There’s no question that running a business is a daunting task. But when you do it as a couple, there’s a special dynamic at play.
When most people think of entrepreneurship, they think of the lone wolf—the person who ventures out on their own, works hard and makes it big. However, there is another approach to entrepreneurship that is becoming increasingly popular: the couplepreneurship. As the name suggests, this is when a couple teams up to start a business together. And while this may seem like a riskier proposition than going at it alone, the couple in the business world are proving it wrong. So what’s behind this success? And what can couples learn from these five inspiring examples? Read on for insights from some real-life power couples who have made it work.
Bill and Melinda Gates
The Gates are an inspiring example of an entrepreneurial couple. They have shown that you can be successful as a team, even when one spouse has different skills or interests from the other—something which might not always seem possible. From being married for 26 years to co-founding the world’s largest private charitable foundation, the “Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation”, in 2000, the duo has come a long way. Since then, the foundation has worked to improve global health and education, and it is now the second-largest charitable foundation in the world. Unfortunately, in May 2021, Bill Gates announced their divorce by tweet as they believed that they could not grow as a couple in their next phase of life. Keeping their personal issues aside, Gates shares a belief in that mission and continues to work together at the foundation.
Vivek Prabhakar and Shubhra Chadda
Indian markets are always on the lookout for colorful and creative gifts to bring home. Founded by Vivek Prabhakar and Shubhra Chadda in 2010, Chumbak is an Indian company based out of Bengaluru with roots dating back over ten years ago. Now, it has become a brand that can be found in almost every metro city across India. Bored with seeing tourists’ only souvenir options as the usual marble Taj Mahal replicas and handicrafts, Vivek Prabhakar and Shubhra Chadda hoped to expand the gift products to different categories, like phone case, home décor and fashion, that could reflect the more quirky and modern elements of India. That’s what prompted the couple to sell their Bengaluru flat and begin their venture. Today, Chumbak has come a long way into a lifestyle brand with more than 70 brand stores across India.
Last year, Chumbak has gone into omnichannel mode, partnering with big e-commerce companies, like Myntra and Amazon, where customers can shop for their products on their mobile app.
Rohan and Swati Bhargava
The husband and wife duo, Rohan and Swati Bhargava, want to help people save money with one simple idea—cashback. Hence, they started CashKaro in India, an online portal where customers could get cashback on their purchases by simply signing up for newsletters or referring others.
Before starting CashKaro, the couple first started “Pouring Pounds” in the U.K. to ride on the success that the cashback industry was seeing in many countries around the world. They soon realized its potential for India too—and not just with online purchases or credit cards! Eventually, after raising US$750,000, these two launched Gurgaon-based CashKaro in April 2013. It has become a one-stop-shop if you’re looking to save money at any e-commerce site, like Amazon, Flipkart and Paytm. The company has gone through impressive growth and its operating income grew by 74% in FY21. As per the reports, CashKaro’s income went up to Rs 98.33 crore (US$12.84 million) in FY21 from Rs 56.49 crore (US$7.37 million) in the previous year.
Varun and Ghazal Alagh
Founded by couplepreneurs Varun and Ghazal Alagh in 2016, Mamaearth is a company that aims to provide safe and natural products for babies. The idea was born out of a parental struggle when the married couple were having a hard time finding the right products for their infant son because of his skin condition. They realized that the Indian market was filled with baby products that are not only overpriced but also incorporated with toxins that were not suitable for infants who needed special care. This led to the birth of Mamaearth.
In only five years time since its launch, the brand has achieved remarkable success, with US$65 million in revenue in FY21. Today, under their leadership, the company has become a direct-to-consumer (D2C) sensation and is one of the fastest-growing brands in India’s FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) sector. The brand has grown from 6 to 140 products in the baby care, skincare and hair care segments. It now serves more than five million consumers across 500 cities through its own D2C platform as well as e-commerce marketplaces, like Amazon, Flipkart and Nykaa offline stores.
Anand & Mehak Sagar Shahani
WedMeGood is a one-stop shop for the perfect Indian wedding—where you can find a stylist or any other items necessary during such special occasions. They will help guide you through till everything comes together beautifully! Founded by Anand and Mehak Sagar Shahani in 2014, the company was born out of their own struggles when they were planning for their big day.
“Today, we are the Zomato for weddings. We bring together couples and service providers, whether it’s photographers, dress designers, stylists, caterers and the rest,” said Mehak in an interview with India’s news portal.
What makes entrepreneurial couples so successful?
Couple entrepreneurs are a special breed of business owners. Not only do they have to juggle the demands of running a business, but they also have to manage their relationships. However, this unique challenge can also be the key to success. As couple entrepreneurs are constantly forced to communicate and compromise, they often develop strong teamwork skills that can be applied to running their business.
In addition, couple-entrepreneurs often have a shared vision for their business, with which they can help each other stay focused and motivated. Finally, couplepreneurs have a strong emotional bond, which can help to weather any storms that come their way. All of these factors combine to make couplepreneurship a potentially successful venture.
Couplepreneurship can provide couples with a great sense of satisfaction and achievement, as they are able to build something together that is truly theirs. While there are different ways to be successful as an entrepreneurial couple. But what all of these couples have in common is that they are passionate about their businesses; they support each other; they have strong relationships with their partners. Overall, opting for the couplepreneurship can be a smart move for those looking to start their own business.
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