What’s the simplest way to score maximum in a college exam? Just go through previous couple of years’ question papers. However, finding previous years’ question papers isn’t easy. Typically students pursue seniors, librarians or offline books to find these question papers.
When Raghavendra and Sreekesh (students of Anna University) were in the first year, the duo faced a lot of trouble accessing previous years’ question papers. Sensing this pain point, the duo decided to aggregate question papers from previous years online. “It made more sense as there was no portal exclusively for question papers,” says Sreekesh, Co-founder of Paperhut.
Paperhut is an online platform for engineering students. “We first solved the question paper problem and made things really simple for them. Later, we realised that prices of engineering textbooks shoot up every year, so this is the next problem we have decided to solve,” adds Sreekesh.
Launched in November 2012, Paperhut initially received a warm response from students. At the same time, the duo observed that teachers also began using this tool to start setting question papers. “About a year-and-a-half back, we got ourselves incorporated as Paperhut Education Private Limited and managed to get our own small office space as well,” reveals Raghavendra.
As the response grew, Paperhut received requests from a couple of colleges asking if this can be provided for all their students. “We tweaked our tool a bit to provide direct and easy access to all the students of our partner colleges. So far, we have partnered with a few colleges in Tamil Nadu and we're in talks with a few others to work together as well,” says Sreekesh.
With a lot of students trying to reach out to their seniors and the unorganized flea markets to buy used books at a cheaper rate, the duo decided to streamline the process and make it easy for students. At present, college students can order used books from Paperhut and get them delivered to their college hostel or residence.
“We have both buying and rental options where the students can choose any 6 books of any author and rent them for just Rs.799 or purchase them for Rs.1499,” adds Raghvendra. The response so far has been decent and currently the startup is shipping about 40 sets each day. The books can be ordered online or on Whatsapp.
“As of now we are offering engineering books in Tamil Nadu only and planning to expand to southern states soon,” adds Raghvendra.
Besides Sreekesh and Raghvendra, Krishna Murari and Thiruvenkadam are the other co-founders of Paperhut. In the near future, the company intends to reach out to a lot more students. “The next problem we are trying to solve is a really interesting one, it’s going to be one that's worth waiting for,” adds Sreekesh, not willing to reveal anything more at this point.
The venture competes with Delhi-based Bookstreet and Paperlibrary.