Success Story Of Nanu Gupta - Owner Of Vijay Sales

Success Story Of Nanu Gupta - Owner Of Vijay Sales

People labelled him as insane, a maverick, and someone who took too many risks too often. When major corporate competition came in, they all but wrote him off... Nanu Gupta, on the other hand, continued to march forward, one step at a time, trusting his instincts about what worked in the Indian market.

He now runs a big business empire, Vijay Sales, an electronics retail company with 76 locations across India, at the age of 75. His joint firm's revenue was Rs 3,250 crore last fiscal year and is expected to reach Rs 3,700 crore in 2017-18.  He began his entrepreneurial journey in 1967 with barely Rs 2,500. Nanu was born in 1936 in Haryana to a farmer family. At the age of 18, he left his village Kaithal in quest of work.

Nanu recalls, "I moved to Mumbai in 1954 and slept at my cousin's house in Valkeshwar." "He was an Usha sewing machine and fan distributor, and I worked with him as a salesperson for a few years."

Nanu opened his own shop in Matunga alongside his brother Vijay (who died in 1980) a decade later, selling sewing machines and fans. They named it Vijay Sales because Nanu adored his brother. The shop was modest, approximately 50-60 sq ft with a monthly rent of Rs 30, but he had huge hopes. 

"When I first opened my shop in Matunga, I barely had Rs 2,500, but I had complete faith in myself and God." "I knew I just had to concentrate and keep working," Nanu explains.

He began by selling sewing machines, fans, and transistors to the general public. In 1972, he expanded his Matunga store to include black and white televisions. Nanu bought a shop in Mahim in 1975 and registered his business in 1976.

Nanu experienced a big market surge about 1982, when colour television was introduced in India. He continues, "As we added things to offer, the shop needed greater room."


"The industry's face had altered, and sales of colour televisions had increased. In addition to colour television, brands such as Onida, BPL, and Videocon have launched washing machines and air conditioners to the market."

Vijay Sales started its first business in Bandra in 1986, purchasing a 600-square-foot property. "At the time, there were few brands and there was no need for such a large store, but my father thought we should have a large shop display for our items," recalls Nilesh Gupta, managing director of Vijay Sales and Nanu Gupta's elder son. 

Nanu's perspective was advantageous to them. By 1994, two other large stores had opened, one in Shivaji Park (700 sq ft) and the other in Sion (800 sq ft) (1,500 sq ft).

Things were going well until firms like Samsung, LG, and Daewoo entered the Indian market in 1993-94, offering large refrigerators and televisions. To accommodate these things, they needed more room.

"We purchased a 2,500-square-foot business next to our first store in Mahim, which was still open. To my amazement, as we expanded the space, our sales improved as well "Nanu's intuition have been confirmed by Nilesh.

Customers in Mumbai were initially introduced to the display concept by Vijay Sales. The Guptas' business grew, and by 2006-07, they had eight to ten outlets in Mumbai.


Then they bought their largest store in Goregaon, a four-story building with 1,300 square feet on each floor.

"When I bought the Goregaon store, everyone in the industry said the Vijay Sales people had gone insane!" Nanu laughs. "They were concerned that we were squandering our money on enormous retailers, but now even that store is failing!"

The industry was taken aback when Vijay Sales began opening massive retail premises around Mumbai. "My father is a visionary, and expanding store sizes aided our business," Nilesh says.

The retail revolution, which saw the opening of large-format retail outlets such as Croma, Reliance, and Future group showrooms, wreaked havoc in 2007. By this time, Vijay Sales had 14 locations in Mumbai.

"To our astonishment, we began receiving offers to buy our brand. "Everyone expected Vijay Sales to sell out and close shop in front of all the major corporate showrooms," Nilesh explains. "Even I was tense, and I would chat to my father and brother about nothing but this over lunches and dinners."

Nanu, on the other hand, was unfazed. "I told him there was nothing to be afraid about," Nanu explains. "No one can take your hard work away from you." We'll be alright if we work hard and look after our customers. They may be able to go 20 steps ahead of us while we can only take two, but that's fine."

Nilesh claims that he hasn't thought about his competitors since that day. "I retained the faith," Nilesh says, "even though my father promised me that if I didn't want to continue with this business, he would help me start any business I wanted."


In fact, they just began to increase around 2007. They opened new outlets in Pune, Surat, Delhi, and Ahmedabad as part of their expansion.

"Before 2007, we didn't deal in digital devices; we exclusively sold consumer durables like refrigerators, TVs, refrigerators, and washing machines." Vijay Sales introduced mobile phones and computers as the market trend changed, and now we offer the whole range of electronics," explains Nilesh.

Because the showrooms were already large, expanding the product ranges was not a problem. By 2008, their revenue had risen from Rs 100 crore in 2000 to about Rs 500 crore. 

When they opened their store in Mumbai's Opera House in 2000, they quickly became a household name in the electronics industry. For them, that store has become a monument. "I've never seen my father tired of his work in all these years," Nilesh says.

"He has always looked after his clients. He is 75 years old and still runs the company. Even if a customer came in after 9 p.m. and asked, "Aap shop band kar rahe hai?" (Are you closing shop for the day? ), my father would quickly respond no and greet him."

Even before the EMI option was created, Nanu would let clients who didn't have enough money to pay in instalments. Thousands of clients owed him their loyalty as a result of his trust. A customer came from Pune a few months ago specifically to visit Nanu Gupta because he had been buying his goods from Vijay Sales since boyhood.

"Another time, an old customer came to our Prabhadevi shop and told that his father used to buy things from Vijay Sales and that he is now coming with his granddaughter to buy a smartphone for her birthday," Nanu says.


Vijay Sales staff were so moved by the storey that they shared it with the advertising team, who turned it into a TV commercial.

Nanu used to walk to the store from his Santacruz home even during the monsoon days when they only had the Mahim store.

"Work, in my opinion, is worship. I despise wasting time. Work motivates me and helps me feel active "Nanu, who barely completed Class 10, agrees. 

Vijay Sales currently has 76 locations across India, including Mumbai, Delhi NCR, Pune, Ahmedabad, Surat, and Vadodara. Every year, the company aims to open three to four new stores. "We attempted to sell gym equipment but were unable to do so due to a lack of demand. Since then, we've decided to focus solely on electronics "Nilesh explains.

Nanu's wife died three years ago, and he now lives with his two married sons, Nilesh and Ashish. Ashish contributes to the firm as well, and the brothers split the work equally. In Santacruz, they all stay together.

Vijay Sales began with only two employees and now employs over 1,900 people across India. That is a really huge and happy family!




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