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From Friends To lovers: The Story of "Chumbak" Couple-Preneuers

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You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Shubhra Chadda and Vivek Prabhakar both came from defense families and were living in the same complex during their college days. Becoming close friends, it soon turned into dating each other and getting married in 2004. The couple share common interests of exploring new places and are complete foodies. With just the two of them and a couple of people helping out, they invested the money they got from selling their home in this adventure known to everyone
as Chumbak. Shubhra Chadda shares of building the brand and raising their daughter together.

In which areas you differ from each other?

When it comes to taking decisions, I like to take my time to make a conclusive decision, but Prabhakar is very quick with decisions. 

What is the biggest  challenge that you have overcome?

It was putting together everything from design, product categories and avenues to sell these products while bringing up our baby at the same time. 

Is there anything you want to change in your partner?

Prabhakar loves change and is constantly challenging the status quo. He wants to achieve a lot in our lifetime, and it’s a lot of his restlessness that has made us grow at this exponential rate. I, on the other hand, take my time to accommodate to changes. We complement each other very well and I wouldn’t want to change a thing about him. 

How difficult is it to bring up children with  the kind of demanding careers you both have?

Our daughter is extremely smart and intuitive and from an early age has been very accommodative with the time we have had to spend at work. I don’t think it is difficult to bring up a child with a demanding career, but it is extremely important to spend quality time with her and make every moment of our relationship count. 

How are parental responsibilities divided?

It’s pretty simple, Prabhakar takes over morning duties and I take over evening duties. Over the weekends, we make
sure to spend much time with the family. 

Do you have any interesting incident to share? 

The first time we placed an order for storage tins. We did not expect to see a massive truck land up at our door with tons and tons of boxes for which we did not have any storage space. It was hilarious at the time, because we did not foresee the volume of space it would take. So we  had to carry all these boxes up the stairs to the eighth floor. Thankfully, a relative of mine was travelling at the time, and we were able to store all tins at her place. Funny thing – she doesn’t know till date that we used her place for storage.

Every couple has conflicts. How do you iron them out? 

Yes, we do. After having been married and worked closely together for the last six years, we have learnt that in a conflict when the other one is more persuasive with his or her opinion, backing out is the best way to not aggravate the
argument. 

How is the work divided between both of you? 

Prabhakar is the CEO of Chumbak and oversees marketing and sales, finance, warehouse and the online business. I, on the other hand, oversee design, sourcing and  the stores.

Where do you want to see your venture in near future? 

We will continue to grow our retail footprints across the country and are looking to expand out of India as well. Apart from this, we are growing our product categories and online presence even further.

(Article first appeared in the Entrepreneur Magazine, March 2016 edition)

Edition: December 2016

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