House of Chikankari, a Delhi-based e-commerce business founded by mother-daughter duo Akriti and Poonam Rawal, recently appeared on Shark Tank India Season 2 to pitch their business to the sharks. The company, which provides the finest Chikankari designer dresses to people and aims to keep up the authenticity and quality of this traditional art form, has already provided employment to over 5000 women karigars and served more than 15000 customers through their website.
Chikankari is a form of embroidery that originated in Lucknow and has been popular for over 100 years. Begum Noor Jahan, the wife of Mughal emperor Jahangir, was a patron of this art form and helped spread its popularity all over the world. In recognition of its cultural significance, the Indian government has granted Chikankari a GI tag, which certifies its authenticity and protects it from imitation.
House of Chikankari has a product range that starts from Rs. 2350 and goes up to Rs. 7000. The company's sales have been on a steady rise since its launch in October 2020. In FY20-21, their sales were Rs. 33 lakhs, which increased to Rs. 3.3 crore in FY21-22. As of now, their sales for FY22-23 stand at Rs. 7.4 crore, and they are projected to reach Rs. 15 crores by the end of the year. The company has a team of 70 members, and their gross margin is 68-70% with an average net margin of 15%.
During their appearance on Shark Tank India, House of Chikankari asked for a funding of Rs. 75 lakhs for 1% equity in their company. The pitchers received offers from all the sharks, with Aman offering Rs. 75 lakhs for 5% equity, and Vineeta and Anupam countering with Rs. 75 lakhs for 6% equity. Piyush and Aman then re-countered the offer for Rs. 75 lakhs for 5% equity, and Akriti countered with Rs. 75 lakhs for 2% equity. Piyush and Aman countered again with Rs. 75 lakhs for 4% equity, and Vineeta and Anupam matched their offer. Finally, Akriti counter-offered with Rs. 75 lakhs for 3% equity with Piyush and Aman, and the deal was finalized for the same.
The sharks were impressed with the company's growth and its commitment to preserving a traditional art form. They also appreciated the fact that House of Chikankari provided employment to thousands of women and had a loyal customer base. However, they were concerned about the company's inventory management and dead stock. The pitchers responded by stating that they were actively working on optimizing their inventory management and reducing their dead stock.
House of Chikankari's success story is an excellent example of how a traditional art form can be made relevant in today's world while still preserving its authenticity and quality. The company's commitment to providing employment to women is also a step towards creating a more inclusive and equitable society. With their solid growth trajectory and the backing of the sharks, House of Chikankari is well-positioned to become a leading player in the designer dress market in India and beyond.
Additionally, the company can explore partnerships with fashion designers and brands to expand their reach and offer more diversified products to their customers. Collaborating with other traditional artisans and craftspeople can also help House of Chikankari showcase the richness and diversity of Indian art and culture to the world.
In conclusion, House of Chikankari's success story is an inspiration to many aspiring entrepreneurs who are passionate about preserving traditional art forms and creating a positive impact in their communities. By staying true to their values and delivering high-quality products and services, the company has built a loyal customer base and attracted the attention of investors and industry experts alike. We wish them continued success in their journey ahead.
- Authenticity and quality can be a unique selling proposition: House of Chikankari's success is a testament to the fact that preserving authenticity and quality can differentiate a business from competitors. In a world where consumers are increasingly concerned about sustainability and ethical practices, businesses that prioritize these values can create a loyal customer base and attract investors who share these values.
- Leveraging cultural heritage can be a strategic advantage: By leveraging the cultural heritage of Chikankari embroidery, House of Chikankari has not only preserved a traditional art form but also created a brand image that is associated with craftsmanship, heritage, and cultural pride. Such associations can give a business a strategic advantage by differentiating it from competitors and creating a strong brand identity.
- Social impact can be a competitive advantage: By providing employment to over 5000 women karigars, House of Chikankari has not only made a positive impact on the lives of these women but also created a social impact that can differentiate it from competitors. By prioritizing social impact, businesses can create a positive brand image, attract socially conscious investors and customers, and differentiate themselves in a crowded marketplace.
- Continuous improvement is key to sustaining growth: To sustain their growth trajectory, House of Chikankari will need to continuously improve their inventory management, supply chain, and operations to optimize efficiency and reduce waste. By embracing a continuous improvement mindset, businesses can ensure that they stay relevant in a rapidly changing marketplace and create sustainable long-term growth.
- Collaboration can lead to innovation and growth: By collaborating with other traditional artisans and fashion designers, House of Chikankari can expand their product range and appeal to a broader customer base. Collaborations can lead to innovation, diversification, and growth, and can also help businesses create partnerships and networks that can provide new opportunities for growth and expansion.