Error message

  • User warning: The following module is missing from the file system: entity. In order to fix this, put the module back in its original location. For more information, see the documentation page. in _drupal_trigger_error_with_delayed_logging() (line 1128 of /home/pssmagazine/public_html/includes/bootstrap.inc).
  • User warning: The following module is missing from the file system: entity_token. In order to fix this, put the module back in its original location. For more information, see the documentation page. in _drupal_trigger_error_with_delayed_logging() (line 1128 of /home/pssmagazine/public_html/includes/bootstrap.inc).
  • User warning: The following module is missing from the file system: path_breadcrumbs_i18n. In order to fix this, put the module back in its original location. For more information, see the documentation page. in _drupal_trigger_error_with_delayed_logging() (line 1128 of /home/pssmagazine/public_html/includes/bootstrap.inc).
  • User warning: The following module is missing from the file system: path_breadcrumbs_ui. In order to fix this, put the module back in its original location. For more information, see the documentation page. in _drupal_trigger_error_with_delayed_logging() (line 1128 of /home/pssmagazine/public_html/includes/bootstrap.inc).
  • User warning: The following module is missing from the file system: path_breadcrumbs. In order to fix this, put the module back in its original location. For more information, see the documentation page. in _drupal_trigger_error_with_delayed_logging() (line 1128 of /home/pssmagazine/public_html/includes/bootstrap.inc).

Special Feature

  • 410

    We were different. Brands found it welcoming that there was someone willing to pay that 70 percent duty and buy. Our margins were limited to 15 to 20 percent in the early days, but we were setting up a business and getting products customers wanted. Modern retail was picking up, malls had started emerging, and disposable income was rising.

    In 2002, Bengaluru got a new fancy address for a stationery store: William Penn. Nikhil Ranjan launched William Penn with the idea of bringing in a lifestyle-driven stationery store to India, one that provided the touch-and-feel element.  

    Launched as a word-class alternative to the neighbourhood stationery store, Bengaluru-based William Penn now has its own label and products, tie-ups with premium brands like Cross, Waterman, and Sheaffer, and a turnover of Rs. 100 crore. 

    “Until then, a stationery store translated into small kirana-like stores, which didn’t have specific brands and premium appeal,” Nikhil says.
     A mechanical engineer from National Engineering College, Mysore, Nikhil had by then been placed at IBM. 

    However, he soon realised that neither software engineering was his cup of tea, nor was a regular nine-to-five job. Setting up a stationery store came naturally to Nikhil whose father has a manufacturing setup for stationery in Mysuru, which was established in 1987. But Nikhil wanted to do something different from the family business.  

    Started with an investment of Rs. 30-Rs 35 lakh, William Penn now has a turnover of Rs 100 crore. It offers its own pen brand PennLine, and has tie-ups with premium brands like Cross, Waterman, and Sheaffer to name a few. 

    Building the business from ground up 

    In the early days, Nikhil says the team was clueless on how to run a business. “We just knew there was an innate need for stationery and put things together, without even thinking of how the supply chain would work. What worked for us was that we were responding to what the customer wanted.” 
    “Initially, vendors supply to you only if you can guarantee certain volumes. And we can’t justify that. This is a challenge for any business,” Nikhil says. 

    He adds that getting the ‘yes’ from the vendors wasn’t a problem; the problem was after that. 
    The brand had now set up a complete distribution network and supply chain. But back then, the team had to start from scratch. Launched with seven people, William Penn is now a team of over 300 people.  

    Every brand was happy to have an inquiry and representation in India, but the price points and import duties surprised many.  In early 2000s, setting up a supply chain was tough as export duties were extremely high - upwards of 70 percent.  

    “We were different. Brands found it welcoming that there was someone willing to pay that 70 percent duty and buy. Our margins were limited to 15 to 20 percent in the early days, but we were setting up a business and getting products customers wanted. Modern retail was picking up, malls had started emerging, and disposable income was rising,” Nikhil says.  
    The first brand that William Penn helped succeed was Pelican, a German brand.  

    “I remember meeting the representative at the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai. He was most excited about staying at the Taj. He was the export manager at Pelican and was retiring. He heard from me, and possibly thought of it as his last chance to visit India. He was clear that I had to meet him there. This was in 2003,” Nikhil recalls.  
    After Pelican came on board, other brands slowly started joining.  

    Focusing on retail 

    For the first couple of years, the team focused on retail; it opened its first store at Koramangala in Bengaluru, and second store at Forum Mall in Bengaluru in 2004.  Another external factor that helped in the growth of the business was the presence of e-mail, which helped the team reach out to different brands and vendors.  
    William Penn started becoming cash positive from the second year. It started with a revenue of Rs 2 crore.  

