Once known as the Manchester of India, Ahmedabad is surely a city that has supported a wide range of clothing lines in the western part of India.
When we speak of traditional Indian wear, there’s one name that definitely strikes our mind and that is, Deepkala.
As the saying in Gujarati goes, ‘Juna ane Janita’, Deepkala Silk Heritage is a 84 year old clothing business in Ahmedabad.
One of the first and oldest fashion houses in the city, Deepkala was founded by Mr. Deepak in 1939. Art that has reached every household in Ahmedabad, is now run by its 4th gen owner – Maharsh Shah. A young boy who took the family business in his hands merely at the age of 19.
“Whatever you do in your life, do it with your whole heart. Even 99.9% is not enough. It should always be 100%.”
EARLY DAYS AND PRESENT
There’s a certain comfort we associate with when we hear, ‘family business’. However, is running a family business that easy? Let’s learn more about how family business also has its own pros and cons through Maharsh’s journey.
“People wouldn’t trust me. I remember when I stepped in my fathers business, I wasn’t trusted by the vendors or our own staff members at the shop. Everyone questioned my abilities to look after the business at such a young age”, shares Maharsh, speaking about his early days at business.
It’s been 7 years since Maharsh joined in and his brand is shining overseas along with India. The business which was started by his great grandfather with 3 sarees under resale business, is now a 100 crore brand in Gujarat with multiple stores in Ahmedabad. Maharsh looks forward to having over 25 new stores in the country.
Deepkala Store at Sindhu Bhavan Road, is Maharsh’s own segment. No two to-be brides would ever have walked out with the same outfit from Deepkala. Their USP is their hospitality and understanding of customer sentiments and hence they do not believe in repeating their designs. Till date, they’ve designed wedding dresses for over 25 lakh brides. Maharsh proudly recalls the moment where he has witnessed a lady who got her lehenga made at Deepkala years ago, walked in with her granddaughter to buy one for her. The store today has over 27 designers working exclusively for the brand.
It’s beautiful to see the love and trust that people have in us. We are proud to have served through generations.MAHARSH SHAH
EARLY DAYS AND PRESENT
COVID-19 surely disrupted the way businesses once functioned. The virus hit the country right after the 6 months of Maharsh investing in his new shop at Sindhu Bhavan Road.
“Stressful days, but I am happy to share that we were able to pay full salaries to all of our staff members at all the stores. Layoffs weren’t even a thought to be considered.”
This young champ, not only managed to overcome the difficult days but literally shined through those. He switched to digital and arranged video call meetings with people who’d like to buy Indian traditional wear in India or aboard. As a result of this, 70% of international orders started to come in from the USA. Very recently, Deepkala also had their hoardings up in New Jersey and Los Angeles! Their products have also made their way to the UK, Australia and New Zealand.
Such success and work definitely is backed by a great motivation! Isn’t it? We all have that one person, one idol whom we look up to everytime we feel low.
My dad is my biggest inspiration; I look up to him and admire him more than anything. I have seen him fight his 4th stage cancer with great faith in himself. I will always remember what he said when he was undergoing his chemotherapy. He sent me an email while on hospital bed saying, “Beta, there will always be intruders in the forest and they will try everything to bring the forest down. But remember, when the Lion roars no one stands a chance against him. You’re that Lion. Always remember that.” – Maharsh shares with us about the incident that has stayed with him and still acts as a motivation on tough days.
UNFILTERED WITH THE ENTREPRENEUR
Many of the business owners start their businesses with a wish in their hearts to make it big. While there are a number of entrepreneurs who never thought of ending up with an entrepreneurial career. Maharsh, is also one of them.
“I would like to be a DJ.” he shares with us excitedly. Music is my love and I find joy in making mixes. I always keep myself up to date with new things in that field.”
Sharing a few tips for the people who’re just starting with their career, Maharsh highlights an important one stating, “One must invest 10% of their earnings on themselves. Investing in skills and something that you enjoy doing is the only appreciating asset that will last with us for long.”
His vision, confidence and belief in living life to the fullest is something we loved while knowing about him more!
A mature, humble and a confident businessman, Maharsh Shah’s journey of handling family business and reaching new heights with his skills, is surely an inspirational one.
We’re glad and grateful to have had an opportunity to meet this young business enthusiast.
To read more such stories, explore gujpreneur.com.
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