Success doesn’t come easily to anyone. It takes a lot of toiling and following the right strategy that leads us to the fruit of success. The thing that most of us fail to understand is that there is no definition of success and it can’t be measured on societal norms. If we try to weigh the ingredients of success, it is 10 percent luck and 90 percent hard work.
Similar is the story of this Mumbai-born Ushik Gala who took life by its horns and took over the ailing family business to make it soar like a rocket. Coming from a business-class family, Ushik had seen how the business industry worked; however, he got a chance to wet his hands in the strategical model only when his father found it apt.
While still in college, Ushik understood nuances of his father’s small scale business in garments. But it was the beginning of recession period from 2006 to 2008 which proved to be a real tough time for the family. The blow of this period was so acute that it pulled down the business to zero after which it had to be shut. Nobody in the family was now ready to try the same business model.
When Ushik entered the business in 2010, with only Rs 311 in his pocket, it was still nursing its financials. So, he decided that come what may, he couldn’t let the business drown. But making a plan was one thing, and putting the plan into execution was another. The funds were limited and the market was going through a rollercoaster phase where if any investment was made, it could cost them their livelihood.
Despite the unfavourable circumstances Ushik had a vision that he wanted to make the business soar to a fresh height, thereby changing the way the business operated.
So in 2012, after the recession was over, he decided to re-enter the market, this time with bridal wear.
“This proved to be a cut-throat business as there were several ferocious players in the market. Everyone was trying this model so it became a stiff struggle. To change the entire business model, I had to take this risk that if I failed I would have nothing to offer to my family. I closed my eyes and took the plunge. First, we were into retailing alone, so I designed a blueprint which expanded the business to trading and furthermore to manufacturing,” he told KenFolios in an interview.
After he realized he had a grip on the market, he decided to start a new venture under the name Suumaya Lifestyle, in 2014. He had analysed the market that earlier the retails and trade for women ethnic wear were not doing well as the market was emerging to new horizons.
In fact, the pace of changing market was so fast that he could hardly keep up. One thing he learnt along the journey was that there was no room for complaint. He could either make it, or break it. So he chose the former and gave the business a hard push in the direction of success.
The roots of Suumaya Lifestyle came to existence in the year 2012 but it was officially incepted in 2014 with self-funding of Rs 2 lakh. Ushik spent the period from 2012 to 2014 selling bridal wears. This changed in 2014 when he switched to women casual wear in accordance with the influx of new demands. This business proved to be his lucky charm and he earned whopping crores in just three-four years of execution.
With a manufacturing unit in Mumbai, he worked on economical and quality garments and marketed them across India and abroad. Suumaya Lifestyle picked up and today, it is the largest garment manufacturer in India. Its balance-sheet for 2017 closed at Rs 214 crore. In this short span of time the staff size in manufacturing facility grew to 3,000 and the corporate employee size summed up to 150.
Followed by the success of Suumaya Lifestyle, he has come up with textile manufacturing company Suumaya Fabric which is a group company of Suumaya Lifestyle and has turnover of Rs 50-60 crore. In March 2018, the estimated closing turnover of both the companies is Rs 614 crore.
After being successful in his entrepreneurial journey, he has also invested in Guiddo Technologies Pvt Ltd, a travel app, in the year 2014-2015 as an Angel investor. In addition to this he has also invested in The Houuse, a closed group chat app. He has also given out around Rs 250 crore as financial service loan in the market.
Ushik with American politician Robby Wells at Eiffel Tower, Paris, after winning the youngest CEO, Excellence Award.
This self-funded company Suumaya group has now invested Rs 110 crore in the business and continues to do so. The net worth of Suumaya, as a whole group including garments, financing and other businesses is around Rs 650 crore.
Talking about the client base he says, we supply to PAN India. In ethnic wear section of market we have share value of about 65 percent. The market base of Suumaya Lifestyle has become huge now and has expanded to Dubai, Oman and US. The business has offices in Dubai, US, UK and Australia apart from covering PAN India. It is the first instance of an Indian fashion based company has a branch abroad and fully functioning offices in other countries.
Suumaya Lifestyle has its only manufacturing unit in Mumbai and from there it exports the garments to its offices abroad. This state of art manufacturing unit is 85 percent automated and built on 3,50,000 square feet land.
For his breakthrough in the garment business, Ushik won the youngest CEO, Excellence Award in Garment Industry, in Paris. He was also nominated for the youngest billionaire in Jain community. Humble in his ways, Ushik continues to grow and has marked a milestone for him at the young age of 27!
Talking about his mantra for success he says, “Work hard and karma will pay you back in kind.”
Share this inspirational story of a man who learnt business from basics and pinned it across the globe.