Having worked for over four years with various e-commerce start-ups in the US, Arpana Priyadarshini and her husband Jai Kumar decided to venture out on their own. Priyadarshini, smitten by the idea to turn entrepreneur, was convinced that India’s growing internet user base would be a good place to test waters. Thus was born www.PringOO.com, in 2007 which the duo claim is not just another web 2.0 company.
PringOO allows people to create, share and sell their unique designed products on the web. The website can personalise chocolate wrappers to mouse-pads, along with a plethora of products such as t-shirts, toys, mugs, posters among others.
So what’s new in a site that allows you to personalise products and buy them? The site also allows users to create their own ‘store’ and sell their designs through the store. “We provide a platform for designers to monetise their design and we take care of shipping, manufacturing and payment of the products,” said Priyadarshini. The designer gets a royalty of up to 15 per cent of the base price on every design sold via PringOO. No surprises that the company boosts of 1200 designers and a library of 20,000 designs. With 80 per cent of its designers from India, within the age group 25-45 years, PringOO is the perfect test-ground for any upcoming designer, declares Priyadarshini. She adds that almost 300 people register on her website every day.
As with every new venture, PringOO’s founders too had to overcome some initial challenges. “We started our venture in Bangalore but realised that material costs were too high, and so we moved base to Pune,” recalls Priyadarshani. Six months into the business, PringOO came face-to-face with yet another hurdle. Among the several payment options, it had cash-on-delivery for its products. “But we noticed that about 6-7 orders would be returned to us every day, as either the address was wrong or the person who ordered did not stay there .” The young start-up was left with a stack of personalised products that no one wanted and this lead Priyadarshini to scrap away the cash-on-delivery payment option
The site now boasts 8,000 unique visitors per day and the time spent by users on the site averages around 30 minutes. Priyadarshini says that close to 30 per cent of people who visit the site are non-resident Indians who want to send gifts to friends or family in India. Three months back, PringOO executed one its biggest corporate orders. “A UK-based multinational had placed an order for 3,000 t-shirts,” informs Priyadarshini, who has an MBA from Virginia, US.
With 70 per cent of its revenue coming from the ‘create and sell’ category, PringOO seems to have made a small beginning for itself. “We are still a small firm so any growth that we talk now looks big. The fact that we are seeing a 30 per cent year-on-year growth is a big consolation for us,” exudes Priyadarshini. The start-up is hopeful of breaking even this year.