Making the right imprint

Making the right imprint

Startup journey

Making the right imprint

Getting instant print of one’s last minute college projects, or printing one’s favourite celebrity’s poster, without having to wait in the queue is something one  looks forward to.

In today’s world, most services have ‘apps’ for easy accessibility and to make an instant connection with customers.

Manish Sharma, co-founder of Printo, developed ‘Pi’, a mobile application that helps print not only documents but also posters, photos and cards with the help of the nearest print shop.

A software engineer by profession, he along with two other co-founders Sidhant Panda(CTO) and Saksham Sahai (CEO), launched the concept and the app in December last year.

And since its inception, it has been getting rave reviews for its usability and accessibility from students and young professionals.

“Being in the print retail business, I travel quite often, and I have noticed that in most of the print shops, especially the ones near colleges and schools, there are long queues to get prints done. And at the same time, there are also shops that tries to earn a living through this,” he says.

“I saw this challenge everywhere and that’s when the whole idea of providing better and quicker print service (to these print shops and people) without having to stand in the crowd came to mind. Earlier, people had to bring their documents in a USB, but now just forwarding an e-mail through the phone is all they need to do. With the help of Pi, people can now choose a photo, select it and get a picture from a local shop,” says Manish.

With the use of ‘Pi’, people can also place an order through mobile phones to any local print shop and not specifically Printo shop.

“For instance, students can place an order of their project work while they are sitting in the canteen and can collect the same when they are leaving college. It is great for the shop owner too, because even he wouldn’t want to see a crowd around and offer poor services,” he adds.

The aim of this venture is to create a marketplace and focus on a business that is local and also identify a few things like people’s need for quicker printing solutions in a few hours.

“‘Pi’ presently works on any Android phone, however, we will soon be launching the iOS version as well. Once the app is installed in the phone, one can select any documents or photos. Once selected, pick a shop near by with the help of the map and visit the store in a span of half an hour to collect it. In case you don’t want to step out later, there is also an option of home delivery within 3 to 4 hours,”explains Manish.

On his research of whether there is any similar app, he says, it was surprising that he couldn’t find any.

Though he agrees that there are apps that allow one to print photos and posters, the only difference is customers will get the prints only after five to six days, and it is a single person who does that.

Ask him how is ‘Pi’ different from the rest and he says, “We are focussing on bringing in the local business, get attached to this and serve local customers. Since it’s at the  inception stage, we haven’t faced any competitors as such. As a marketplace I haven’t seen any application like this in India so far that can bring in different consumers. There was an app developed by an MNC, but that was only for large corporates. Ours is for common people.”

The app is targeting college students who loves to express themselves with posters (their favourite music bands, movie characters or motivational quotes), young professionals and business people who needs instant access to printed documents, etc and young mothers.  The main challenge is on the logistics side.

“Delivering within a few hours is something that our logistics’ providers are facing difficulties with. Convincing local shops to start delivering, having shops join our network  and identifying a good customer service shop are also challenging. We are trying to mitigate them,” he says.

Giving an overview of their future plans,  Manish explains, “We want to build our existing platform really well and slowly expand it to new cities across the world but the focus should be on giving the customers great experience and making it easy for the shopkeepers to service the requirements of the customers.

Presently, ‘Pi’ has its presence in Bengaluru and Hyderabad, we are also looking forward to launching it in Chennai and Pune shortly.”

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