Capital for Rs.42.5 Cr.
Are you looking for raising more funds? If yes, how much?
We might look for more funding in the future
as well. It’s not
possible to disclose the numbers
but the previous funding is going
to be utilized to achieve the 100 store target. So, in order to expand we might
look for further funding projects sometime
What will the funds be utilized for?
The currents funds would be purely dedicated for the expansion of the business, inventories, packaging and warehouse management.
Give us a brief about your market/domain?
Retail is a field where various products are sold by businesses to the end user or customer. In case of 1India Family Mart, the products are fashion accessories and fashion products exclusively. We operate mainly in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, and aim to create a market for fashion products in this sector.
Who are your competitors?
Speaking of competitors, V-Mart is the biggest brand we look at.
How are you planning to outpace your competitors?
I believe we are on our way to outpace them within 5 years. We have so far set up 80 stores. In comparison to us, veterans in our field have similar figures. So, we believe that with persistent efforts we will be able to outpace them very soon.