This Father's Day, SMBStory brings you five exclusive stories of top SMB entrepreneurs whose fathers inspired them and led the way to success.Rishabh Mansur
Fathers are the first superhero in our lives -long before we learn to recognise Iron Man, Spider-Man or Superman. People often look to their fathers to provide a feeling of security, both physical and emotional.
But when it comes to starting or running a business, security is a rare or fleeting feeling. Still, fathers are willing to go the extra mile and help their children become second generation entrepreneurs.
This Father's Day, SMBStory brings you five exclusive stories of top SMB entrepreneurs whose fathers inspired them and led the way to success:
Started by 64-year old Madan Kumar and his son Harsha Vardhan in 2015, Bengaluru-based Gubbacci manufactures affordable custom-made apparel and uniforms and is eyeing a turnover of Rs 2 crore this year.
When the father and son decided to setup a company in India, they realised that it was difficult for Vardhan to lead the company as he was a Non-Resident Indian (NRI). But Kumar did not have any entrepreneurial experience.
Despite this, Kumar stepped in and he now leads the company as the Director and Co-founder, and manages all the financial aspects of the company. Thirty-seven-year-old Vardhan is also actively involved in the business, albeit from a remote location, and is also a practicing pediatric pulmonologist.
In the late 80s, entrepreneur Zaheer Gabajiwala was running a toy workshop in a small, abandoned lift shaft. He did not have enough money to rent a regular working space in the building.
Beating struggles with immense hardwork, shedding sweat and tears, he slowly built his workshop into a Rs 15-crore business employing 100 people, now known as Zephyr Toymakers. It is currently one of India’s largest indigenous toy manufacturing companies and makes the well-known toy brands Mechanix and Blix.
Zaheer's son Moiz Gabajiwala became the CEO of the company in 2014. Since then, he is immersed in the functioning and operations of the company. He led the development and operations for a chain of retail outlets to showcase high-end educational toys from European companies. In 2016, he started leading the operations of the company, right from planning and execution to risk analysis and forecasting.
The Rs 1200-crore Syska Group has seen a dramatic rise riding on its strong dealer network and online strategy. Rajesh Uttamchandani, Director of Syska Group, says, “We are not an electric company so there were many challenges and ups and downs before we came to where we are.”
Today, the Group has grown into a domestic leader and diversified into Syska LED, Syska personal care, Syska mobile accessories, and Syska Wires.
The second generation leaders Gurumukh Uttamchandani and Gitika Uttamchandani, children of Rajesh Uttamchandani, have joined the family business and are handling a large portfolio of Syska personal care products and Syska mobile accessories.
When Samarth Chaturvedi was growing up in Mathura, he saw his father Birendra Nath Chaturvedi working alongside sculptors and painters. But he did not see the artists being exploited like they were by art agencies and dealers.
Instead, Samarth's father used to make stone, bronze and terracotta sculptures and directly sell them to museums and private collectors. This kind of model eliminated the need for middlemen and safeguarded the interests of the artists.
So when the business was forced to shut due to heavy losses, Samarth decided to quit his cushy marketing job to revive his family business. His vision was to build a platform to bring the artists' talent to the front and sell to a wide range of customers.
Along with his father, he started Maitreya Inc and brought 145 painters and 70 sculptors from across India together, curating a collection of over 700 antique pieces and more than 2,000 other artworks.
Renaissance Jewellery is a big name in India's gems and jewellery market, employing over 4,000 skilled workers and having a production capacity of 2.5 million pieces of jewellery per annum. The word ‘renaissance’, which means ‘rebirth’, was used for the business when entrepreneur Sumit Shah revamped his father Niranjan Shah's diamond cutting business and set up the company in 1995.
"My father is the Chairman of the company and I work closely with him. My areas of focus include strategy formulation and new business initiatives. Together, we transformed RJL from being a contract manufacturer of jewellery to a design house serving global retailers, and established an international marketing network," Sumit says.
The Rs 1,800 crore company is headquartered in the Special Electronics Export Processing Zone (SEEPZ), Mumbai, and has subsidiaries in the US, the UK, and Dubai.