Plowns, which launched its android app in May, enables parents to collate art pieces, creative writing, craft, etc., of their kids and also interact with other parents.
The traditional disciplinary way of raising children no longer finds favour with parents in the modern world who seek innovative methods to introduce their children to day-to-day activities. With several startups providing parenting tips that touch on all aspects of a child’s life, parents now get to know of fun and engaging ways of enabling their kids explore their passion and be more independent.
Plowns is a community that brings parents on a common platform for sharing the creativity of their kids. Parents of school going children (in the age group of three to 12) get to create an e-portfolio for their child which has every memory of his/her early years recorded — art pieces, creative writing, craft, fancy dress photos, etc. This e-portfolio can then be shared with other parents on the platform where they can interact and discuss different ways of instilling creativeness in their kids.
Based in Gurugram, Plowns is in the pre-revenue stage and it is working on various monetisation channels:
1) Customised merchandise — Parents will get to convert their child's artwork into merchandise like mugs, t-shirts, phone covers, etc.
2) Content distribution — A t-shirt line will be started in partnership with a t-shirt manufacturer to promote kids’ art. Plowns will allow brands to use the content uploaded on its platform to create branded merchandise.
3) Brand partnerships — This involves partnerships with brands on monthly contests/challenges, etc., allowing them to reach the entire user base of Plowns.
4) Premium memberships - Premium members will get access to Plown’s network of experts who will help the child improve in his/her areas of interests, get a yearly coffee table book highlighting his/her best work.
Plowns launched its android app in May this year and crossed 10,000 downloads on the PlayStore with more than 1,000 daily active users.
“We actually started as a website last year, and the android app went live only about a month ago. But we are revamping the website completely and will be launching a progressive web app any day now. This will allow us to offer an app level experience to even our iOS and desktop users,” says Adarsh, Founder, Plowns.
Speaking of how he thought of Plowns, Adarsh says that as a child and even as an adult, he was dismayed by the lack of avenues for kids to showcase their creativity and nurture their talents. Without the right kind of encouragement, kids often let go of their passions and move towards professional pursuits.
Adarsh, who hails from small town, Sangrur, in Punjab, narrates the journey that has led him to Plowns. He says that his childhood ambitions of becoming a pilot, actor, astronaut, writer, by turns, got moderated once he realised he was no Sachin or Jeffrey Archer. But his love for cricket didn’t dampen and he captained his district team towards runners up positions in the school games of Punjab. For college, Adarsh decided to emulate his father’s career as a chemical engineer and went to Punjab University. However, after all this time, Adarsh had realised the value of charting one’s own path and following one’s passions.
“Towards the end of my MBA, I held innumerable discussions with some of my closest friends about starting a magazine which would feature articles written by children. At that time, the plans could not materialise but when I eventually decided to start my own venture — I went back to the original idea and added an online twist to this,” says Adarsh.
After an MBA from IIM Indore, 30 years old Adarsh joined Vodafone which exposed him to the much talked about corporate boredom. He soon moved to the on-demand food delivery startup, Faasos, and worked there for three years. His key role in the entire decision-making process at Faasos readied him for an entrepreneurial adventure. Besides, the years he spent working for Zomato and WeAreHolidays also helped Adarsh.
Sculpting the idea
Plowns was originally planned and conceptualised by Adarsh along with a friend who had to back out because his financial commitments that didn't allow him to quit his job. However, that did not deter Adarsh who spent all his savings on his new venture. Jaydeep Barman (Co-founder of Faasos and Adarsh's ex-boss) is the mentor of Plowns.
Recalling the earlier days, he said that the target audience for Plowns stopped picking up calls or replying to messages. But he did not shy away from expressing his gratification towards Jaydeep Barman (Co-founder of Faasos and his ex-boss).
Today, Plowns largely focusses on two mediums: social media and schools. According to Adarsh, bulk of its users discovered Plowns through social media. An add-on product will soon be launched through which schools will share with the parents what their kids do in classrooms on Plown’s app. In North India, 20 schools have already signed up for this pre-launch.
Their new feature-customised merchandise will also go live and parents will be able to convert their child’s artwork into keepsakes like mugs, t-shirts, and phone covers. At present, Plowns has a team of six people. In the next two years, they aim to expand the platform within India and reach a 10 million user mark. To achieve the same, they will soon add video as a medium for capturing a much wider range of kids' creativity. The projected revenue for Plowns is of Rs 1o crore for 2017-18.
In India, the space of parenting has already seen the entry of a number of startups which have made their mark by helping parents choose the best way to bring up their kids. A few of such organisations would be BabyChakra, ZenParent, MyChild App, Uolo, Knit App, Parentcircle, and mySchoolApp.