Be More

VMRD - - Interview -

When the re­lent­less Gu­jarati busi­ness acu­men, pas­sion, grit and gump­tion come to­gether, the re­sult is a re­tail em­pire of more than 50,000 sq ft (Rs 100 crore yearly) and grow­ing strong at 15% ev­ery year. Be More has 5 stores, a brand of Bhag­wan­das and Co, is in­deed the suc­cess story. Rul­ing the ap­parel re­tail front of Su­rat, Be More is rooted a hum­ble be­gin­ning. In the year 1979, Mr Bhag­wan­das a sci­ence pro­fes­sor teach­ing in a col­lege found an an­chor in his wife’s ad­vice, to quit teach­ing and be­gin a busi­ness. Thus he started small in a lit­tle room of his house, a gar­ment busi­ness. By the year 1981, he started an­other com­pany called Bhag­wan­das Lalub­hai, which was a whole­sale com­pany that dealt in Tata Fab­rics and fab­rics from Arvind Group. This busi­ness worked well for him es­pe­cially in school uni­form, dress ma­te­ri­als and bed­sheets cat­e­gory. The suc­cess led Mr Bhag­wan­das to start a store in Lal­gate area called Bhag­wan­das and Com­pany. The busi­ness be­came a fam­ily le­gacy, as Mr Bhag­wan­das’ sons joined and ex­panded it and added three more stores to the fam­ily. And then came the cur­rent gen­er­a­tion, the third gen­er­a­tion – the grand­sons.

Vi­jay N Chali­awala, Ke­tan N Chali­awala & Jatin K Chali­awala. Af­ter hav­ing com­pleted their stud­ies in the year 2000, the trio joined the fam­ily busi­ness in the year 2001 and to the al­ready ex­ist­ing busi­ness added the ready­made gar­ment di­men­sion. They sought in­spi­ra­tion from the lead­ing re­tail store brands then the first be­ing Shop­per Stop, And­heri Mum­bai store and EBOs like Louis Phillipe, Madura Gar­ments. They trans­lated this in­spi­ra­tion into a flour­ish­ing busi­ness. They ac­quired an ad­join­ing build­ing and started a full-fledged re­tail store deal­ing in ready­made gar­ments. And this start co­in­cided with the en­try of lead­ing in­ter­na­tional brands into In­dia and their ag­gres­sive ap­proach for tier-1 & 2 cities. Be More had al­ready col­lab­o­rated with ev­ery lead­ing na­tional brand and soon they be­gan their talks with Le­vis and Dock­ers who had just launched in In­dia. The store was de­signed by Vishal Khera­dia. Some of the in­ter­na­tional brands who vis­ited the store liked it and the deal was sealed.

Ever since then the jour­ney and the growth tra­jec­tory for Be More has been ex­cit­ing. Since the year 2001 ev­ery two years they have added a new store to their re­tail em­pire.

When brands like Tommy Hil­figer, Nau­tica, Gant came into In­dia and chose to en­ter tier 2 cities Be More took a leap and chose to col­lab­o­rate with them. Across In­dia Be More ranks 6th as a Tommy Hil­figer re­tail part­ner and as for Calvin Klein Shop-in-Shop it ranks 1st. Col­lab­o­ra­tion with Kora and stat­ing a de­signer bou­tique called Ka­jal’s Cou­ture are some of its other busi­ness mile­stones.

The next desti­na­tion Be More is headed to is to start a 25,000 sq. ft. store in the next three years i.e. by 2020-2021 which will be one stop for ev­ery fash­ion ap­parel need. It will house ev­ery in­ter­na­tional brand and na­tional brand.l

Vi­jay N Chali­awala, Ke­tan N Chali­awala Jatin K Chali­awala, Be More

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