Chumbak Startup Story: $30Million Valued “Fridge Magnet” Unique Startup

Chumbak Startup Story: Starting, Investments, & Strategy
By John Wilson - Apr 23 2021 10:22PM - 14867 Read
Chumbak Startup Story: Starting, Investments, & Strategy

Chumbak was founded in March 2010 by Vivek Prabhakar and Shubhra Chadda to create fun and colourful Indian souvenirs. It has since grown into a lifestyle brand with locations in Bengaluru, Mumbai, and Delhi. It also has flagship stores in Bengaluru and Delhi, as well as online stores.

Let’s trace back how Chumbak evolved as a brand.

Chumbak Startup Story - THE ORIGIN

Shubhra Chadda, who lived a lavish lifestyle with her husband Vivek Prabhakar, founded the Bangalore-based business Chumbak. She realized one day, when looking at the beautifully made fridge magnets the couple brought back from their overseas trips, that nothing like this is available in India. When it comes to giving something as a gift, we Indians have a limited number of choices, such as a showpiece, shawls, or handicrafts. Nothing existed that could truly represent India.

Shubhra recognized this void and explored with his husband the possibility of creating colourful, magnetic, and appealing gifts. Vivek Prabhakar was enamoured with the concept and eager to get to work on it. They are so enamoured with the concept that they act on it without hesitation.

In 2009, they sold their house for Rs. 45 lakhs to finance their Company called Chumbak.

Chumbak marketed its goods primarily through its distributor network and online presence from 2010 to 2013. They opened their first office in Bangalore in 2013 and began extending their operations to other cities. Currently, the Indian gifting Chumbak Brand has grown to be the most successful gift brand globally, with over 150 stores and a strong E-commerce presence. According to Crunchbase, Chumbak began by selling a house worth Rs. 45 lakh and has since received a total of $28,868,814 in funding from Narayan Ramachandran, Blacksoil, and Gaja Capitals, in addition to their seed funding.

Shubhra Chadda and Vivek Prabhakar, like many others, struggled at first, whether it was finding the right vendor or having the ideal template for their customers.

Chumbak claims that year-over-year growth is about 300%. The organization has benefited from the hybrid model, which includes both an online and offline presence. It is now relying on different technological channels to maximize the contribution of its online revenues to its overall earnings to at least 30%.


The first challenge was to do everything independently before her husband was able to enter Chumbak full-time. “I’ve been heavily involved in Chumbak since its inception,” Shubhra says, adding that she virtually handled everything on her own except for warehousing and packaging their items.

Vivek Prabhakar, Shubhra’s husband, left Sun Microsystems to join Chumbak as Chief Executive Officer in 2011. (CEO). He was in charge of marketing and distribution, while she was in charge of product design and production.

Another issue was the lack of funds. When asked how Chumbak was funded, Shubhra says, “When we didn’t have the infrastructure of a well-established scheme, I risked losing a steady salary. We had put a significant amount of our own money into the Company.”

When they were certain of their goods and had a clear idea of what the Company would stand for, the two began searching for funding. Chumbak had an easy time raising capital because they were the only Company selling a unique proposition like theirs.

Chumbak Startup Story: Reasons for Success

“It’s a volume game,” Vivek claims. After finding a large selection of products to choose from, ranging from Rs 95 to Rs 1,495,” he says Chumbak broke even within the first three years of service. The most important thing, according to the Company, that needs to be done in the lifestyle products segment is to know your customer and put that knowledge into practice. Chumbak was militant on all social media platforms in the early years of its existence, and it continues to be so. Chumbak set out to expand its distribution channels, both online and through multi-branded outlets, created. It accomplished this in the first two years and expanded the business.


Chumbak was developed entirely through social media marketing and word-of-mouth, with no marketing budget. Chumbak’s overall marketing plan includes social media, which is crucial to the Company’s overall objectives and strategy for achieving those goals. Chumbak has established itself on almost all social media sites in a very short period. Chumbak built all of their brand-recall appeals by relying solely on social media, despite being cash-strapped and having no budget for high-flying marketing campaigns.

Chumbak is one of the first Indian brands to be featured in a Facebook case study worldwide. The business aims to be more accessible and honest in its marketing communication by maintaining a strong presence on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and their website. The primary aim is to engage with customers and establish relationships with them. Chumbak employs all of these methods to convey the same message, but in different ways, depending on the level of customer engagement desired. The Company’s use of social media is a tactical rather than a strategic move. Chumbak uses a forum to discuss market issues, as well as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to communicate with customers.

By producing and publishing essential and valuable material, content marketing helps to attract and retain consumers. Rather than relying on evidence, content marketing relies on intuition. Interesting, useful, and persuasive content keeps you in your customers’ minds. Chumbak publishes content that is important to their fans on their Facebook page. They assume that their followers are present to see content that they enjoy rather than content put down on their news feeds!

Chumbak maintains a strong presence across a variety of social media platforms. Chumbak aims to incorporate them as much as possible, and its Facebook page is thus integrated into all of its other social media sites, such as Instagram and Pinterest.

Chumbak Startup Story: Social Media Strategy
  • Instagram and Pinterest for review sites and discussion.
  • Multimedia sharing, i.e., YouTube
  • Blogs
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Regarding the offline presence’s plans, the team claims that it will expand in the coming year, with more large stores opening throughout the region. The emphasis for the coming year will be on their online presence and their involvement in marketplaces.

“In addition to our presence on Flipkart and Amazon, which includes a brand store on Amazon,” Vivek says, “we are committed to building an equally strong Chumbak web store that is high on experience and quality.” The group also plans to keep experimenting with how architecture is thought about and made.

Chumbak’s story is an inspiration to all the young entrepreneurs who are willing to risk it all for the sake of fulfilling their dreams.

John Wilson
John Wilson

I am just another high school graduate who wants to make a name and works on a conventional job. With my degree in marketing, I’m working as an executive in a digital marketing firm, handling SEO & SMO there.

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