EXCLUSIVE: We’ve bridged the gap between buyers and sellers during COVID: Pulak Agarwal of Inchpaper

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With Diwali round the corner Inchpaper the online stationery store, has announced the launch of its ‘Diwali Lighting Sale.’ During the sale from 17th October to 13th November 2020, Inchpaper will be offering sweeping discounts over its 15000+ stationery items.

We caught up with Pulak Agarwal, Co-Founder & CEO of Inchpaper, to know more, including how the sale will drive Inchpaper’s revenue, the strategies it has adopted to reach a wider audience and how it has been navigating through the pandemic and much more. Read on.

Tell us about the Inchcape offering “Diwali Lighting Sale”.

Pulak Agarwal

Inchpaper which deals in stationery space has announced “Diwali Lighting Sale” for this festive season. Inchapaper is offering a heavy range of discounts from 10% to 60 % on over 15000 stationery items available on the platform. Diwali Lighting Sale will be live from 17th October to 13th November 2020. 

The ‘Diwali Lightning Sale” offers discounts on extensively used items such as notebooks, drawing books, colors, stationery kit, etc, and on products such as Art & Craft items, Calligraphy, and Mandala accessories.

The platform is also offering gift coupons, vouchers, and gift hampers for its customers that can be presented as Diwali Gifts to family and friends.

Inchpaper is launching the range of Do It Yourself (DIY) Kits for children as well as for adults for the Diwali- Candle making kit, which includes wax, candle molds, wicks, wax colors, glitters, and sticks.

Also, Diya Making Kit, which includes colors, brushes, diyas, glitter, wicks for kids to decorate, and color diyas at home. The kits will be available at a special Diwali Festival discount of 50%.

The unique features of these kits are:

a) These kits are designed and made by women from rural areas and house helps.

b) Promoting self-employment opportunities for women and in rural areas.

c) Both colors and glitters used in both the kits are natural herbal colors. No harmful chemical colors used in making colors

How will you reach out to buyers? Which platforms will you use?

We have our in-house developed website www.inchpaper.com, where buyers can choose among more than 15000 products for both office and school stationery, textbooks and teaching-learning materials.

We are reaching out to the buyers by social media campaigns, direct emails, SMS and regular notifications.

How are you marketing this right now?

Currently, we are marketing on social media such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram. Through word of mouth, our buyer base has increased from 100 customers in the1st month of operations to 5000 customers in the last 2 months.

Which target groups are you looking at: Corporates and Individuals or any one of those?

We are targeting both corporates for B2B sales and individuals for B2C. But because offices aren’t operational fully due to Covid19 so our 80% requirement is coming from parents and students.

What are the sales and revenue numbers you expect from this?

We are expecting a high jump in the sales and order during Diwali sales. We are aiming to double the sales by 200% more during this sale period.

How will Inchpaper compete with big players in the Diwali gifting season? And how will you compete with the smaller ones – the local stationery shops etc?

One of our USP is selling at discounts on MRP and we are offering heavy discounts in the range of 10% to 60% on MRP in Diwali gifting season this time. Because of the strong procurement process and directly buying from companies, our margins are quite high and so we are passing down a huge chunk of our margins to customers.

So the price at which we are selling cannot be sold on big ecommerce giants and by local shopkeepers, because local shopkeepers buy their requirement from wholesalers and so the margin that they get is small and whereas sellers on ecommerce giants have to pay high commissions so the majority of the revenue goes to these giants.  In our case we are buying directly from companies.

How old is Inchpaper and how has it fared so far? What are your services and offerings?

We started our operations in June 2020 and it is our 5th month of operations. We offer School and Office stationery, textbooks for school students and teaching-learning materials required by every student at home.

How has COVID19 affected your business? What are your plans for the rest of the lockdown and thereafter?

Surely Covid has affected the local shopkeepers because customers aren’t comfortable going out and buying goods. That’s what we are bridging the gap between the buyer and seller by providing goods delivered at your doorsteps.

We are working to get more product lines added to our platform and make sure individuals get access to such goods. We are planning to expand our services across India in the next few months.

Anything else you might like to add?

InchPaper plans to expand its collection with in-house stationery by 2021 along with handling queries for personalized stationery. Currently, their focus is to ensure all the upcoming festivals are catered to with Do It Yourself kits for both adults and kids. This would help reduce the stress everyone is facing due to the extensive use of technology in everyone’s day to day lives.

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