At the launch of a new store of Wildcraft India in Jalandhar on Friday, its promoter-director Gaurav Dublish shared the story of the company’s creation and how a risk undertaken by three passionate people paid off.
It is often said that if you work for something that you are passionate about, there are greater chances that you succeed at it. This also applied to Gaurav, Siddharth and Dinesh. Gaurav shares his journey from being a banker to one of the founding members of Wildcraft. “My friend Siddhart Sud and I were doing MBA in Mumbai in 1998. During one of our treks to the foothills of the Nilgiris, we came across Dinesh KH, and that’s when we planned to open a company that would provide outdoor travel equipment and gear.
However, we continued doing our respective jobs until 2007, because we didn’t have the guts to quit our jobs then and indulge in our hobby.”
But indulge they did. Presently, Wildcraft has stores in 30 cities of the country, while they have distributors in 75 others. Adds Gaurav, “In 2007, the three of us came together to form the company. Today, we have on board 11 designers from NIFT (National Institute of Fashion Technology), while one is from NID (National Institute of Design), Ahmedabad. We design keeping in mind the Indian body structure and all our equipment is manufactured at our production houses in Bengaluru and Solan.”
Gaurav credits the expansion of their company in the last five years to increasing number of nuclear families, who prefer spending weekends exploring wilderness. That is why, he says, Wildcraft manufactures equipment for anyone aged eight and above at a nominal cost ranging between R500-R8,000.
The company, informs Gaurav, already has three stores in Punjab (in Chandigarh, Ludhiana and Jalandhar), and next on the anvil are Patiala and Amritsar. In the northeast, they plan to open stores in Shillong and Guwahati. But, their focus stays on the north. “One prime factor for endorsing Punjab is because it is geographically closer to the Himalayas and people here are born with the passion of exploring and travelling,” says Gaurav.
When not working, Gaurav retains his love for the outdoors. “My favourite travel destination is the Alps, which posses a high altitude, but their beauty makes the climb worth it. For me, trekking is the pursuit of one’s real character.”