Success Stories

Chumbak – The Life Magnet

I have always been fascinated by magnets when I travel abroad. Magnets form the perfect souvenir and gifting solutions, but I never found something similar in India. When we have friends returning from a foreign trip, they usually get me lovely magnets from Vegas, Paris, London and my refrigerator is dressed up as a bride. I’ve often had guests eyeing my precious collection of magnets and wanting one too the next time I go for a trip abroad. Some of my favourite magnets that I have picked up were on my trips to Thailand, Malaysia and Dubai. These magnets in the shape of a crab, a beach slipper, a camel are so funky, creative and cool that you don’t feel like gifting them, you want to keep them all! 😉

On a recent visit to Crossword in Mumbai, I chanced upon some really neat and quirky designs of magnets from a company called Chumbak. They not only have magnets but other items such as coffee mugs, boxes, pencil stands, t-shirts, bags, laptop sleeves – the works! I had never seen something so fantastic and cool in a very long time in India and I am so glad as at least now I can pick up something to take for my friends abroad! It is a fresh break from the ordinary. It has a style and a personality of its own and when you get a Chumbak merchandise at home or office, it absorbs your personality and makes you look cool!

I liked Chumbak products so much that I couldn’t help but get in touch with them and share their story with my readers! Meet Bangalore-based Shubhra 31 and Vivek Prabhakar 33, who founded Chumbak in March 2010 which is the answer to the world’s tourist of a completely Indianised souvenir store.

When did it all begin

“The idea of Chumbak started as an expression of our love for travel. Each time we travelled, we brought back a piece of that place in the form or a fridge magnet or some small knick knack. While researching the Indian souvenir market, we found that it didn’t offer much in terms of creativity in its products. Which was really surprising, since India has so much to offer by way of expression and culture. Being a first generation entrepreneur, we soon realised that the market was not limited to tourists and travellers. Young Indians were also looking for products that truly represented their generation. They wanted products that represented India and at the same time, design that they would relate to. So, Chumbak was born,” as Shubra, one of the founders of Chumbak.

Name and Brand

She mentions, “The name Chumbak is derived from the Hindi word for “Magnet”. Chumbak in Hindi is Chum + Bak which means kissing + stones. So kissing stones are magnets. Since our first products were magnets, hence the name.”

The Team

Currently, Shubra and Vivek run the show along with a team of designers who put their heads together and come up with some of the coolest items that are a must-have in every household or office space.

Challenges faced

Shubra mentions that “Some of the challenges were figuring out which products to manufacture. We had so many ideas when we launched and didn’t know how to shortlist them. So it all came down to focus. We decided to focus on products that we felt were really unique and the designs would stand out in the market as well.”

Getting your hands on Chumbak

While you can easily go online and purchase a merchandise of your choice from their official website, there are a few interesting facets that you can look forward to. For instance, if you send your picture using one of the cool Chumbak products, you could have a 10 % discount coupon on your next purchase from their Web Store. And all you need to do is upload your pictures with a Chumbak merchandise by your side to their Facebook fan page right away to get your discount coupon.

What can you pick

There are hordes of cool stuff that you can pick up at Chumbak, from the cute Auto Raja Bobble Head priced at Rs. 600/- to cool T-shirts priced at Rs. 500/-, the oh so cute Nimbu Mirchi Car Freshner priced at Rs. 125/- to the very desirable Maharani Laptop Bag priced at Rs. 1,550. And how can we forget their magnets, get hold of the flaming hot Mean Curry Yellow Fridge Magnet or the Chicken Tikka Blue Fridge Magnet priced at Rs. 165/-.

Get your hands on one of the coolest Chumbak products ever from select stores across Mumbai, Bangalore, Mangalore, Pune, Hyderabad, Trivandrum, Chennai and the list goes on.

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Tanya is a graduate in Sociology from Sophia College, Mumbai, a post-graduate in Communications and Media from SNDT Women’s University in Mumbai and holds a Master's Degree in Journalis & Mass Communications from Chandigarh University. A former writing mentor and a seasoned lifestyle writer, Tanya writes columns on The Lifestyle Portal of life and living.

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