September 10, 2015
There are many business ventures in Coimbatore that are more than just successful, which are being managed by friends. Not only their friendship, but their business has also stood the test of time.
Ramya C.A. and Swathi V. are friends who came together to start children’s educational and entertainment centre called ‘Orange Sprout’. ‘Greens and Grains’, the famous vegetarian fusion restaurant is also owned and run by friends. The latest addition to this list is ‘Yari Restaurant’, which recently opened its doors in Coimbatore. All these friends turned entrepreneurs concede that it is easier to run a business by joining hands with friends.
Dhaval Paleja along with his friend Neel Chhabria started the famous apparel store ‘Upbeat’ located in R S Puram. “We are friends for the last 20 years. Way back in 2001, we realized that Coimbatore does not have a store where one can purchase quality Western wear. We decided to open a store to sell clothing that one can get only in the metros,” 37-year old Dhaval Paleja says. Friends for life, the two are now business partners for ‘Upbeat’ and its chain of stores. Though they had a slow start and received little motivation, they have stood by each other in thick and thin.
What was started as a 120 sq ft store has now expanded into a 2,000 sq ft store with a presence in four locations in Coimbatore city. The fashion conscious youth of Coimbatore regard ‘Upbeat’ as the go to place to shop for the latest apparels. These friends have plans to expand across Tamil Nadu.
Also doing very well for themselves are the group of friends turned partners in business who call themselves Team 15 Group Consortium. About two years ago, Go Gizmo store was started with the intention of making unique and innovative gifting options available to all. The store continues to keep its promise of selling such products. The latest addition to their line of products is stationery items with the Bidri art work.
While most friends turned business partners agree that it is easy to run the business as they are familiar with each other, Suman Sharma a homemaker, who ran a tailoring unit with one of her friends feels that getting into business with friends can either strengthen the bond of friendship or can strain it.