On a day when India and Pakistan battle it out at a crucial semi-final encounter in the Cricket World Cup 2011, it’s only appropriate that we feature a startup that is relying on the mad fervor that drives the Indian cricket fan.We at YourStory caught up with entrepreneur Adarsh Jain, co-founder of Cricket Weekly, which is a crowdsourcing platform for cricket lovers to design and buy cricket-based t-shirts. In this chat with YourStory, Adarsh speaks about the business idea behind Cricket Weekly and how they intend to scale based on our collective love for cricket.
If someone asked you to tell them about Cricket Weekly in about three sentences, what would you say?
CricketWeekly provides a platform where cricket lovers can connect together to create passionately, t-shirt designs. The idea is to spread magic of cricket in form of customized cricket-based t-shirts. It is a community of cricket fans, by cricket fans and for cricket fans, built around images.
How is Cricket Weekly different from other online t-shirt stores or cricket blogs?
We are not in the vertical of online t-shirt retail nor are we in the verticals of cricket blogs. We are creating a new vertical altogether. Cricket Weekly is a medium to manifest passion for cricket creatively by bringing images and art to real world, by printing them on t-shirts.
T-shirt designs based on cricket are uploaded by the cricket fans and anyone can order t-shirts based on the designs created by thesecricket fans (as they still own copyright of these designs). The person who uploads the design is paid royalty for each t-shirt sold. We will very soon be expanding into other cricket merchandise and cricket handicrafts.
How did the business idea for Cricket Weekly come about?I attended a talk by Joe Sabzo (a renowned American cartoonist) on "Power of Images" and was thinking about building a community of cricket fans around images. Prashant, my co-founder, was thinking of starting a site where quality cricket merchandise is available to cricket fans at an affordable price. During one of our casual discussions, we figured that we could combine the two concepts and spread the joy of cricket in both online and offline worlds.
Tell us about your background.
Prashant and I are both graduates from IT BHU 2004 batch. Prashant has also completed his MBA from IIM Bangalore. I worked in corporate sector for about four and a half years before starting my entrepreneurial journey while Prashant became an entrepreneur after completing his MBA.
Is there acceptance for your concept? How is the design community reacting to your venture?
We are getting a very encouraging response from both designers as well as buyers. We get a lot of appreciative mails. In fact, our logo is designed by one of the designers on our site.
Where do you see crowdsourced t-shirt design and Cricket Weekly five years from now?
We want to expand to other customizable cricket merchandise and handicrafts and also, target other cricket-playing nations. Five years from now, if anybody thinks about cricket and any tangible object, CricketWeekly should be the first name that comes to the person’s mind. We also intend to develop a platform for college, school and other cricket teams to order quality, customized merchandise as well as attract sponsors.
What is Cricket Weekly's revenue model?
Ours is a direct revenue-based model where we earn from sales of cricket-related merchandise, customized through crowdsourced designs.As an entrepreneur, what are your joys? What are the challenges?
The joy lies in seeing your idea taking shape, in creating value from raw passion and also, in creating wealth for yourself and your associates. The challenges are numerous. From getting a great team to finding good people to partner with, raising funds, keeping the team motivated, etc. are some of the challenges that we deal with.
How big is the Cricket Weekly team? Are you looking at hiring?
As of now, the CricketWeekly team has two people - Prashant and mysels. Abhishek, who runs a ERP consultancy firm (coreadvice.in), is on the advisory board and is also an angel investor.
Let us know about your expansion plans.
We have plans to expand into other cricket merchandise and handicrafts very soon. Also we want to launch India’s first cricket comic.
How has the journey been so far?
We get almost 3000 page views per day. Designs related to Sachin are really popular. So is this Cricket Dil Se series. We are in the process of developing the mobile site and Android and iPhone applications which would make it easier for users to interact with us.
As a nation, our passion for cricket is almost limitless. Cricket Weekly’s challenge will lie in converting that passion into purchases. We at YourStory wish this interesting cricket-based startup all the very best. To know more, check out http://cricketweekly.in. Also, do let us know what you think of this story. You can write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sriram Mohan | YourStory | 30th March 2011 | Bangalore