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Setting up & running a home is made easier by this store in Mumbai

Setting up & running a home is made easier by this store in Mumbai

SME Inspirations

GlobalLinker Staff

GlobalLinker Staff

22 Nov 2017, 09:03 — 6 min read

Though many enterprises have a nondescript start, a period of inspiration and momentum propels them to success. Managing a home appliances store with his two brothers nearly 30 years ago, Bharat Haria, Partner, had the inspired decision to expand and committed a significant amount of resources to the process.

 

The decision paid off and now Mahavir The Home Store is a well established chain of stores providing products required to make a house a home. The store is iconic in Mumbai today with Bharat targeting the launch of five similar stores in other cities and towns as part of his plans for expansion.

 

In conversation with GlobalLinker (GL) Bharat Haria (BH) shares the journey of his  company. Watch this video for more:

 

 

GL: Tell us about your business and how it came into being.

 

BH: After I got married in 1990 I used to run a store with two of my brothers. We had a godown in the next building. I thought why not try sitting at the godown. We used to take our customers to the godown to show them stainless steel racks. We started way back on 10th April 1991 spending  INR 1,80,000 on the furniture which was huge amount at that time. We wondered how we would recover that expense. Having a 500 square foot store we didn’t know what items to put in it, it was so big.

The store we first started was Mahavir Home Appliances. Then we moved to crockery. We got the next door store and we started a food store. We then ventured into the bed linen category. We also expanded later into ladies footwear, purses and costume jewellery. We have 6 categories and stores all in the same compound. Our aim is to make lives easier for homemakers. Everything related to the home should be made easy. We have a range of stores in the whole lane. Those stores have different product ranges.


Now we are venturing into opening a few more stores under the home store category. The name has been changed to Mahavir The Home Store.

 

GL: What are the challenges you have faced in establishing your business?

BH:
The store is not prominently located. It is in a compound of a building. That was the biggest challenge. We had a store outside which was around for 35 years from where we used to bring customers one at a time. Bringing the customers inside was the biggest change. We also had a phase where we thought we would shut down. We underwent a complete redo of the store from format to furniture. We changed our game plan and became very competitive and started seeing growth. 

 

GL: Do you believe that the ‘ease of doing business’ in India has improved?


BH: With the use of technology, the ease of doing business has improved. Earlier it was more of a gut feel we used to work on. Now we have data. It provides a wider clarity on facts and figure and the ease has improved.

 

GL: What is the USP of your business?

BH:
There was a time of great introspection. The best things we understood at that time was that we are adaptable to change. That is the time we decided we will have a vast range of products in the home category. We make the life of the homemaker much easier. We would travel across the globe and get the best products for this category. We would never compromise on customer service. Whatever the customer says we go along with it. We have a very strong network of loyal customers.

 

GL: What are some of the milestones of your business?

 

BH: 1998 could be the turning point. There were times when competing stores opened. But we realised with more competition, the market only grew.

 

We started with technology in 2008 but we didn’t have systems and the right people in place and we had the systems for almost 2-3 years but had to get out of it because of their failure. We started again a year ago but in a more organised way with the right people.

2017 was a big shift and we started with GlobalLinker and they gave us an e-commerce platform and though this is only in its initial stages we see significant growth over this medium in the coming years. They provided us a fantastic platform which we will launch to full scale in 2018. We paid nothing for it.

 

GL: What role do you feel GlobalLinker plays in connecting & assisting SMEs?


BH: 
They provide a unique platform connecting buyers and suppliers. They provide recruitment facilities. For a small SME it really helps with all those specials. It helps connecting SMEs to the larger dots and bigger picture.

 

GL: What is your big business dream?

BH: 
Ours is a unique business model which I would like to expand into more geographies and open more stores in Mumbai first and then take it to other towns. At least 5 more stores by 2020. That is what I can envision at this juncture.

 

GL: What is your message to aspiring entrepreneurs?

 

BH:I don’t see many players in this format of stores. It’s a big business, this category. I want more youngsters to venture into this category which has a lot of potential.

Aspiring entrepreneurs should have a larger vision in life, with feet firmly planted on the ground. I still have my ears firmly to the ground learning everything I need to be more customer-centric.

 

Network with Bharat Haria by clicking on the 'Invite' button on his profile  
 

Disclaimer: This article is based solely on the inputs shared by the featured member. GlobalLinker does not necessarily endorse the views, opinions & facts stated by the member.  

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