printbindaas.com plans to convert you into a new-age couch potato. You want a business card, no problem just log in. Now any of your printing requirements you don't have to run to your friendly neighborhood printer. All you need to do is log on to the web and hit printbindaas.com.
DARE caught up with the CEO of this online venture, Mr.Suraj Goyal, on an exclusive phone interview last week. Here are some highlights from the interview:
Is there something in particular that inspired you to start Print Bindass? Why an Online store over a retail one?
The business we have got into is basically a web-to-print technology, where users can come into portal and design their own stationary, give in their orders, and the company would ship it in to India.
There is an alternative model, which is a retail model, which has certain limitations. The first is that it can service only a certain area in the periphery. No one would travel more than 3 kilometers to go to any stationary shop. And, second is that to service more customers you would need more man power. In our case, the customer can design it for themselves on the portal. The portal has in store for customers certain designs, where we have a simple user interface and hence the people can design their own marketing collateral. Once they do that, we have software than converts into a principal file and we print it and ship it across to India.
Have you or any of your co-founders any previous experience in this field?
I had actually set up a back office for a US company. And then this idea struck us as we saw that online buying in India was going up, and we saw it at the right time and go into this venture. Then I got in other people like old friends and colleagues who had come and joined the venture. So we got a good team.
What was the estimate of funding required to start off with?
We put in about 1.1 crore, and then towards the end of last year, sometime in November we raised some angel funding.
How would you rank the competition in this online field?
This space is a very new space in the online venture right now in India. It’s at the same stage that travel was a few years back. More than the online ones, I should say the more traditional next door neighbor printers is the biggest competition for us.
What’s the challenge you’ll face in this field?
It’s a very high technology intensive place, where we had initial challenges, getting across the right technology which would help improve business and also allow users to personalize and have that good user interface. We went through that challenge, but havelaunched an online portal since last May. Since then we have seen the traffic, we get about 1000 plus people coming into our portal every day. I should say the business has improved over the last two months. Firstly, initial users are going for bigger purchases and secondly the kind of products we have, are all inter related and results in a lot of repeat purchase.
Any milestone achieved so far? How do you look at Print Bindass in terms of success in the next 3 years?
This is a very exciting space. And we also have a corporate portal wherein our company can outsource corporate customers printing to be ordered through the portal. We already have 5 customers who ordered their business printed stationary through the portal . Corporate portal supports approval workflow and after authorization the order comes to us. One milestone was obviously within six months of launching on an online portal, we ultimately managed to raise funding from an Angel Investor, where he rated us five and half times the value of our share.
What is the present strength of the company? Looking at expanding it in the short run?
We have 18 people now. Yeah, we are hiring almost every month; we have one or two people joining in every month . We also have an office in Ahmadabad and Delhi.
Any plans of entering into the South?
We service the customers from the South, and have tied up with some printing companies In the South. . We get customers from all over the country, from Jammu to the small villages in the South.
Are you‘ll planning to go global anytime soon?
We have done business with a business school in UK. We have an online module for college yearbooks.
What are you profit margins like?
We are a year and a half year old, so we are very young. Our online business started in May last year, so we have not completed even a year of sales. But our sales are growing, every quarter we almost double the revenues.
And lastly, what according to you are the five mistakes every entrepreneur makes on duty?
Teamwork is extremely important: . In startup companies you cannot have redundancies for important roles . Like in our case we have a design team, an operations team, so the person you select must be right for that role. You cannot hire a person and then decide what he has to do. So getting the right team is the most important.
Second thing is that when you go in for a venture you must always have back up for more money than you think you would need. Like when we started off we were thinking we needed X amount of money but within a year we almost spent like 2x.
In e- commerce ventures, initial business is always difficult to come by, so you need to have patience and do the right things. And when you do the right things, business starts moving. And it is meeting the customer expectations that you need to keep in mind.
And the 4th thing, you must always have a B plan in place like a backup plan in terms of business. You need to have various options of what can work.
Last thing is you should be ready for a lot of hard work. You should be ready to forgo the luxurious you have in a corporate world. Like I came in here, after six years of a senior position in an MNC, but then for startup you cannot expect those luxurious. You should be willing to travel by cheapest mode and stay in all kind of non-expensive hotels.
On the whole, Print Bindass gives your company a Business identity. Visit www.printbindaas.com to create that!
Author of this piece, Aishwarya Thilak is a Dare Community Writer
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