The journey of a tailor shop in Ahmedabad that went on to trademark 'Modi kurta', clocks Rs 265 Cr turnover
It is said, “small beginnings are the launching pad of great endings,” and Ahmedabad-based Jitendra Chauhan (60) and Bipin Chauhan (57) are proving to be the epitome of this saying.
Jitendra Chauhan and Bipin Chauhan, Cofounders, JadeBlue
The journey of the brothers began way back in 1981 when they started a small tailoring shop in a 250 sq. ft space to earn their livelihood. They registered the firm with the name Supreemo. At that time, little did they know that with the passing years, they would dominate the apparel market in Gujarat to become the most sought-after brand.
In an interaction with SMBStory, Khushali Chauhan, daughter of Bipin Chauhan, the second-generation entrepreneur who heads the online sales of the company, says,
“My father and uncle started the tailoring business from home and used to make customised and bespoke outfits. Gradually, they started sourcing fabrics from neighbouring places to give quality fabric to their customers.”
In 1995, Jitendra and Bipin transformed Supreemo to form a brand called JadeBlue. The idea was to have a brand name, which can be used even at an international level, and to have the initials of the founders.
Edited excerpts from the interview:
SMBStory: How did the company grow from Supreemo to become a brand like JadeBlue? What are the brand’s current offerings?
Khushali Chauhan (KC): The beginnings were small. However, my father and uncle built this brand with a lot of passion and determination. The company’s strong adherence to its core values has been one of the cornerstones of the business. It can be said that we have reached this mark due to the hands-on experience they have had, and the loyal customer base that never disappointed us.
JadeBlue offers entire menswear range under one roof ranging from formals to casuals and ethnic wear. Its premium range, called JadeBlue SuperLuxe, has a starting range of Rs 3,999 for shirts.
The company also launched a label called Greefibre that caters to Tier II cities, including Indore, Bhopal, Hyderabad, Jaipur, and Udaipur. Greefibre shirts are priced in the range of Rs 899 and goes up to Rs 1,499.
SMBS: From where does JadeBlue source its fabrics, and where is the manufacturing unit?
KC: JadeBlue Lifestyle India Ltd. is one of India’s leading luxury lifestyle retail chain stores for men, known for the breadth and depth of exclusive clothing, fashion merchandise, bespoke tailoring, and personalised services. It is a one-stop-shop for all men.
We offer premium fabrics sourced from across the world. From Dormeuil to Scabal for premium fabrics, and Arvind to Raymonds for denims and more, the store has a wide collection of multi-brand fabrics under one roof. The client list includes top personalities from across industries such as entertainment, politics, business, and sports.
JadeBlue has also built a large customer base due to its tailoring service. The service is also fast gaining popularity among the upwardly mobile youth who are looking for a personalised touch over factory-made garments.
We have an in-house factory set up to manufacture the formal and ethnic range. For casual wear, we outsource the products from third-party manufacturing units located in Mumbai and Bengaluru.
JadeBlue sells its products through retail stores and on ecommerce portals including Amazon, Flipkart, and Snapdeal. We were listed on Myntra but withdrew our account due to a few issues with the company. Our collection is also available on our own website for sale and we are developing it up further.
JadeBlue's trademarked Modi kurta
SMBS: What are the key milestones in the business journey?
KC: JadeBlue’s first milestone was in 1995 with the inception of JadeBlue brand and opening up a store at CG Road, Ahmedabad, which is also our flagship store spread across more than 15,000 sq.ft.
In a span of eight years, in 2003, the group’s private label Greenfibre had its first stand-alone store. Today, Greenfibre brand alone has 38 stores across 28 cities with more stores in the pipeline.
In 2009, the company set up its first production facility in Ahmedabad with a state-of-the-art facility that has high tech machines, and majority of the readymade formal outfits are made here.
In 2010, with the permission of our Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, the company obtained the trademark for the iconic ‘Modi Kurta’. In the same year, the company spread its wings nationally.
A new production facility of around 40,000 sq.ft. is now being set up to cater to the increasing demand in the ethnic wear category as well as to have a centralised facility for the bespoke and tailored services that we offer.
SMBS: Why are you not targeting metro cities like Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru?
KC: Most metro cities and other Tier I cities already have a strong presence of many national and international brands, including designer brands. Making a mark with this stiff competition is not viable for us at this point of time. We also do not want to rush in the business, and rather want to build a stronger presence in Gujarat, where we are already one of the major dominating brands.
A business cannot grow without challenges, and there always need to be calculated risks. With the increase in the online market, driving footfall to the stores has been a challenge. However, with the increased promos and a loyal customer base, that challenge becomes easy to overcome.
JadeBlue's casual shirts collection
SMBS: What are the company’s future plans?
KC: JadeBlue plans to launch its website for custom-made shirts to give the bespoke experience to a diverse customer base. The company also plans to launch exclusive brand outlets with its private labels as they already contribute a major share in the existing multi-brand outlets.
The integration of CRM and loyalty programme is also in the process, and soon it'll be a seamless experience for any consumer to purchase online or in stores. This, we believe, will help build a better loyalty, even amongst our online customers.
(Edited by Megha Reddy)