    In 2005, the team expanded to Mumbai to tap the residents’ huge spending power. By then, the company was also getting corporate orders, many of them from India’s commercial capital, and it made sense to open a store there. 

    William Penn’s team was now marketing products in print and on radio. The hoardings ensured that malls received good footfalls.  

    “We got a good break in 2007 when we got an opportunity to open our store at the Hyderabad airport. It gave us a lot of visibility. It helped us get a store at the Delhi airport in 2010,” Nikhil says.  

    B2B and the William Penn label  

    While the company was building physical stores, the team started getting B2B orders from iGate and ING Vysya for writing instruments and stationery.  
    Physical stores may have been the primary source of revenue when Nikhil started the business, but today they contribute a little less than 50 percent of the overall revenue; the rest is courtesy B2B and other channels.  In 2015, the team decided to launched its own pen brand: PennLine.  
    Nikhil says that in early 2000s international brands did not have the Indian consumer in mind while making products. “We saw this as an opportunity and the Indian market was maturing,” he says.  

    By then, William Penn was making revenues of Rs 75 crore.  

     

    Thu, 12/12/2019
  • 409

    In times when artificial intelligence, robotics, and virtual reality are making their presence felt in every sector, these five startups are using technology to mix entertainment with education.

    But as new-age as it might sound, edutainment is not an entirely novel concept. It has existed as part of oral tradition, in the form of fables and parables for ages, driving home key values and lessons to young learners. Only with time, these mediums have been taken over by tech tools, replacing traditional pedagogical techniques with gamified apps and storytelling with an interactive experience.

    Slow and steady for sure, but entrepreneurs closer to home have set the ball rolling for the Indian edutainment market. If the various market reports are any indication, at the moment, this sector accounts for a whopping $6 billion market share. And this vertical is only bound to grow from here, thanks to a renewed interest from a host of innovative domestic startups that have taken upon themselves to blur the lines between “Education with Entertainment”.

    At the heart of this segment, though, the idea remains the same: To make learning seamless by engaging students and young learners – mostly aged 12 and below – in fun and immersive experiences through the means of smartphones and other internet-connected devices, virtual reality-powered tools, and other gamified digital learning content.    
    Here’s a look at 5 such Indian startups who are bridging the gap between education and entertainment in India:

     

    Ontamo Entertainment – Ria Rabbit 

    That quality tech has penetrated deeper into the pockets of India 2.0 – or Bharat – when compared to quality education and good educational infrastructure shouldn’t come as a surprise. But what should indeed raise concern is how little thought is put into the curation of edutainment content for the youngest consumers in India, aged six and below. 
    Mumbai-based Ontamo Entertainment, which is dedicated to creating original, monetisable intellectual properties for all age groups across multiple channels, understood this concern and developed a premier product called Ria Rabbit. It is, as the company claims, India’s first age-appropriate, culturally relevant home-grown intellectual property for children in the age group of zero to six years.

    "Since young minds are especially impressionable, it is imperative to ensure that children are exposed to age appropriate content, The core idea is to offer an engaging and organic paradigm that captures the attention of our young audience while inculcating within them a passion for learning." - Co-founder and CEO of Ontamo Entertainment, Prashant Pinge.

     

    Panda & Wolf Holding – Eco-warriors 

    Why restrict the benefits of edutaiment to maths and sciences, when it can be used to create a deeper and long-lasting impact on young minds and raise awareness about the environment? With this in mind, husband-wife duo Veda and Brian Dean – the founders of Panda & Wolf Holding – created a mobile gaming app for children between the age of six and 11 to create an awareness about the environmental crisis across the world.Through an engaging storyline and immersive stages, the app – which has even received the patronage of UNESCO – informs young users about issues plaguing the environment like deforestation, waste pollution, and overconsumption.

    "We wanted to explain what pollution really is or how saving the environment or waste sorting can be done in a way that makes it interesting for kids, and more importantly, educates them, This mix of gamification and game-based learning in eco-warriors has proven to be effective when one wants to educate kids, and for us it is a better way to align technology and edutainment." - Founders of Panda & Wolf Holding, Veda and Brian Dean.

     

    ConveGenius  

    His ideas are reflected in his entrepreneurial endeavour as well. His edutainment startup, ConveGenius, launched in 2014, is creating pedagogical techniques and content that are entertaining, have inherent educational value, and incentivise kids to learn so as to have more fun. 

    The idea is to create an ecosystem that is designed to educate children by bringing in elements of fun, entertainment and associated rewards, simultaneously. And to do so, the startup aggregates content of all the best players in the market and makes it available in the right sequence and right manner.

