A storyteller meets a Gujju geek and a Buddhist to start Printajoy
Right from raising INR 100,000 via crowd sourcing to getting a package box designed or a product video made for free, everything about Printajoy has a ‘Gujju’ essence. Started by three Gujjus (slang for Gujaratis), the startup provides an affordable online printing solution for your Instagram photos. But what separates Printajoy from any other similar startup is their journey. According to Jayneil Dalal, co-founder of Printajoy, it was coming together of three people who were meant to be, something like in the movies!
Two lessons and two co-founders
Jayneil Dalal wanted to be an architect but his parents convinced him to pursue engineering and his unwillingness to leave Gujarat took him to NIRMA University for undergraduate studies. In his final year, amidst all the chaos and confusion, he learnt his very first lesson in life – ‘If you really like what you’re doing, keep doing it.’ Though Jayneil went to the US for his masters and then took up a job there (he still works there), this advice came handy for him on many occasions and while making choices.
Jayneil met Sohil Patel (co-founder) in college through common friends. While describing Sohil in his blog, Jayneil wrote, “He is a Gujju geek who lives to hack stuff! In his spare time, you will find him programming or building innovative projects using Raspberry Pi, Kinect, Arduino etc.” But it was in his final year when he decided that if he were to ever start his venture he would want Sohil to be his co-founder. Recalling a critical incident, he says, “When I was once unwell in my seventh semester, Sohil took good care of me without worrying about his own academics.” Jayneil was very touched and to emphasise his point illustrates the scene from the movie, ‘3 Idiots’, where a character is similarly nursed back to good health by his friends. “I realized that many startups end up failing because of co-founder disputes; it is very crucial to find the right co-founder(s),” he says.
Jayneil’s inclination towards robotics and FOSS (Free Open Source Software) and Sohil’s programming expertise led them to set up their first venture JaySo Labs (the name derived from their respective first names). It was the first of its kind initiative to help students give access to hardware boards and modules along with mentorship for a membership fee. It has been funded by the Gujarat government in an effort to replicate the model across the state.
The ‘idea’ and the third co-founder
Talking about the idea behind Printajoy, Jayneil says, “People love photographs and Indians have a thing for printed photographs. Our third co-founder Kishan Thobhani was already working on a similar idea. He is in his 20s and is a Buddhist. He has designed websites and web services for many international companies, including the likes of Seagate and Cirrus 10. So, our resources were in place and without thinking about the scale or scope of our venture we went ahead with the plan.” Explaining the balance of thoughts in the company which is brought in with three co-founders, Jayneil adds, “We are all different personalities. While Kishan and I used to go overboard, Sohil, the practical guy, would stop us from taking any decision in haste. It is always good to have two-three co-founders as they complement each other and bring different perspectives to the table.”
Market research, fund raising and logistics
“To be honest, the idea of Printajoy is not like Google or Facebook and we knew that raising money will be tough. So to figure out what people thought about the idea, we went ahead with crowd sourcing. The reason for choosing Wishberry was not only traction but the fact that it teaches you how to raise money and keeps you on timelines. Within a short span of time, we could raise the required capital (INR 100,000).”
Finally, Sohil took care of logistics, Jayneil got the responsibility of marketing and video creation and Kishan helped with the website design and technology.
The final product
Printajoy gives you option to get your Instagram photos printed at an affordable price of INR 179 for 10 photographs (print) or 20 stickers and INR 279 for 20 photographs. With the tagline, ‘Your joy. We print. Your smile’, Printajoy is clear about offering the best customer service in the industry and with Sohil hailing from Baroda where the printing work takes place, the company has cut down a lot of cost by exploiting local relations.
At present, Jayneil works at Intel (in the US) during the day because of his passion for open source and the intention of saving some money. He further added, “As of now I am juggling between both Printajoy and Intel, but I will not mind quitting soon.”
“Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to begin. Beginning makes the conditions perfect.”
These lines by Alan Cohen summarize the story of Printajoy. The intentions and actions are in sync for the company till now. We will keep you posted with further updates on where destiny takes Jayneil, Sohil and Kishan next.