Textbuk.in is a Pune based startup offering text books on rent. Service currently, available to engineering and diploma students at Pune University has 900 users and rented out approximately 3,000 books last semester. In addition to renting out books, venture supports sustainability and plants a tree for every new student subscriber thus helping them contribute towards environment.
How does the service works?
Company reaches out students by mix of online and offline marketing. Kiosk marketing in done in various colleges, where list of books (offered by company) is shared with students.
Books from 8-9 publishers (the ones used by students at Pune University) are available with the company at this point. Textbuk.in maintains stock of books requested frequently and rest are procured as and when request comes in.
Student can send a request online or on phone with details of subject, book name or publication. Textbuk.in team then reverts back to the student to take up the specifics of request. Book is made available to the student in 3 days with COD option. In case of used books, student has the option to accept/reject the book after looking at condition of the book.
Delivery and cash collection team is in-house due to challenges related with external agencies in cash-on-delivery model, which is key requirement of student community.
e-Commerce version of offering is still under development – inventory of books will be available online soon.
Student has to pay 75% of MRP in the beginning of semester. 35% of MRP is treated as deposit and refunded at end of semester, on return of book. So, effectively student gets 60% discount on MRP. In addition, there are other schemes / plans available for students.
Company maintains strict return and damage policy. In case of book damage (torn pages, scribbling with pen in blank places etc.) deductions are made in accordance with the policy.
Startup has been in operation for one year now, and plans to focus on Maharashtra in short term. Immediate expansion plans include launch of service in three more universities including Mumbai, Shivaji and Aurangabad University.
Service of Textbuk.in is somewhat similar to Chegg.com in US, who has helped 18.4 million college students solve a pain point — the high cost of textbooks.
What’s your take on offering of Textbuk.in?