    "Learning is driven by both intrinsic and extrinsic motivational methods. Just providing quality digital content ensures learning for only those kids who are intrinsically motivated to study, Kids who prefer playing, watching TV, and fun over learning have to be extrinsically motivated." -  Founder and CEO of ConveGenius, Jairaj Bhattacharya.

     

    Paper Boat Apps – Kiddopia  

    Contrary to conventional belief, gaming has been proven to work as a positive reinforcement in the learning process. Not only does it make the entire process more engaging but also boosts cognitive development in people, especially children. 

    This idea, having received validation from various researchers, has over time fuelled many a business prospect, one of them being children-focussed edutainment studio Paper Boat Apps. 

    The bootstrapped startup, founded in 2013 by husband-wife duo Anupam and Anshu Dhanuka, works towards building world-class edutainment apps for preschool kids.
     Their flagship product is the Kiddopia app, which offers a wide array of interactive games and activities that help foster self-expression, cognitive development, and social-emotional learning.

    Such has been the popularity of this model that Kiddopia currently boasts more than 2.5 million downloads globally with over one lakh active subscribers.

     

    Shirsa Labs 

    For Mumbai-born Sukhada Tendulkar, bittersweet memories of childhood served as a major inspiration when she embarked on the entrepreneurial path. Her aim was to create something that would leverage life-like simulations of the digital world to take children on virtual tours of varied concepts. 

    The result was Shirsa Labs - a quality digital platform for kids aged between five and 15 years with which they can play and get entertained while learning in an organic way. 

    Their offerings include Planet of GUI, which is a goal-oriented virtual world for kids with videos, games, and worksheets, NewsPIK, a digital newspaper for children, and also a B2B product to instill creativity in schools’ curricula.

     

    Wed, 11/12/2019
  • 389

    Plastic is a wonderful man-made invention with great functionality and ability to ease modern day packaging dilemma. But how and when this 20th century invention that eased our lives became the Frankenstein monster, is a story in itself. Only valuable plastics are getting recycled and the low value plastic still ends up in landfills and oceans. Paterson Energy tries to bridge this gap by incorporating all kinds of plastic.

    The eco-friendly fuel alternative made from plastic can be used to fuel generators, industrial boilers, and furnaces, among others.

    A single piece of plastic takes hundreds of years to decompose posing a threat to land and water. While it is not feasible to completely stop the manufacturing plastic, repurposing plastic waste can be a solution. Yet, only a fraction of the plastic waste generated is recycled. For instance, India generates close to 5.6 million tonnes of plastic waste annually as per the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) report. Only 20 per cent of it gets recycled. However, Chennai-based Paterson Energy has come up with an innovative solution to the planet’s plastic woes.

    The startup converts plastic waste into liquid fuel that is eco-friendly, cheaper and can be used to fuel generators, industrial boilers, and furnaces, among others. The start-up was founded by husband-wife duo Vidya and Amarnath Maitreyan in 2016. It has, since then, managed to convert a whopping 150 tonnes of plastic waste into energy-efficient fuel.

    There is no denying that plastic is one of the most widely-used materials across the world due to its availability, affordability and durability.

    But, due to the alarming non-degradable aspect of plastic, more and more organisations like Paterson Energy are coming up with innovative and effective measures of treating plastic waste scientifically.

    The intention behind starting the bootstrapped organisation was to check the reckless disposal and treatment of the toxic material.

    The commerce graduates, who run a wealth management company, entered the waste management field in 2012 with the primary objective to spread awareness on waste segregation. Gradually, their work sowed the seed of coming up with better ways to manage plastic waste.

    After finding solutions to dispose plastic waste at individual levels, the couple went all out in their research and came across a process that brings plastic back to its original form i.e. crude oil.

    In 2012, Vidya approached IIT Madras to work on a tangible solution to mitigate the plastic waste problem.

    “We put in several hours of research and development with the assistance of IIT Madras, Central Institute of Plastics Engineering & Technology and design consultations from Engineers India Limited,” says Amarnath.

    The company has an ongoing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Berlin University of Technology for research and development on plastic technologies. Locally, they have signed an MoU with SSN university and Vellore Institute of Technology for research and development purposes.

    “Paterson Energy reworked the process technology of an otherwise highly unorganised and nascent process into a state-of-the-art indigenous thermo-chemical depolymerisation that processes all kinds of polymer waste,” she adds.

     

     

    Wed, 20/11/2019
  • 388

    Kokuyo Camlin Ltd, the premier stationery brand, in partnership with Indian Art and Design Educators Associations (IADEA) presented ‘Camlin Art Teacher Excellence Awards’ The Indian Art and Design Educators Association (IADEA) at IADEA’s second annual conference in New Delhi. The theme of the two-day conference was Art Integrated Learning – a cross disciplinary approach to learning art where art is seen as a facilitator for overall learning.

