Looking for quirky gifts for loved ones? PropShop24 can hook it up for youLibza Mannan
E-commerce platform PropShop24 offers products curated from around the world. Partnering with 30 international design houses, the Mumbai-based startup offers over 5,000 well-curated products across diverse categories, and is eyeing a growth of 200 percent this year.
Remember the time when birthdays and anniversaries were celebrated with a Hallmark card, and a badly-stuffed teddy bear? Well, with the burgeoning e-commerce industry, we thankfully can put those antiquated gift options aside and get interesting stuff that mean something to the person we love. PropShop24 is one such new-age invention of two enterprising entrepreneurs that has spelled better gifting and convenient deliveries for customers, especially millenials.
Five years ago, the brand started with 90 quirky products curated from different brands. Backed by a team of 15 members today, it has over 5,000 products under categories such as home, stationery, fashion, gadgets, beauty & food. However, the brand’s quirky home accessories have become quite a favourite among consumers.
With an initial investment of Rs 12 lakh, the quirky brand was established in December 2012 by Amtosh Singh and Utsav Vohra. Amtosh brings aboard over eight years of experience spanning over a diverse portfolio of work, including marketing, events and digital verticals for IMG Reliance (Lakme Fashion Week, IPL, Chennai Open) among others. Utsav is a finance and economics graduate from RIT, New York. Prior to PropShop24, he was involved in his family business dealing in corporate gifts, and has also founded a production unit, Mint Graphics, which was into print packaging and branding material for fashion brands.
Amtosh and Utsav are college friends who share a passion for design and digital space.
He says that the love for good design, especially when there is a utility element, the absence of a one-stop shop for interesting products and gifts across categories where curation was a priority, and the desire to launch something of their own led to the birth of PropShop24.
“The difficult part while scaling is introducing your brand to new customers while ensuring your costs are kept low. For us, luckily our customers were our biggest proponents and their word of mouth helped us grow organically in the first two years,” he adds.
Propshop24’s many firsts
PropShop24 is India’s only online out-of-the-box brand that has collaborated with 30 international companies including Kikkerland, DCI and Monkey Business mainly from the US, Hong Kong, Germany and Israel. So far PropShop24 has worked with over 500 brands.
In addition to sourcing from global brands, the platform also has two in-house designers and has also collaborated with other designers for offering fun and quirky gifting options to consumers. When it comes to design, the brand has a strong focus on offering the latest funky products, which consumers would otherwise pick up on their international trips. Keeping this in mind, PropShop24’s artists design products for the startup which are either imported or manufactured at their in-house facility in Mumbai. However, only paper products including diaries, notepads are manufactured in-house.
With an aim to consistently innovate the brand, PropShop24 has a strong focus on new product launches, design collaborations and unique brands. In 2016, the brand launched India’s first Digital Pops – a model mainly based on curation and not flash sales, which introduces 20 new brands every week on the site for a limited period. In February 2017, the initiative ‘Anti Pop up’ went offline through a pan-India collaboration with Social and the brand has plans to showcase the top 30 brands every quarter. So far, it has completed two events with over 3,000 people in attendance.
Getting an edge over competition
According to industry estimate, gifting market is pegged at Rs 12,000 crore and is expected to grow exponentially in future. Considering the growth potential, the space is crowded with startups offering similar products, like ShoptoSurprise, The Wishing Chair, etc. However, considering the size and online presence of PropShop24, it mainly faces competition from brands like Chumbak and Happily Unmarried, which have gained a significant traction with their out-of-the box products.
The brand differentiates itself from other players for its strong focus on international designs and constant effort to introduce new products to portfolio, sourced from around the world.
“I would have to say the one thing that sets us apart is consistent relevant curation. We launch 200 new products every Monday and regularly launch interesting new categories and collections,” adds Amtosh.
Since inception, the brand is self-funded and has only further invested Rs 300,000 after its initial investment.
“We made sure and still continue to bootstrap at every step with investments mainly in ROI-driven marketing and relevant product that is fast moving. During our early stages, we relied on friends, family and social media to spread the word,” recalls Amtosh.
Over the last three years, the brand has grown consistently, witnessing a 150 percent year-on-year growth and is expecting to generate revenues of over $1.5 million this year. PropShop24 has recently launched a new website with categories such as Men, Beauty & Food and is working towards a private label for eyewear, travel essentials and stationery. PropShop24 is also launching two collaborations with big brands by the end of this year.