“In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.” – Coco Chanel. Great words that Mr. Madhur Chauhan probably took to heart when he decided to start Printrove. We are always looking to understand our clients and their businesses closely so that we can serve them better. Which is why, we decided to head over to Printrove’s HQ in Chennai, and learn about the trials and tribulations of running an online business. Over the course of interviewing him, we uncovered valuable insights about his Entrepreneurship journey. Here’s the full interview.
Give me a brief Introduction to your business idea and What makes it special ?
Printrove is a white label Print-On-Demand drop shipping service. It helps artists and brands monetize their art work. Printrove is on a mission to organize this highly cluttered marketplace. Primarily, it helps businesses to print their products under their brand name. This reduces the stock keeping and inventory management hassles for small businesses in this sector. Printrove was co-founded with two other people Mr.Pankaj Bokdia, Mr.Akshay Dughar.
Explain the products on offer?
Initially we started off with mobile cases and covers. Now, we have stretched our product catalog to coffee mugs, and mouse pads. We are in the process of launching a new range of products soon.
What is your motto/ business ideology?
My motto in life has always been to help people and contribute something to the betterment of society. This was one of the driving factors behind starting Printrove. My business caters to artists and designers who find it difficult to get their designs printed in real life.
Tell us something about yourself?
I am basically a Mechanical engineering graduate, and I possess a fairly decent knowledge and experience in the manufacturing industry. I was never inclined to do a mundane, regular job like everyone else after graduation. So, I took a break for a year and ended up starting Printrove in 2015.
What was the motivation behind going online?
As I said before, Printrove wanted to solve real world problems that designers and artists face in India, which is of getting recognition and revenue for their art. We decided to solve this problem by going online and reaching out to a large no. of people. This also encouraged me to learn continually and ensure the right progress of the company with feedback from different customers.
Who helped you to start your business?
My persistence and desire to start something of my own was the driving factor. When I wanted to start my own business, I waited for a couple of years to learn new things and get relevant industry experience. Once i felt i was ready, i decided to go ahead with my idea and ended up co-founding Printrove with two other friends. Myself and the co-founders had a little bit of seed capital that we borrowed from our parents which was put to good use while setting up Printrove.
What were the Challenges faced by you?
During our first year, we bought specialized a couple of units of printing and fabricating machinery. Since we were complete amateurs back then, we ended up incurring heavy losses. At one point, our machines exploded due to a malfunction and our business came rushing back to square one. When we decided to shutdown the operations, we got so many requests from people. Those requests made me pull up my socks and build this business again from scratch.
How did you put your E-Commerce business in the Spotlight?
With Printrove, a major chunk of traffic comes from Google Ads and organic search. Being a B2B company, we focus on Facebook & Linkedin posts. Content also plays a major role in creating a community. New and fresh content will put any business in the spotlight. We have found that blogs also play an important role in building a business organically.
How did you tackle the logistics aspect of your business?
When we started out, we were absolutely clueless about logistics. We tried working with FedEx and other companies. It ended up being a painstaking process, and the shipping couldn’t get regulated on time. While we were looking out for a solution to this problem, we came across Zepo Couriers. They simplified our logistics and got the work organised completely. Custom send and Manifest were a few options that made us fall in love with Zepo Couriers. Now we are able to ship around 60 products a day without any hassle. Zepo Couriers shipment return management system helped us a lot in delivering the products to the customers even if they are not present in their delivery location.
Tell us about your target audience?
We try to target mainly artists, designers and entrepreneurs across India. Till now, we were able to succeed in that and looking forward to further expand the service overseas.
Why should businesses go online according to you?
In my professional opinion, selling online is much simpler than a traditional brick and mortar business. Online stores will reduce the upfront investment for office space and other such regulations in regard to that. Selling online will also enable the business to find their right customer and reach out to them directly. Visibility of your business is greater and you are exposed to thousands and thousands of people. This also enables proper customer feedback which in turn will help you gradually improve your business/products.
People like Madhur Chauhan believed in themselves and backed their business idea to the hilt. Taking the first step towards Entrepreneurship is vital, otherwise an idea will never germinate into reality. Always ensure the quality of vendors that you employ in your business process to never compromise on quality, especially in areas like Logistics.
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