More than highlighting the products/services, Startups.in/India is about entrepreneurialism and the entrepreneurial spirit behind these startups in India. What really deserves a focus is not just the startups but the passionate entrepreneurs driving them.
Startups.InsiderHimanshu Sheth encountered one such startup Picsquare.com whose founder says that the feeling of having done something good at the end of every day is what gives him the the boost to march ahead with more passion.
Please keep reading to learn more about this startup and its founders.
1. What exactly is Picsquare.com?
Picsquare.com is an online portal for photography catering to photography related needs on Indian community both abroad and locally. Currently, Picsquare users gets unlimited storage capacity, photo management through tags, online sharing, they can order prints online and have them delivered anywhere in India. They can also create cool personalized photo gifts like t-shirts and greeting cards.
2. What motivated you to start Picsquare when in fact quite a few such sites already exist? Also, within the context of this question, what is it that makes Picsquare unique amongst others offering similar products/services? Why should someone choose you over another competing company? Any significant features we should know?
When Picsquare was started in December 2005 it was among the first to start the concept of online photo printing in India. Kodak had an online presence but there was hardly any traction and the market is huge to accommodate multiple players.
The unique value that Picsquare is providing to users is the service quality. We focus a lot on providing world quality service to our users; be it print quality, timely delivery or user experience. It's an ongoing effort. We are continuously innovating, learning from our mistakes and are trying to improve ourselves.
A part from photo prints, users can create few other exciting stuff like personalized greeting cards and t-shirts. We are looking out for vendors to introduce more products.
3. Who are your major competitors?
There are similar successful businesses in US and Europe. Currently they don't have India presence, but they are potential competitors.
Other set of competitors include similar startups in India and other big and established Indian Internet companies who might enter into this space. As of now none of the big Indian Internet companies are in this space.
4. How is Picsquare doing do so far? How well is it being received by the community? What kind of traffic does it see? Please share any significant achievements.
Picsquare has been doing well so far. It's a year old company. The journey so far has been very exciting and exhilarating.
5. Could you tell us more about yourself, your position & other key players, if any? What were you all doing before starting this company & also your previous work experiences?
Picsquare is founded by two first generation entrepreneurs - Kartik Jain and Manish Agrawal. We both are engineering graduates from IIT Bombay.
Kartik before starting Picsquare, worked with large scale IT company. I did my Masters from Purdue and worked with a startup company.
6. Since how long do you and Kartik know each other?
We both know each other from IIT Bombay days it has been 6 years now.
7. How large is the team behind Picsquare. Are you all based in India?
Picsquare is a small team of 8 members including founders.
However, Picsquare is looking for passionate individuals who could join the team and help take Picsquare to the next level.
8. What responsibilities do you hold at Picsquare?
Currently, both founders are wearing multiple hats and handling responsibilities including overall execution, marketing, operation and technology development.
9. Who are the key stake holders and did you receive any funding? If not, do you plan on seeking external funding?
Picsquare is an angel funded company, the funding came through with the help with TiE Bangalore, TiE EAP program.
10. How has Picsquare changed after its participation in Proto.in?
It was a great fun being at Proto and meeting lot of other young start-ups.
11. What are key technologies your service is built upon and why did you opt for them? Any salient features?
Picsquare is built upon open source technologies – Java, Apache, Linux, MySQL.
Picsquare provides features like a) Uploader tool – for easy upload of photos, b) Tagging – for effective management of photographs, c) Storage – unlimited storage capacity.
There are few new features in pipeline and will be introduced soon.
12. Where do you plan to take Picsquare going forward?
We would like to see Picsquare as one stop shop for all the photography related needs of Indian community. The only way we can accomplish this is by execution. And the team has its head down on execution. We are confidant that we will reach there.
13. Do you have a business/revenue model as well as any exit strategy on mind?
Yes, we do have a working revenue model.
Regarding exit, we don't have anything particular on mind. We are executing with the focus on building the business. However, we are open to any opportunity as long as it helps in the longer term success of Picsquare.
14. What are some of the challenges in your business and how do you plan on tackling them?
The biggest challenge that Picsquare is facing is hiring people. It's hard to find people who are interested in working for startups. We are actively looking to have a senior biz development in our team.
The best way to tackle this is hiring initially through network.
15. In your experience, what has been the most effective way to market a business?
Word of mouth.
16. What is your take on increasing number of startups in India?
It's really encouraging to see increasing number of startups, and the best part is good number of product companies are coming out of India.
17. Do you have any personal advice/suggestions for current/future entrepreneurs?
We have seen many people spending too much time analyzing their idea before actually going out and executing. They spend so much of time that at the end they lose all enthu, get distracted and end up not executing.
One should analyze but should not go over board. An idea without execution is worth nothing.
18. On a personal front, who is your role model? Also, do you follow any other websites religiously?
There are various role models at various stages. On the business front, I look up to my dad whom I have seen building a successful business from scratch in a very organic way.
We try to keep track of all new websites for latest trends in technology and user interface. Blogs like Techcrunch, we find are really good resources for watching trends.
19. How did Picsquare affect your lifestyle? Do you get enough time for yourself/family?
It depends on how you see it. Entrepreneurs do spend long hours working and people think it affects their life style as they don't find much time for themselves.
However, we feel it has improved our lifestyle. It has ingrained in us a sense of confidence that we have ability to take any challenge no matter what.
20. What marketing strategies does Picsquare follow to encourage more people to use Picsquare services?
We would like to continue to focus on service quality so that if customers are happy first time they will definitely come back and also talk to 10 more people about the good experience.
21. Our final question, One thing that you love the most?
At the end of day when I go to bed and if I feel that I have done something good today that's the feeling I love the most. That feeling is very satisfying and acts as a boost for next day.