    Kokuyo Camlin Ltd, the premier stationery brand, in partnership with Indian Art and Design Educators Associations (IADEA) presented ‘Camlin Art Teacher Excellence AwardsThe Indian Art and Design Educators Association (IADEA) at IADEA’s second annual conference in New Delhi. The theme of the two-day conference was Art Integrated Learning – a cross disciplinary approach to learning art where art is seen as a facilitator for overall learning.

    The theme was created specifically to bring together stakeholders from across the education and art ecosystem who are passionate about making art an important learning tool in school based education to facilitate lateral thinking, process orientation, problem solving, risk taking and individual creativity thereby fostering key life-skills that are essential for survival in the modern world. The two-day conference included workshops and seminars and was attended by 150 teachers, art educators from 28 cities across India and 12 non-profits working in the art and education domains from across the country as well as a few keynote international speakers. Both global and national experts from the art and education world shared their views and experiential learning on Art Integrated Learning highlighting the need for equal partnerships in teaching and learning rather than a top down didactical approach. Mr. Saumitra Prasad, CMO, Kokuyo Camlin Ltd. expressed his pleasure while congratulating the winners of the first edition of Camlin Excellence Awards for Art Educators, ”Camlin has not only been making the high quality art materials                              for the Indian school students but also promoting the correct way of art education through a number of initiatives including Camel Art Contest and Child Art workshops for educators and parents. IADEA also promotes similar ideas for art education in schools and that is the reason we are supporting the seminar and specifically the awards. Hope that the winners will motivate more educators to adopt healthy practices of art education and our schools will be able to match the global standards soon.”

               Announcing the workshop, Sara Vetteth, Founder IADEA said, “Art Integrated Learning is a highly acclaimed and holistic model of teaching-learning that integrates art with the mainstream school curriculum to helps educators and teachers create a better classroom environment and improve both teaching and learning standards. How does art relate to language, science and maths? We want to

    change the way art is perceived and introduce the idea of art as a facilitator for cross disciplinary thought and learning. It is a great way to teach life skills, risk-taking, process oriented and design thinking. I am delighted to see so many participants that are eagerly learning and sharing their own experiences. We hope some of our ideas manage to influence inclusive and integrated teaching-learning methods in the future.”

    Dr. Pawan Sudhir, HOD of Art Education and Aesthetics, NCERT applauded the valuable work done by IADEA in bringing together such a platform to facilitate and further Art Integrated Learning. Citing the National Curriculum Framework 2005 which recognized the valuable place art education has across the Board says the Ministry of Human Resource Development has also recognized the important of the process of learning, more than the final product. If this concept is widely recognized and practiced it will facilitate fresh perspectives in teaching and learning.

    Shilpa Gupta, an independent Mumbai based artist who is showcasing two installations currently at the Venice Biennale shared insights on the process of creating an art work.

    The participants were also given cards with poems selected from the works of 100 jailed poets and asked to respond to them.

    The event concluded with the much awaited 2019 Camlin Art Teacher Excellence Awards that celebrated the inventiveness, creativity, and passion of art teachers. The award-winning projects are now online as resource material for all teachers to refer to and use. 

    A special award ‘Teacher of the Year Award’ was awarded to Vidhi Sharma, Shiv Nadar School, Faridabad.

    The annual conference was an initiative of the RainbowFish Education Trust and its key partners were Sundaram Finance as Patron and Camlin as Awards Partner along with support by the India International Centre (IIC).

     

    The 7 award categories that included both a winner and runner-up were:

    • Art for Social Change Winner - Diana Sathish, KC High International School, Chennai Runner up - Amrutha Anand, ApL Global School, Chennai

    • Art Teaching Techniques Winner - Pragati Pramod, Somaiya School, Mumbai Runner Up - Amal Krishna Paul, Shiv Nadar School, Faridabad

    • Best Use of Elements of Art Winner - Amrutha Anand, ApL Global School, Chennai Runner up - Vidhi Sharma, Shiv Nadar School, Faridabad

    • Collaboration in the Art Room Winner - Ashwini Rajeev Rudrakshi, The Orchid School, Baner, Pune Runner Up - Raghunath Jena, VidhyaGyan School, Noida

    • Innovation in the Art Room Winner - Amala Aiana, Deepa Shankar and Nivedha Leoni, Sishya School, Chennai Runner up - Rajashree Gupta, Kiran Nadar Museum, Delhi

    • Instilling Creative Confidence Winner - Manisha Lal, Shiv Nadar School, Gurugram Runner up - Mandakini Mathur, Devrai Art Village, Panchgani

    • Promoting Artistic Process Winner - Vidhi Sharma, Shiv Nadar School, Faridabad Runner up - Pankaj Patil, Somaiya School, Mumbai

     

    Tue, 19/11/2019
  • 381

    Pelikan Hub is an international pen collectors’ event, organised on the third Friday of every September at 6.30 pm local time in 199 cities across 48 countries.

