We talked to Gaurav Singh of Printster.in about customized solutions for the daily print needs of individual customers, and he had the following to say:-
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Gaurav Singh: No surprise here! Just like 7 billion others, we are also taking pleasure in small things with each other like playing board games, learning to cook, etc., and also struggling to get used to the new normal. The lockdowns brought families closer and gave us an opportunity to spend quality time – something which we all were taking for granted.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Printster.in.
Gaurav Singh: I started my career as a software engineer for a small company in 2012. Being from a technical background, I always used to think about how to make lives easier or how to tap into demands by using technology and codes. While struggling with these thoughts, we came up with this idea in 2013. That was the time when online shopping was gaining momentum in India, and people had started wanting everything to be delivered at the doorstep. Coming to printing, there were online platforms that used to provide merchandising but not your day-to-day printing solutions. Printster.in was conceptualized by my friends and me to focus on such solutions only. The website was designed in-house by us only and became live in the summer of 2014.
How does Printster.in innovate?
Gaurav Singh: We aren’t the regular next-door printers. We provide customized solutions even for the daily print needs of individual customers. While all online printing cos offer merchandising or B2B solutions only, we are more focused on B2C. Our team’s attention to detail, nag for finding errors in our own work, the quest for perfection, and most importantly, our empathetic approach has helped us stay ahead in the game as far as our set of audience is concerned. It has been 6 years, and we still keep on looking out for tools to improve the quality of our services and make the whole UX and UI experience more interactive. The zest for finding out ways to make things easier using codes while working towards tapping on the huge latent demand in this segment hasn’t worn down.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Gaurav Singh: Pandemic-driven lockdown was the worst period for Printster.in since its inception in 2014. For almost 3 months, we were out of work. We have to be in the office or our studio to get things moving, and this was not an option. This cost us a lot with fixed expenses including our employees’ salaries remaining the same. But since the lockdown was lifted, we have come out of the situation and have almost fully recovered. In fact, we are all excited about the new website and are more optimistic than ever!
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Gaurav Singh: We didn’t have to make any tough choices as far as HRs are concerned. We were very clear – our resources should not have to bear the financial brunt of pandemic. Single biggest lesson learnt – not to take things or variables for granted.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Gaurav Singh: It’s all about how you market yourself. Recovering from the pandemic, we started sending complimentary sanitized wipes and sachets of sanitizers or masks, randomly with all our packages to our consumers. This gesture was very well received by the end-users! Such small things make a huge impact on the mind of the person spending even the smallest amount of money.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Gaurav Singh: Touché! Following our lead, many people started similar services in different parts of the country. But those could not survive as copying a business model isn’t as sustainable as conceptualizing it.
Having said that, we see digitization as our competition. We keep seeing parabolic trends in demand patterns. But the smell and feel of the paperback is something which digitization cannot beat. And we are relying big time on this belief – hope we don’t go south from here!
Your final thoughts?
Gaurav Singh: As we are now getting back to our setup and people have started ordering again, we are hopeful that space is here to stay for us. Also, staying at home becoming important for students as also professionals, the demand for our services is poised to grow. We are always ready to face any challenges and go to any extent to make our customers happier! We are sure that our new website which is to come up shortly will provide more and simpler solutions!
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