While one thing led to another, he did face a lot of challenges in setting up the company and putting together the operations.
He shares that the most difficult part was finding artisans who possessed the skills required for making cane furniture. When he did find them, they were unwilling to leave their villages and come to Ahmedabad.
“All the artisans were involved in agriculture and were happy with what they were earning. I somehow convinced them and even promised them a good compensation,” explains Vaibhav.
From 20 artisans in the initial years, the number has grown to 40 today. These artisans come from several parts of the country, including Assam, Uttar Pradesh, and more. The main raw materials are imported from Malaysia and Vietnam, and the products are manufactured in the company’s facility in Ahmedabad.
From D2C to omnichannel
Initially, IRA Furniture was only launched on Amazon and Flipkart. Gradually, it expanded to other channels such as retail, launching its own website and partnerships with architects.
Vaibhav also adds that marketing and advertising on Facebook and Instagram also helped in grabbing eyeballs. Through marketing, the company was able to bag an order from the recently concluded Big Boss OTT, to make a piece of furniture for the house.
The founder claims that today, the maximum demand comes from the website and partnerships, followed by other routes.
The company clocked a turnover of more than Rs 2 crore in FY21.