    A pen is not just something we grab to write. Not at least for those who collect them! Beautiful looking, smoothest writing, antique and sometimes even pricier than jewellery. Surendra Karamchandani of Venus Traders took lead in inviting city’s 25 passionate pen collectors at Darshan Restaurant on 20th Sept. for a program titled as ‘Pelikan Hub’ to showcase and discuss their fabulous collection of pens.

    ‘Pelikan Hub’ is an international pen collector’s event which is organized on the 3rd Friday of every September, at 6:30pm local time in 199 cities spread across 48 countries in the world. In India it took place in about 10 cities. This was the second consecutive year of this initiative in Pune.

    Some well-known and passionate Pen collectors from the city showcased their outstanding collection of pens to fellow pen lovers. Some of them include Surendra Karamchandani, Arun Jugdar, Dipesh Mehta and Vijay Nimbre with many others. Makrand Kale, from the family of Pune’s one of the oldest pen manufacturing company- ‘Kale Pens’ was felicitated on the occasion for their unique contribution to the world of writing instruments.

    Kale Pens were very much famous among the scholars and school going children specially since 60s to 80s. They were best known for the quality of pens, nibs and ink and for their policy to provide 2 to 7 year’s guarantees on pen’s manufacturing.  The young generation of Kales- Manas and Mandar Kale were also present on the occasion.

    Dipesh Mehta said that as a pen collector, he finds it important to check the distinctive feature of the nib, ink filling system, ink flow and material of the pen before adding any new pen to his collection. ‘‘I have a ‘Pilot Justus 95’ pen which can be used two-ways- as a regular fountain pen as well as a pen with flexible nib. I also have a ‘Montblanc Meisterstück’ fountain pen, which has amazing nib quality. This pen can cost for around Rs. 65 thousand today. The world-famous manufacturing companies are mainly German, Italian, American or Japanese. There are some good pen manufacturers in India too, but many of them have closed down now.’’

    Sharing his experience, Vijay Nimbare said, ‘‘In the school days, I was known for my good handwriting. Later I started using ballpens and observed that my handwriting has become miserably poor! This made me think about using fountain pens again and later I became a pen collector.’’

    Nimbare said, ‘‘You’ll find the fountain pen in the range of Rs. 25 to a collector’s item of Rs.20 lack. An ink bottle also may vary in price from Rs. 25 for a 60 ml bottle to Rs.1200 per 60 ml.  I particularly like the simple ‘Bril’ fountain pens in my collection as well as the pricy ‘Omas’ and ‘Onoto’ pens. I regularly use pens from my collection and maintain them by cleaning and polishing.’’

    Makrand Kale told about the journey of Kale Pens. He said, ‘‘My father Murlidhar Gopal Kale started this brand in 1970s. That time, the fountain pens were widely used by students and academics. My father brought the blue-black shade of ink also, which was new at that time. The ink was prepared at our home in a steel utensil using color crystals and acid. Ballpens got popular in the early 80s as they were cheap and convenient. We did not want to compromise on the quality of our ink-pens and so it could not be sold in lesser cost like ballpens. As ballpens grew, people started using the fountain pens only for special purposes like doing signature and the market sizably shrunk.’’

    Kale also mentioned that many pen collectors and people who used Kale pens in their school days, keep asking him about when they will start the production again. ‘‘We are thinking about starting manufacturing again, like a limited edition of Kale Pens. I hope we will come out with something concrete in this regard by the next year.’’ , Said Kale.

     

    Thu, 07/11/2019
  • 386

    From office supplies to personal journals, a look at five startups that are pure pockets of stationery heaven that can help you unleash your creativity and boost productivity , feeding your love for pens, paper, and journals

    For those who love stationery, there is no such thing as enough paper and pen products. At the workplace, stationery can help you stay organised and boost productivity. Journals also help you pen down your thoughts or keep track of habits and your schedules.

    Crafting products let you unleash your creativity and art journals are great stress busters and even recommended by therapists for anxious minds. But, let’s face it: you don’t really need a reason to buy stationery, do you?

    Well, for all the stationery addicts out there, YourStory has curated a list of startups that are redefining the stationery experience with their products and customer experience. 

