Sahil Baghla, final year student at IIT Kanpur, has opted not to participate in placements. He has always dreamt of running his own venture, which came true five months back when he co-founded Bluegape along with Ayush Varshney, a second year student at IIT Kanpur.
At Bluegape, you can order customized posters online and they will be delivered at your doorsteps. In past 5 months, startup has delivered >5,000 posters across India
Q&A with Sahil Baghla (Co-Founder & CEO, Bluegape)
PI: How did you come up with the idea of selling posters online?
We were finding it difficult to find posters for walls in our room as per our requirement. This made us think, if same need exists with other students as well. We sent out a mail to all the students at IITK (intranet) to validate our hypothesis and got very promising response.
We were all set and came up with a website in next few days. Our idea went viral on campus and we sold 2,000 posters at IIT Kanpur itself.
Q: How does your offering work?
After landing on the website customer has two choices to choose a poster. Either they can chose an image from the existing gallery or provide us with image of what they want to print on the poster along with size required.
As next step, our design team checks quality of picture (for size to be printed), and gets back to the customer with a draft of poster. Once we get a nod, we get the job printed at a printer locally in Kanpur.
Poster is ready to be shipped within 24 hours.
PI: How does the payment work? Do you offer cash on delivery?
No, posters can have very high cancellation at last moment. So we are not offering cash on delivery. We use Gharpay’s cash before delivery services.
PI: You have been able to sell 5,000 posters over past five months. How did you generate this sort of demand?
Most of it has been through word of mouth. We promoted ourselves in cultural festival at IIT Kanpur. Now, we are in the process of appointing student ambassadors in various colleges.
PI: How are you different from other websites selling customized merchandize?
Firstly, we are catering to a niche segment – youth in age group of 18-20.
Secondly, I know few more online portals into youth merchandize, but have not found youth community aware about them.
PI: What is your vision for Bluegape?
We want to cater to youth and provide them with products which are cool and are not readily available otherwise. Soon, we will be adding merchandise and few other products.
We also want to promote work of upcoming photographers and artists through this platform. Artists can add their photographs / art to our gallery. If a customer buys a poster with their work, we will pay them royalty. We are in the process of creating community for photographers. Bluegape has got seed capital of 10 lacs and will be incubated at business incubator of Times of India Group. Recently, two more batchmates of mine– Mukesh Chopra and Devanshu Bhimwal have joined the team.
Update1: Since this post has been published and audience has highlighted potential copyright issues, PI team has been trying to reach the founder. However, we have failed to establish contact and cell phone is also continuously switched off (founders were traveling).
Our advice to Bluegape – We appreciate their passion and energy for starting up but would recommend that they should act on the copyright issues at the earliest, in case they have not taken this into account so far.
We would also like to thank the audience for bringing this to our notice.
Update2: Notes from founders: They are very well versed with all the copyright norms and understand that they cannot grow by breaking norms. Initiative to print from gallery was rolled out 2-3 days back, where company gave access to few of their users to upload pics which are not moderated at this point. They are in the process of setting up moderation processes to address this matter.
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