India’s demography is changing. With the country’s rising standards of living, parties have become a part of life to many. The growing party culture among the youth demographic, as well as high net worth individuals (HNIs), creates high demand for party supplies in this segment. For every party, good party props, party decorations, party clothes, invitation cards, accessories, etc are needed. This rise in demand for party-related goods has given rise to startups which are catering to this new section.
‘Party entrepreneur’ is a new buzz word, and both men and women are competing in this category. From birthday parties, to office parties, to marriage parties, these entrepreneurs provide supplies for all kinds of parties. For example, Pranshu Maheshwari’s Inneriver is a startup which offers designing solutions in the field of invitation cards.
It all began in 2009 when Pranshu, a designer with an advertising firm, designed the invitation cards for a friend’s cocktail party. The card’s theme and design were admired by all the guests. It was a ‘Eureka!’ moment for him. As he did not know of any such service for professional invites, he saw an entrepreneurial opportunity in this segment. In 2010, he launched Inneriver – a company centered around design and creative solutions, which mostly caters to HNIs and corporates.
“Our invite ideas are unique. Other invite players are still doing the print-your-name invites, with just a few color and paper customizations. But sadly, there is no ingenuity to the invite. We at Inneriver believe that an invite is not merely a piece of information; it’s also a piece of communication,” says Pranshu, Founder, Inneriver.
In the FY 2014-2015, Inneriver touched an annual turnover of Rs. 3 crore. “We will now be mainly focusing on building our exclusive high-end offering: customised invite design services. Another area we wish to focus on is retail. With our ongoing marketing plan, and preparations for the FY 2015-16 wedding season, we are aiming to exceed Rs 10 crore by 2016,” says Pranshu.
Funcart.in, an online store for party supplies, is another startup in this segment. Founded by Ritika Nangia, the website sells party supplies for kids’ parties, bachelorette parties, baby showers and theme parties, among others. It claims to offer choices from an inventory of 2000 party products.
The idea came about when Ritika once had to arrange her brother-in-law’s child’s birthday party.
Purchasing cheap but good props and accessories for the children to wear at the party was such a hassle. They did manage to get those items, but at five times the regular price, from a nearby shop. It was then that she realized the need for stores which offered such products.
So in March 2015, she started her venture, with an initial investment of Rs 30 lakhs, spent mostly on stock. It has been growing at the rate of 50 percent month-on-month.
“Mom and pop stores dealing in party supplies burn holes in pockets by supplying stuff at exorbitant prices. At the same time, they do not provide one a full range and variety in products. Our mantra is that everyone must party without burning holes in their pockets. Our target audience is broad; it ranges from moms-to-be, kids from the age of one to youngsters, unmarried women, and married couples,” says Ritika.
She adds that even though competition is high, she expects to grow at a very fast rate. She is poised to break into the top three party companies in the country within the year. The USP of Funcart.in is that it makes party celebrations memorable and fun, by selling exclusive party items at affordable prices.