    Stationarray

    Launched as a pilot project in Noida in 2017, Stationarray came about when founders Humrahi Jain and Smita Singh noticed that the stationery, books, and gifts sector was highly unorganised. Their startup aims to change that by using trucks for promotion, display, and sale.

    With a planned itinerary, the Stationarray trucks are stationed near schools once a week and in housing societies once every 10-15 days.  

    “The fact that these trucks are there temporarily ensures that our customers hurry up so as to not lose the opportunity of buying products,” Humrahi told YourStory in a previous interview.

    Prior to this, Humrahi had worked at several companies including the India Today Group, Radio Mirchi, and the Times Group in the marketing and product divisions. And his co-founder Smita Singh is a practising lawyer and a social worker who brings expertise in both marketing and legal to her work.

     

    myPAPERCLIP
    Launched in October 2013, myPAPERCLIP uses eco-friendly, handcrafted paper to make journals, notepads, diaries, memo books, custom notebooks, among other things.
    Founder Ajay Batra was a chartered account with over 20 years of experience and started this venture out of his love for buying notepads and memo books. During his trips abroad, he found that while beautiful, stationery products tend to be on the expensive side. So, he used his family-owned printing unit for the digital processing and then set up a manufacturing unit in the Okhla industrial area in South Delhi before the launch.
    Initially bootstrapped, the stationery startup sold around 100,000 units that is worth Rs 2 crore in less than a year. myPAPERCLIP products are sold at a number of stores, including Sapna Book House, Om Book Shop, William Penn, Crossword, and StarMark.

     

    Nuoaura

    Founded by Sharad Jaiprakash, the startup is a platform to source every stationery need for workplaces: office supplies and paper products, gifts, awards, T-shirts, housekeeping, laptops, ACs, even furniture. 

    Although the business was registered in October 2015, Nuoaura began operations in January 2016 and provides supplies for Tata Group, Tesco, Amazon India, Essar Group, Ujjivan Bank, and Kamineni Hospitals.

    A BBA graduate, Sharad is an IIM-C alumnus who has worked at GE in supply chain and Wipro for about a decade. The startup received its initial investment of Rs 30 lakh from Arkarise Business Solutions.

    Creating a seamless process online, the startup’s clients can register online for the service and they will get a relationship manager who will look after services across verticals for their daily needs.

    Founded by Sharad Jaiprakash, the startup is a platform to source every stationery need for workplaces: office supplies and paper products, gifts, awards, T-shirts, housekeeping, laptops, ACs, even furniture. 

    Although the business was registered in October 2015, Nuoaura began operations in January 2016 and provides supplies for Tata Group, Tesco, Amazon India, Essar Group, Ujjivan Bank, and Kamineni Hospitals.

    A BBA graduate, Sharad is an IIM-C alumnus who has worked at GE in supply chain and Wipro for about a decade. The startup received its initial investment of Rs 30 lakh from Arkarise Business Solutions.

    Creating a seamless process online, the startup’s clients can register online for the service and they will get a relationship manager who will look after services across verticals for their daily needs.

     

    Aahaa Stores
    Founded in 2013 by Asokan Sattanathan, Rajaraman Sundaresan and Harish Kannan, Chennai-based Aahaa Stores is a business-to-business (B2B) platform for office supplies. In the corporate world, this kind of office supplies are tagged ‘indirect spends’ and the company claims of saving 20 to 30 percent for offices in this category.
    The startup helps manage the supply chain, bring collective bargaining benefits, and streamline vendor network for businesses. Before this, Asokan Sattanathan held leadership positions in supply chain and marketing across telecom, automotive, and engineering sectors. He has also been part of the boards of Airtel, Tata Group, and Eicher Group as well.
    Last year, Aahaa Stores received $2 million in equity funding from Calega, an investment group based in UAE. In 2016, it raised about $1 million, as part of its pre-Series A funding round from a group of investors led by YourNest Angel Fund.

     

    Chambers of Ink

    When Sukriti Jiwarajka launched Chambers of Ink in September 2016, she had just one idea: introduce journals of superior quality to India, much like the one her friend gifted her when she returned from a trip to Ireland. Identifying herself as a stationery addict, Sukriti had studied economics and finance from Singapore Management University.

    She approached the company Paperblanks and looked for an exclusive marketplace for fine quality stationery brands in the country. Since then, she has tied up with Paperblanks and others like Paper-Oh and Hartley and Marks.

     

     

     

    Wed, 06/11/2019
  • 363

    Mr. P. C. Baid,  was based in Mumbai before he established Alpha International in 1989 in Hyderabad. Mr. Baid had an impressive experience of 10+years in      the realms of Importing and Marketing Writing and Technical Drawing Instruments from Germany, Japan, and other countries. Through his efforts and networking, Staedtler appointed Alpha International as the Sole Distributor for their products for the most part of India. Under the leadership of Mr. P. C. Baid   and the stewardship of his son Mr. Vikash Jain, Alpha International is now one of the top names in the list of suppliers in the country. The company understands and has consistently adapted itself to the volatile demands and business environment of the country, thus keeping the reputation and leadership status of Staedtler products 
    in the country.

