Thursday, September 24, 2009

Online Printing and Design Business: Painting on Anything

"Everyone is gifted - but some people never open their package"

Be it hunting a unique gift for that special person, a token of recognition for your employees to celebrate their performance, expressing your support for a cause, or just a wearing a couple of lines on your t-shirt to show your attitude, it proves more complex than solving a Rubik's cube.


Well, not anymore. At Myntra they are here to simplify this cumbersome task into a couple of easy steps. Founded in July 2006, Myntra happens to be the brain wave of 6 guys from IIT/IIM background. It's an online platform where one can create or buy customized and personalized merchandize such as t-shirts, mugs, calendars, watches, notepads, and so on.

Mr. Mukesh Bansal, founder Myntra prints got the idea of printing just about anything on T-shirt, a coffee mug, a block of wood, glass or even a wall while he was working in US. After completing his B Tech in computer science from IIT Kanpur, he worked with a number of ocmpanies in the Silicon Valley before returning to India in 2006. Along with former IIT batchmates Ashutosh Lawania and Vineet Saxena, he began to think on customisation and personalisation in the design space as areas that would allow for self-expression for everyone, from individuals to corporates.


Initial investments were made by Bansal from the money that he saved while working in US for six years along with his partners. The investment made by IDG Ventures, NEA & Accel Partners helped Myntra to increase its employee strength which was not an easy task as attrition levels were pretty high at that point.

The bulk of Myntra’s business — around 65%—comes from corporate clients like ABB, Infosys, Verizon and Yahoo. A key challenge initially was to convince large corporates that Myntra’s offerings could take corporate gifting to a new level, something the small unorganised providers couldn’t possibly provide.

Their philosophy is to retain their clients and get repeat business. With over 400 customers now, the company has ensured that it has a dominant position in its market. Creating concepts into design takes a lot of creativity and efforts to execute. This has meant building a team of designers who work from the company’s Bangalore office housed in a three-storey building. Myntra has developed technology to put designs even on surfaces like wall tiles and concrete.

Flush with investments and high margins the company is on track to hit the million dollar revenue mark by this year end. Next year, the company aims to grow threefold to $3 million. The employees will also grow to about 150 in a couple of years. Myntra has tied up with Reebok and Nike for IPL customised T-shirts and is in talks with a retailer to set up physical stores to address the consumer segment.

They plan to open 15 stores by the year end. They are now giving a push to the B2C business. Along the way, they have got calls from people who want them to re-design a car or create a James Bond sports vehicle. Another one called to customise his house from the outside. A company wanted them to create a painting on a large canvas. Howver, more and more people now know what exactly they do, and the good part is, they know they can deliver as well.

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Photo Courtesy: Anirban Ghosh, Economic Times.

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