Dada Gujar – Founder and Chairman, CG Lifestyle
Mr. Dada Gujar whose original name is Chandrashekhar Gujar was born in Mumbai. His schooling was done from Bal Mohan Vidya Mandir School, Dadar, Mumbai till 11th standard. In the year 1974, he had to stop his education due to unstable financial condition of his family; hence he had to start working to support his family.
At the beginning of his work career, his salary was ₹5. That means if he worked for 4 weeks, he uses to get ₹ 20/- and if he worked for 5 weeks he use to get ₹25/-. That is how he started working, taking up experience in tailoring and clothing line and helping his family for livelihood. He had 2 sisters, 1 was elder to him and 1 was younger than him who apparently got married during this phase of his struggle.
During his working career, he had big dreams to have his own business. At that time Maharashtra bank Portuguese Church branch, Mumbai gave him a loan to start his own business of ₹750/-. And thats how he bought his first stitching machine and started his business on auspicious day of Dusserah. During his stitching career phase, he added up selling shirt piece and pant piece which helped him grow his business better. Every Business has a lot of opportunities, it’s just that you must take up those opportunities and make wise use of it and the success will definitely follow you. During that time, he got bank uniform orders which was the big achievement all because of the former cricketer of that time Mr. Ajit Wadekar. Over a period, he started earning a little extra money even after his basic investments in his own business, and life was on a better track. That is when his parents decided him to get married in year 1984 with Miss.Sujata.
Now with the increasing family responsibilities and searching for the better business opportunities, in 1990 he realised that Pune is the destination where he can start and build his business better. Only thoughts were not going help him achieve his dreams, it needs right actions at right time to achieve the desired success. As soon as he realised this he immediately shifted to Pune, bought a shop at sadashiv Peth near Peru gate, pune and begun his garment and tailoring business naming it as C’Lai. In those days readymade clothes were not so widely available like we do today. Hence, grabbing this great opportunity with his great stitching skills, punekar’s welcomed him with a warm heart and appreciated the work of this tailor master coming from Mumbai. With his hard work and great response, the 1 standalone store which was 200sqft in sadashiv peth expanded to 3 small stores in next 10 years of his business. In the year 2000, Understanding the increasing importance of trading with his tailoring business he decided to collaborate clothing, tailoring and readymade all under one roof at Tilak Road corner for better business growing opportunities. All this development was not possible without his family support and hence giving the equal priorities and time to family and business he could enjoy that phase of life as well. And whoever is lucky and capable to balance both are the happiest and content entrepreneurs in this world. Hence that is why his Son Sagar and Daughter Sarita were taught about the business with their education since their childhood. His Daughter Sarita who is a Bharatnatyam Visharadh and has taken the degree of fashion communication is now looking after 1 department of C’LAI. While his Son Sagar, completing his college education during the mornings and learning the small aspects of business on other side took up the C’Lai business to a new level with his innovative ideas, schemes and using his best abilities of buying expanded the business making all of us proud. These are the teachings given by Dada Gujar and using them their children are making it bigger day by day. Today, many entrepreneurs have one issue in common and that is that their children do not want to join their family business and hence this will be a great example for them.
With the increasing business, we should not forget our responsibilities towards our society which has helped us grow to this level, this he could learn looking at Mr. DSK. Dada was awarded by DSK “Self-Made Man” and “Think Pure” award by the name of Daji Kaka Gadgil and many more such awards which are listed in his bouquet of achievements and appreciations. Because of this realization he started his own “Dada Gujar Foundation” whose administration is looked after by Maharashtra Bank Trustee Company. With the help of this foundation, he introduced well equipped computer labs at Saraswati Mandir, Bajirao road, Pune. To encourage better education for night college, capable and well-educated teachers are appointed whose honorary compensation is given by this foundation. Lion’s Club Sarasbagh Dialysis Center is supported financially from time to time by this foundation. Financial support for a marriage of a poor girl, for better education of poor and providing help in medical emergencies for the senior citizens, such programs are undertaken by Dada Gujar foundation.
Whichever are the Good Thoughts are my Thoughts, according to these thoughts of DSK which were also carried forward by dada saying , ‘ I am giving back the good things to my society which it gave me to be happy ‘ following this who helps the needful and poor around, god helps them in all the ups and downs is the thought guideline of Dada which he personally, truly follows.
Mr. Sagar Gujar, Managing Director – CG Lifestyle
Sagar Gujar began his entrepreneurial journey by assisting his father Mr. Chandrashekhar Gujar with an aim to grow their family’s tailoring and clothing business. Sagar’s passion about business trade and tricks made him visit the store to learn the business and management skills while he was studying.
His first entrepreneurial dynamism was witnessed in 2003 during his HSC board exams, when there was a strike at the store. He showcased his leadership skills by pitching in during the time of turbulence and solely managed the sales to manager functions. Nevertheless, all this did not hamper his board exams and he secured 80% along with managing the store.
Born in July 1985, Sagar the young millennium entrepreneur deep dived to learn more about the business and its functions right from opening a new store to selling and procuring goods. For the young entrepreneur like Sagar, his biggest advantage is to think out of the box, being creative, staying in tune with the current fashion trends and technology.
In 2006, C’Lai World started with the production of inhouse label Sliverleaf which was marketed in Pune city. The company positioned itself from “Tailoring to Branded Readymade Clothing”. With focus on 4P’s of marketing – product, place, place, promotion and time, C’Lai World launched its first promotion of Flat 50% off during lean period of SSC and HSC board exams. The store marked highest sales during the period.
After the success of this campaign, it was no looking back for Sagar. He ventured into readymade segment and in less than 3 years penetrated the market share with tailoring goodwill and readymade trends. In Sagar’s dynamism and vision various concept campaigns were launched which directly targeted the end consumer’s needs. The next was wedding promotion for 11 days in Pune, where the store was committed to sell only wedding wear. Likewise, every year, Sagar is well ahead of time to launch campaigns which entice consumers to make purchase on or before the occasion.
The company witnessed growth of 40% YOY from 2007-2011. The growth in the coming years was evident and Sagar ensured all the processes, protocols and SOPs were standardized. This made the company ready for the big leap. In 2014, the company expanded its reach outside Pune to Ahmednagar, Baramati, Latur, and Kolhapur with large family stores of 15000-22000 sq. ft. With seer instinct and calculated risk Sagar has transformed his family’s tailoring business to complete branded family retail store.
With unique product lines, aggressive pricing, and sustainable margins the group today stands at 14 COCO stores, 62 EBO, 22 SIS, and wholesale stores.
With the aim of delivering local shopkeepers’ goods and designs equivalent or better than national brands in small quantities at affordable prices the company now plans to launch its online B2B portal for businesses. Keeping in pace with technology and online stores, the company has plans to sell online and reach its retail consumers across India.
To form a holistic business environment and help grow local entrepreneurs start their own set up with the expertise and help from the company, this year the company is all set to increase its SIS, wholesale and EBO stores count to cross 150 nos.
Today the group employees more than 800 people and indirectly gives employment to more than 75,000 people via its dedicated factories and setup.
With his strategic business acumen, Sagar is all set to leap a market share growth of more than 25% over previous year which was Rs.132 crores. His intense planning and business competence make him one of the most young and competitive retail entrepreneurs of Maharashtra.