In Conversation with Story@Home Founder, Ankit Rungta ( YourStory Interview)
Story@Home is India's leading Home Decor Brand founded by Ankit Rungta. The Brand is owned by Elite Decor Pvt. Ltd.
Story@Home founder Ankit Rungta shares the journey of Story@Home with Your Story team. Here's an excerpt from the interview.
Founded by Ankit Rungta in 2012 in Vadodara, Gujarat, Story@Home was self-funded and was incorporated as a family-owned business. With the ecommerce boom, the business grew, and 34-year-old Rungta brought in his father Sohan Rungta to grow different verticals. At present, both father and son are actively involved in the business at different levels. Sixty-one-year old Sohan has over 40 years of experience in various businesses and helps his son with different challenges based on his experiences and insights. “We launched with the goal to make high-quality home furnishing reach across India. During the initial stages, we had physical stores and we operated with different retail partners to sell our goods. Like all businesses, we had various challenges related to inventory and supply chain efficiency, which we were trying to solve effectively,” says Rungta.
“Then came the ecommerce boom and we were among the first few brands that partnered with Flipkart, Amazon, SnapDeal and many more. We upgraded and switched from physical stores to online channels for sales.”
SMBStory: When you launched in 2012, what gap did you want to fill in the home decor market?
Ankit Rungta: For our family, the textile business has been a core field for nearly four generations. However, after working with Infosys for a year, I shifted back to Vadodara and joined my family business that was involved in the metals industry. In 2011, the business wasn’t doing so well, and so I looked elsewhere that had a potential for high returns.
Subsequently, when I studied the home furnishing market, I found a big gap in quality products at reasonable prices, and a lack of proper supply chain management across India. This inspired me to get into entrepreneurship and start a venture in the home furnishing segment by forming a supply chain and marketing team across twelve states in India. I also saw that offline markets were growing well, but payments and returns were a common issue across these channels.
SMBS: The company has around ten lakh customers at the moment. What is your current turnover?
AR: Right now, we are growing our numbers. With over 10 lakh new customers added every year, we had a turnover of close to Rs 65 crore last year. This year, we are targeting revenues of Rs 100 crore.
SMBS: What are some of your unique markets?
AR: We always see a big demand and supply gap of quality home decor items that are reasonably priced. This holds good not only for large cities but also for remote areas in India. Story@Home aims to reach places such as Leh, Kashmir, Sikkim, West Bengal, etc.
These places have a large target market and the people have the same willingness to beautify their homes. Over the past few years, we have been able to supply to these markets with the help of online channels. Currently, we serve over 18,000 zipcodes across India.