The notebooks industry has been the same for decades and not evolved. MyCopie is a surprising and interesting change to this constant.
MyCopie is a startup that conceptualizes designs and retails notebooks for students with focus on design, value, utility, quality, and technology. Each notebook carries exclusive discount vouchers from top FMCG brands to target their audience. They also carry four ad slots within the notebook for brands to reach their target audience in the most viable and fashionable manner.
5 students from NIT Surathkal (Karnataka): Faisal Moosa, Rahul Singh Thakur, Sanjeev Reddy, Rahul Anand, and Nikhil Mehta started up MyCopie while they were in their 3rd year. They successfully launched the first series of 10,000 notebooks in early 2012. Today, the organization is led by Gokulraj GK and has expanded to 10 cities with presence in more than 1,000 stores!
Gokulraj was the first investor into MyCopie after he exited ZAPstore. As the company was being formed, only three of the first 5 co-founders continue with the startup! The startup was officially launched on Feb 2013 in Bangalore and Chennai after the founder team passed out of college. They have partnered with brands like McDonald’s, Marry Brown, Café Coffee Day, Papa John’s Pizza, and Hotel Saravana Bhavan.
The company is headquartered in Chennai. They stared with a mere amount of Rs.50,000 which they sourced from friends and family. “The biggest expense was manufacturing,” says the current CEO, Gokulraj. The company’s first year revenue was Rs 3,00,000 and they broke even late last year. Angel investment from Gokulraj has helped the company grow to revenue of INR 1.2 cr in the recent year.
MyCopie is a French translation for My Copy. The company wanted their consumers to feel the ownership of the product when they mention the name. Their target audience, students in the age group of 17-22 years is reached via social media, offline events in colleges, co-branding of stores, etc. Each book, made with high quality paper comes in colorful designs that the students relate to. Each of them contains exclusive vouchers and mobile recharges worth more than Rs. 1,000. They are also the first Indian company to have Augmented Reality.
“The biggest challenges faced till now were Finance, Brand Awareness, and Marketing,” says Gokulraj. MyCopie is currently investing more on brand awareness and marketing in contrast to investing more time in production earlier. The company aims to have their presence felt in 20 cities with more than 5,000+ stores. They plan to sell 2 million notebooks this year.
When asked about the entrepreneurial journey, Gokulraj said,
MyCopie is my second venture. My previous venture was an eCommerce portal called ZAPstore.com which exited by selling off to a large eCommerce player in India. My dad has been my inspiration and motivation. My goal in life is to surmount him in being a successful entrepreneur.
He loves to follow MotoGP and Formula 1 and learn about new technology, products, and services.
As a message for new entrepreneurs, he says, “Finance is really important. Make sure you focus and spend time on your financial model as much as you spend time in business model.”
He also cautions them to take calculated steps and not try to grow fast. He also adds, “Do not to be shy and over protective of your idea/startup. Go out and talk to loads of people. Get lots of feedback to improve your idea. Keep ideating. Keep yourself motivated.”