Kavita Singh Jhala, founder of Kaffeinated Konversations, shares her experience with Team YourStory.
She says, "In Indore, the readers and writers/bloggers are hardly connected with each other. Also, artists, both nonprofessional and professional, keep to themselves. Though by nature these people tend to be loners, they definitely like to be connected. Kaffeinated Konversations is a step towards bringing them together on the community platform. It is done through kaffeinated meetups, Inscape and Art Cove events. The second aspect that KK is working on, since November 2016, is the promotion of Indian authors with the #MakeInIndia initiative. Its monthly subscription, Book Box, highlights the books by Indian authors."
Kavita is the sole founder of Kaffeinated Konversations, and she embarked on this roller coaster ride on 10th April 2016. It launched its brand product, KK Book Box, on 1st November last year.
Thirty five-year-old Kavita started her career with Concepts Institute of Education, dealing with International Training Programmes with the University of Cambridge, UK. She worked there for more than five years. Then, in 2014, she volunteered to spearhead eChai Ventures, an ecosystem builder for startups and entrepreneurs. She is also the ex-Cofounder of Rising Litera, a community that she had founded with the same vision she is carrying forward with Kaffeinated Konversations.
Kaffeinated Konversations is creating a culture of social space. Through community meets, events, the KK Book Box brand and tie-ups with publishing houses and authors, it promotes reading, writing, arts and crafts. This involves online and offline promotions, book launches, author interviews, book reviews, and more.
The company has a themed book box every month. It offers customisation, and its books are by Indian authors. Their merchandise is from Indian startups.
Kavita adds, "Basically, I am encouraging the readers to build their own libraries and have their own stock of knowledge. Each book is an experience in itself. So, meandering through one's own stock of books encourages reading/writing at a young age. India ranks low in reading - only 34 pages reading on an average compared to 2,000 pages in many countries. India ranks eighth in the world for book publication and has more than 60,000 libraries. Shouldn't this lead to more readership?"
In India, around 635 million people are literate, and out of that, hardly 23 percent live in urban areas. Most readers, however, come from the urban areas. Those in the rural areas do not easy have access to books written in English. Those written in the vernacular languages are less pursued. The company’s target is both the areas across age groups.
Its business model is based on collaboration with publishing houses and startups, which provide merchandise. Its revenue sources are book reviews, author events, training events, workshops, collaboration with literature fests and its own library. Young readers in high school and college, entrepreneurs, educators, housewives, writers and artists together make up its customer base.
Currently, the company has eight interns. They are based in different parts of India. Other than this, it has six core members who give their inputs for kk events, meetups and other activities.