Printo: redefining online (and offline) digital printing landscape in India

We have covered online photo printing services in India, but more than online, offline retailing channels are the ones where I see a strong mullah.

Printo is India’s first branded retail chain for print and document services which leverages digital and Internet technologies to offer print products of international standards. You can order business cards/photo prints/album prints etc online and collect the same in their retail stores.

printo

Printo is attempting to personalize the printing experience as well as setup the organized retail chain of printing services in India (pretty much on the lines of Kinko of US). The target customers are small and big businesses as well as consumers.

Digital Photo Printing Market in India

  • The Indian digital printing industry is projected to grow to $17 billion by 2010 from an estimated $11 billion in 2005, and growing at a CAGR of 85%.
  • According to industry estimates, one-third of digital work will be personalized by the end of 2007. (source)

I did a quick interview with Manish Sharma, founder of Printo and am glad to see their future plans of setting up printing stores in Tier-II cities by 2008.

Interview with Manish Sharma, founder of Printo

  • Please tell us more about Printo (and how the service works).
    Printo is a chain of print and document shops, serving individuals as well as businesses. Besides the regular colour and black and white printing, consumers can walk in and order from a range of predesigned products like business cards, invitations, brochures, photo calendars and several other products. Printo also offers remote ordering through its website www.printo.in
  • Please share some info about the founding team, and their background.
    Lalana Zaveri (ex-Xerox, Life Science Major, MBA from Nottingham, UK) and Manish Sharma (serial entrepreneur, B.E. in Computer Engg. and MBA from Oxford, UK)
  • Printo is targeting both corporate as well as retail customers – Is the retail usage limited to online ordering?
    Over 25% of Printo’s customers at physical shops are are individual consumers.
  • Printo has invested a lot in retail outlets/offline channel – What’s the strategy behind this?
    Printo is primarily a walk-in, retail service. This is how we deliver our services and it is not an alternate channel for us but our primary mode of business.
  • The printing business in India is still a low margin business – What are the other services you plan to offer in the near future?
    Printing worldwide is a competitive industry, but digital printing is growing at over 85% in India. We are consistently launching new products that help customers save time and money, while accessing high grade designs.
  • The digital printing business is highly unstructured. What are the challenges you see in this industry?
    Poor infrastructure (community amenities space and electricity) and trained manpower.
  • Please share your funding status.
    Funded by founders and Seedfund (www.seedfund.in)
  • Please share your future plans.
    250 stores across India by 2011
  • You have also co-founded NEVG. Please share some info about that.
  • NEVG was a software product firm investing in a platform for artificial intelligence technologies in the data extraction space. It developed some exciting products which did not see the market light post the 2000 bust.
  • Your tips to first time entrepreneurs in India (especially on seeking VC money)?
    Choose the right set of angels before moving on to VC stage.

tags: printo, online photo printing India

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