KopyKitab is India’s first online textbook rental portal. This interesting venture offers books that cater to students of mechanical, civil engineering to management and medicine, more affordable and accessible. It was founded by entrepreneurs Mohit, Sumeet and Sandeep. Mohit is the CEO and founder of CarWale.com, while Sumeet was the General Manager (North America) of a luxury retail chain and Sandeep has worked for Quest, and with Novo as a business development manager before establishing Kopykitab.
In a candid conversation with Anisha Mehta from YourStory.in, Co-founder Sandeep, shares more.
How did you guys meet?
Sumeet and I were looking to start something on our own when we met Mohit who discussed his business model with us. Looking at the growth and size of Indian education industry, it was a great idea and we decided to give it a shot. We explored and tested the model and after getting positive feedback, we launched Kopy Kitab Pvt Ltd. We remembered the times when we were frustrated by the high cost of books while studying in college; when we had to borrow books from our friends or photocopy them. We thought we need to make this process affordable and therefore we thought of providing students easy rental solution. And then, with an initial capital of Rs 6 lakhs, KopyKitab was born.
Why rent a book if a student can buy it from a local store?
At KopyKitab, we believe in cost, convenience and saving paper. A student can save up to 90 per cent of a book’s MRP by renting the book from our site, getting it delivered and picked up later from his doorstep. Also, KopyKitab ensures availability of all textbooks provides hassle-free book renting solutions.
How has the response been?
It is a seasonal business. We started with two to three book orders per day and now, we are shipping 100 books per day.
Is it challenging to survive in the e-commerce space especially when similar ventures exist in the market?
Logistics, payment collection with payment gateway-high rates or COD are a few challenges of a start up. To add to that, hiring good talent is a challenge in any start up. There are similar players in the market but we believe that we have three key market differentiators - service, service and service.
How big is the team as of now?
Our current team strength is 21.
How does your supply chain work?
Currently, we have our procurement office inDelhiand we are using a mix of our own delivery setup and courier services to deliver the books.
Do you plan to expand to other cities?
By July 2012, we will be operational in six cities and by the end of 2012 we plan to be operational in 10 towns acrossIndia.