    PSS: What has been your journey like with Staedtler in the country up to now?

    Mr. Vikash Jain: We - Alpha International was established in 1989. Initially we started as the distributor for Staedtler for most of part of the country, but were importing through a designated importer M/s. Continental Exporters, Bangalore for several reasons including the import license issue at the time. In 2001, given our association with Staedtler, we were appointed as the exclusive importer and distributor for their products in India.

            Staedtler initially began with technical drawing products – those in the field of engineering, architects and related were the main users. However, now the products cover a wider audience which includes students, professionals, and lifestyle products (high quality pens- fine liners, fountain pens, a premium range even in erasers & sharpeners).      

         Staedtler is 350 years old company and have built a wide range of end to end stationery products. Staedtler’s premium products are their best sellers Color pencils, Graphite pencils, fineliners, markers – several types of writing instruments. As a distributor we are extremely happy with the association since there are minimal complaints about the quality of the products. In fact consumers share personal stories at expos and exhibitions with regard to why they treasure Staedtler products. We are looking forward to meeting with consumers at the Stationery Expo from 11th to 15th September, this year at the Pragati Maidan.

    PSS: Is it still a niche market?

    Mr. V.J.: While the range of products has moved from 30-40 SKUs to about 350-400 SKUs, reaching out to a larger number of people, the products are still high end and hence niche.

    PSS: How does the Indian Market compare with the European Market?

    Mr. V.J.: The Indian Market is still small for Staedtler when compared with European market and few other Asian countries. As the distributor for Indian market, we make a small contribution to the overall turnover for Staedtler, and yet the behemoth company continues to extend their cooperation.

          We and they are hopeful that India will soon become a major contributor to their bottom line, given the sheer size and growth in population of the country. Additionally, the focus on education and government initiatives to increase the per capita income are two factors that add to the positivity.

    PSS:  How do you plan on making writing instruments affordable for more people?

    Mr. V.J.: Today, Staedtler products are prescribed for art, architecture or interior / fashion design students and they are expected to use these prescription products to get the desired results. Staedtler does not and will never compromise on quality and hence the pricing is unlikely to come down significantly for the current range. The company may come up with a range of products that would cater to a larger audience later on, but the quality would not be compromised.

    PSS: Is there any Make in India Plan from Staedtler?

    Mr. V.J.:  We feel as Staedtler has manufacturing facilities at Thailand and Indonesia in Asia, and hence in near future may not have plans to set up such a facility in India.

     

    Subscribe to read more... 

    Sat, 21/09/2019
  • 334

    New ad campaign by Linc Pen aims to channelize students’ inner strength towards achieving life’s academic goals

    Linc Pen and Plastics Ltd. one of India’s most trusted writing instruments for over last four decades with a strong presence over 50 countries, has lauded the resolution and hard work of students who are taking their board exams this year with their brand-new advertising campaign endorsing one of Linc’s most successful product, “Pentonic”.                                                                           Linc Pen weaves in the magic that transpires to raise the self-belief through simple humane touch. The new ad campaign for Pentonic during this exam season touches the emotional chord of all its connoisseurs, celebrating a vital phase of student life by eulogizing the virtues of their mental strength during exams with the valiance of a soldier fighting in the country’s battlefield.

    Linc has always been a part of the growing generations, this time endorsing their widely successful product offering, Pentonic which has taken the imagination of the nation by storm with its futuristic and new generation look and performance. ‘Pentonic – ‘Write the future’ is designed to be an advanced writing instrument for the Gen-Z and Gen-Alpha, keeping in mind their avant-garde needs and demands.

    With this differentiating ethos Linc has embarked upon an idea that inspires and challenges the future with its boldness.

    Mr. Deepak Jalan, Managing Director and CEO, LINC PEN PLASTIC LTD. said "Pentonic has to be one of the best offerings from  the stable of Linc. With its effortless smooth writing and unique ink flow system, Pentonic enables the students to write their exams with command and confidence. We at Linc, differentiate with innovation, delivering the best possible writing experience for all our consumers at all price points. The new ad campaign is dedicated to the exam warriors who have put in their hard work to achieve success in academics like the spirited soldier of a nation at the battlefield."

