An IIT graduate and a notable figure in the start-up domain, Gaurav Singh Kushwaha, Founder, BlueStone, has been a technology entrepreneur for over 10 years. Before BlueStone, he had established Chakpak, an online entertainment gateway, in 2007. And within two years, Chakpak had more than three million users a month and effectively raised two rounds of funding from Accel and Canaan Partners separately.
His second venture BlueStone, which sells precious stones and jewels online, was launched in 2011. Since its establishment, BlueStone has never wanted to be known as a commercial centre. Therefore, it has set up its own assembling unit in Mumbai, which employs around 100 labourers and today it has more than 6,000 designs under its brand name. Kushwaha claims, “In order to run BlueStone, technology has played a very pivotal role in it. Technology is a tool with which we can directly print some of the designs on paper and the productivity is high.”
Having raised a total of $60 million and an additional $30 million dollar last year in series B round of funding, Kushwaha claims that they have a good control on pricing and on costing. Further, they are investing the savings heavily into branding and are even thinking of having some offline store as well. Furthermore, Gaurav and his team are working towards opening an experience zone in Bengaluru just to see if that makes people more comfortable in buying from Bluestone, either online or offline, a more of brand touch point that they want to make. They plan to open the offline store possibly by the end of 2017.
(This article was first published in the May issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)