Learning with activities is an area which is seeing a lot of activity and startups are coming up with various ways in which education can be made more engaging. Imagimake wants to create fun, creative and constructive engagement ideas for kids through live workshops on crafts and other activities. The venture is co-founded by Ravi Kumar and his wife Disha Katharani. “Most parents were concerned about their kid’s excessive exposure to digital media at an early age (TV, video games and Internet) and the lack of alternate means of engagement. Through our products and workshops we are making an attempt to fill the void.” says Disha.
Ravi was a production engineer and an MBA from NITIE, which Disha is a liberal arts graduate and passed out from ISB in October 2011. Ravi has worked with Big Bazaar and Ernst & Young during the seven years of his corporate stint and handles operations at Imagimake. Disha is an avid arts and crafts enthusiast, who has worked with Crossword Bookstores, Reliance Big Entertainment and takes care of the creative aspect of the startup.
The idea of Imagimake dawned upon Ravi and Disha when they conducted workshops & camps in 2010 for kids, and observed that the parents were very appreciative of the activities. Till date, Imagimake has conducted more than 200 workshops at Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi in India. The kits sold through retail stores, online and offline, train kids on a variety of skill sets like puppet making, embossing, painting, puzzles, folk art and cartooning. “Each product is mapped to various child developmental needs across fine motor skills, cognitive development, social & emotional skills and speech & language development,” says Ravi about the USP of kits. Some products like chenille stems, felt and chalkboard paint are imported.The startup has engaged the services of some of the best child psychologist, school teachers and designers to develop their products. From conceptualization to design and marketing is done by an in-house team, while only a part of manufacturing process is outsourced. With an intention to keep the kits affordable and accessible to all, the prices of all the products at Imagimake are within Rs 500.
The startup makes it a point to introduce new product lines and techniques at regular intervals to engage the customers. “Most of the customers we serve come back to us because of the new product range and unique techniques that focus on holistic skill development,” says Ravi, For example, they have sponge painting with nursery rhymes to improve speech, social skills of children can be enhanced through Puppet making with storytelling and logical reasoning can be improved through colouring with puzzles.Their products are present in 200 outlets across Mumbai and Pune and they have also partnered with leading online players like as firstcry.com, babyoye.com, flipkart.com and allschoolstuff.com . Imagimake actively engages with preschools, activity centres, play zones etc. The startup banks on social media, word of mouth and brand promotion at malls for marketing. “Our latest shot is birthday parties for kids, where our attempt is to it a fun engagement with quality time unlike typical birthday parties,” says Disha.
Based in Mumbai, Imagimake has a team strength of 25 people. The startup managed to breakeven within a year of its launch and is currently looking out for investments to expand. Imagimake aims to be a leading player in the edutainment segment through innovative and creative offerings pan India.