Gaurav Mehta, the founder of Jaipur Watch Company says no one was ready to support him when he said he would start his watch brand.
“I went to my dad and said I want to start my own brand of custom-made watches and my CA dad said this is absolute crap, you are not getting a rupee from me,” Mehta recalls from his days in 2013 when the Jaipur Watch Company was launched.
Three years on, the home-grown luxury watch brand which boasts of being one of a kind is looking to take its business overseas, Dubai being its first stop.
Mehta, who has done his masters in risk management from UK, was keen on taking the risk to follow his childhood passion of watches. I have destroyed many watches examining them since childhood, but this risk was going to be a huge one, says Mehta.
“It was more of a coincidence.. One fine day, I was opening up a watch while sitting at my desk and some coins were lying around. I just picked up a coin and placed a coin inside the watch to see how it looks. Surprisingly, it fit and voila, I started wearing it.” “This watch gained a lot of attention and lots of people asked where I bought it from. That’s when it struck me – okay’s let’s do this, let’s make a business out of this.”
Starting the brand, however, did not come easy for Mehta.
“My first funding was I sold my car. My second capital came in from borrowing from my best friend. I also sold my running business.”
With all at stake, Mehta was determined to build the brand but is no hurry to get investors on board.
“A lot of people have shown interest in investing in the company; few of them are my clients. However, for the next two years, I want to be bootstrapped,” says Mehta.
Today, the business that has factored a 350 percent year on year growth in 2016 with respect to sales is catering to niche clientele from film stars to sports people and royal families. Mehta who has made watches worth up to Rs 15 lakh is undeterred of any competition whatsoever.
“There is no one I have heard of who is doing bespoke watches in India. Nor is my price point available with any,” says Mehta. “Lot of brands worldwide is doing bespoke watches but their prices are phenomenally high.”
Mehta says Jaipur Watch Company’s price point starting from INR 25000 to INR 60,000 price point segment is not available with Swiss brands while normal brands’ price point ends before INR 25,000. Mehta also likes to personally design all the watches.
“I really don’t involve people. All this is my baby and I like to personally sit with the client when it comes to bespoke watches.”
Once Mehta decides a concept, it is given a 2D look by designers, and highly skilled staff work on the viability of creating the piece. Mehta believes this is the right time to go international for a watch-making business that took off unplanned.
“In fact we are about to close a partner in Dubai, who is going to be like a super distributor who is investing exclusively for the Dubai market.” “We are just a low profile company dealing with luxury ideas. The future looks bright,” says Mehta.
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Article & Image: Entrepreneur