Sandeep Kumar, MagazineMall: Retailing magazines & books online in an ‘e-bricks’ model

28th Jun 2011
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YourStory in conversation with entrepreneur Sandeep Kumar on the business idea behind MagazineMall

Sandeep, please introduce us to MagazineMall.

We are focused on retailing publications in an ‘e-bricks’ model across India and the rest of the world. On offer is a comprehensive order catalogue of publications in the magazine, professional journals and books categories, with reading collateral packaged as packs across verticals and interests, to suit both individual and institutional preferences. We also deliver anywhere in the world.

How is MagazineMall different from other online magazine/book shops?

We have invested in full business cycle processes - right from product guidance, procurement and up to delivery responsibilities. We aggregate various titles from different publishers and ship them on time to our customers, individual and institutional alike. This means a major saving in time for our customers, in terms of sampling and choosing from titles and categories, in finding solutions that fit their budgets, with predictable delivery timelines and ease of tracking the fulfillment.

How did the business idea for MagazineMall come about?

A mall is usually a ‘one stop’ destination for the individual or a family alike. We were inspired to save time for readers by reducing the procurement hassles. Yes, we listen to our customers and take on the overheads of servicing their reading requirements. So far, we’ve invested my life savings and borrowed money from my wife.

Tell us about your background.

In my professional career, I have worked on dimensions such as people processes, organization development, staffing, process automation, vendor delivery assurance, ethics frameworks, services assurance etc. I have worked with industry leaders like Hughes Software (now Aricent), The Computer Sciences Corporation and COLT Technology Services (a Fidelity company). Academically, I am a management graduate from XLRI, class of ’89.

What is MagazineMall’s revenue model?

Our stepping stone has been marketing publications on behalf of leading publishers, based on margins. We have also moved up the value chain a little to offer subscription management and logistics solutions to some emerging media groups. Sampling and D2C promotions are the next revenue goals that we’d like to realize. We are building competence and a solid customer base on our own steam right now. Funding to fuel growth is planned over the next one year.

How big is the team behind MagazineMall? Are you looking at hiring?

MagazineMall

We are a team of 10 people right now. There is the front-ending team, the content and process team and of course, the logistics team. Most are management graduates or post graduates. Our processes are workflow and technology-enabled. And yes, we want to grow the marketing and customer interfacing functions in the near future.How has the journey been so far? Let us know about your expansion plans.

It’s been an exciting journey. Currently, we offer a portfolio of more than 450 magazines and also source from publishers across the globe. A little more than a year has seen us addressing more than 5000 retail requirements and over 150 institutional/corporate customers’ requirements. But we get to service relatively smaller ticket value, as we are new.

Apart from building capability for a few new revenue streams, we would like to enhance reach to end customers, especially in the institutional segment. Over the next 2 years, we’d like to be present in key geographies in West and South India as well.

We at YourStory.in wish Sandeep and MagazineMall much success. To know more about this venture, check out http://www.magazinemall.in/. Also, do let us know your views on this story by writing to us at feedback@yourstory.in.

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