In the words of Marcus Tullius Cicero “A room without books is like a body without soul.” And these days online bookstores are not only ushering us towards the books but also have changed the impression of the bookstores. TheStorez.com is one of them. YourStory had a conversation with Arvind, the founder of TheStorez where he talks about his entrepreneurial aspirations.
What was the basic business idea behind your venture?
We were passionate on starting an entrepreneurial venture. We discussed various business ideas that we could possibly implement and the idea of selling books appealed to us. To test the idea and understand more about the book industry and the book buyers, we put in a small seed capital, bought the best selling books and started promoting and selling books at few parks in Hyderabad on Sundays. We set up a small unit called 'Neomart Mobile Bookstore' in few prominent parks and were thrilled when we had people visit our stall and buy books with excitement. We had quite an experience and the sales were also good at times. The book market looked big to us and barring the popular fiction and general books which were available in most bookstores, the industry was fragmented. We saw a good opportunity for a book retailing service that can provide access to a variety of books to readers across the country. Over a period of time, we decided to start our book-selling plans with an online bookstore for delivery of books anywhere in India.
Tell us something about Thestorez.com.
It is an online bookstore in India for buying books from anywhere within India. We currently take orders from all over the world and deliver to customers within the country.We are thankful to a great number of loyal customers who keep our business running and we are also doing our best to create awareness among a lot of readers in the country and increase our loyal customer base.
What is that makes you different from other online bookstores?
We strive to excel in customer service and supply chain management. We believe the two are very closely connected and our mission now is to establish a very reliable supply chain to get our customers the books they want from anywhere in the world on time every time. We find it a very tough mission and we have not yet completely succeeded. But we are furiously working at it.
What made you enter the world of entrepreneurship?
I thought and dreamt I can do far better on my own. I also wanted to do something which can be both socially relevant and also financially rewarding. I was also passionate about becoming financially independent. During my two years of MBA at MDI, I had come across a lot of great people and books and they have had a lasting impression in my life. The most influencing thought is that I am going to go out and chase my dreams and not just keep thinking about it.
Any challenges so far?
There is no shortage of challenges in this nature of work and we have had different challenges at different times. The chief of them are: Financial, Psychological, Family-related tensions etc. We could go past many of these troughs in our journey only through perseverance and hard work.
What is the growth pattern of TheStorez in present?
We have been growing very well, but this growth is on a small base. Our challenge will be to maintain the growth rates for many more years to come. We are a team of 4 and are also supported by many more friends who are as passionate as us in helping us succeed.
What do you see in the future of TheStorez?
Our vision on a longer term is to be the most successful and respected online bookstore in India. Our mission in 2010 is to develop a very reliable supply chain to get any book on time to any of our customers.
What has been your strength so far?
Many things: Passion to win; Positive Attitude of my team; Encouragement from friends; Tolerance from family; Confidence in what we are doing. These things have always inspired me and I never felt like giving up.
Any moment of recognition?
We consider our customer feedback as the biggest recognition we can get. Though we have made occasional mistakes, our customers have been very kind with us and have showered us praise when we have done great work. The biggest achievement in the growth of our firm is the development of the people who were with us. I am very happy when I see our team: Ramesh, Dinesh, Mariappan, Mani grow their knowledge in this industry and do some wonderful things.
What word of advice would you like to give to the first generation entrepreneurs?
My favourite tips:
From the Rocky series: “It aint over till its over.”
From the poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it.
Kindly also update about any opening part-time, full-time, interns (paid/non-paid), business offering, placements if any.
We would like to hear from students in major cities like Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkatta interested in working part-time on some aspects of our business.
YourStory wishes Arvind and TheStorez.com all the the luck and hopes to see them climb the ladder of success.