    Their latest ad campaign showcases a focused school girl getting ready to sit for her school ongoing examinations. She gears up by preparing herself mentally for the war up ahead. Moving through the emotional journey of a student’s resilience during the exam at school and a soldier’s never-say-die spirit on the battlefield, the film captures the different moments while getting battle ready, be it in a classroom or combat zone. The film ends with the girl letting out a war cry ready with her battle gear with her weapon of choice: “Pentonic”. Linc has away believed in providing the best writing instruments for students during their examination. The ad film tries to take one through the mindset of a student which is confident and believes in conquering her battleground. Linc showcases their faith in Pentonic and establishes their focus in enabling India’s students to ‘Write the future’. The TVC has been created by the creative agency Brand Bazooka and is LIVE on multiple digital platforms like YouTube and Facebook. It has already gained wide appreciation for their passion inducing storyline and garnered over 12,000 hits on YouTube and likes on over 64,000 views on Facebook.

     

    Tue, 23/07/2019
  • 333

    The inspiring teenager also organises annual fundraisers in her society for the education of slum kids from Dharavi. Apart from raising Rs 4 lakhs each year, she also teaches them herself!

    About five years ago, Aarushi Majumder, who was a 13-year-old at the time, decided to start teaching underprivileged children in Mumbai’s Dharavi locality.With absolute passion and dedication, the teenager would conduct classes, ensuring personal attention to each one of her young students.
    But soon, she realised that some of her students were skipping class. While she was willing to overlook occasional absenteeism, it started to happen regularly enough for her to inquire about the reason.As it turns out, the kids were falling seriously ill.
    “I learned that they spent most of their days collecting waste and working in landfills and the pollution there was affecting their health. Mumbai is amongst the most polluted cities in the world because of the unmitigated piles of garbage that arrive at the local landfills daily, and these children were subject to the consequences. It was heartbreaking,” Aarushi says in a conversation with The Better India.
    Back in 2013, about 9,400 tonnes of garbage, most of it unsegregated and non-recyclable, would end up in Mumbai’s landfills every day, and the burden of it rested on the weak shoulders of the kids from Dharavi.
    Troubled by these facts, she decided that she wanted to make a dent in the way the 21+ million people of Mumbai discarded their garbage.
    “I took the first step to reduce the amount of waste my family produced by segregating the garbage produced at home. I recycled dry waste, reused what I could, and began composting biodegradable waste. Seven weeks later, not only did I have fertile soil for my plants but had also managed to reduce the garbage output by 80%,” she says.
    “This boosted my confidence, so I drew up a standardised waste management plan to present to the Chairman of my apartment complex,” she adds.
    Her approach had to ensure that the wet waste was being utilised sustainably and at the same time, reduce the dry garbage from going to the landfill.
    As is usually the case with taking up a community initiative, Aarushi began with creating awareness about the consequences of letting unsegregated waste outside the society and presenting her plans, simple and easily applicable, to the adults of the society.
    Colour-coded bins were introduced in the housing society and everyone, including the domestic staff, were trained to segregate waste.

    A positive and negative reinforcement mini-programme was also introduced where the society members were added in a social media group, and their actions in terms of segregation or failure thereof were commented on my other members.
    “We also taught all the domestic staff in our building how to recycle. I took the initiative of monitoring the compost closely, checking its temperature and pH twice a week. And soon, we successfully reduced the amount of waste that was sent to the dumps. In just four months, the 7 tonnes of monthly waste that we were sending out to landfills was reduced to 1.5 tonnes. We also introduced incentives for in-house staff who were involved in waste management using funds that we generated through selling excess compost outside,” the teen tells us.

    Fri, 19/07/2019
  • 330

    JK Papers Ltd. said it will set up a new manufacturing plant in Gujarat at an investment of Rs. 1,500 crore.

    A memonrandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed with the Gujarat government to set up the new pant that will have an annual capacity of three lakh tons annually at a cost of Rs. 1,500 crore, JK Papers Ltd. said in a statement.
    The agreement would facilitate the expansion of JK Papers' Songadh unit in Tapi district. The Songadh unit will witness an increase in pulp processing capacity from 60,000 TPA (tonne per annum ) to 1,60,000 TPA and packaging board from 1,00,800 TPA to 3,00,800 TPA.
    The plant will focus on producing multi-layer coated board paper and will produce some paper for the first time in India, it said, adding that the full expansion of the plant is expected to be completed by December next year.
    Managing Director of JK Paper Ltd. Harsh Pati Singhani said,“The transparent policies of the government and the stable administration inspired us to invest in the state. Since Gujarat has been in the top 5 states in ‘Ease of Doing Business,’ an organization can think of long term investments in the state. I am thankful to the chief minister for encouraging and ensuring such a conducive environment.” 

     

    Fri, 05/07/2019

Pages