Think different @ Bluegape

By Chetan Chauhan
From IIT Kanpur, Kanpur
Posted Sep 12th 2012 6:00AM

Thinking out of the box has always been a characteristic trait here at IITK. When someone thinks out of the box to question the stereotypes of the professional world, it gives birth to a start up and an entrepreneur. Something similar happened with a bunch of IITK grads when they started Bluegape- a one of its kind online customisation store.

Conceptualised by Sahil Baghla while he was still in his third year, Bluegape has now become a big phenomenon in the personalised poster market where people can not only purchase customised posters, but tees, mugs and canvas posters online and get them delivered at their doorsteps!

It all started two years ago when while searching for customized posters they (he and his roommate) realised that there were no online markets selling customized posters. So they started a small venture to print customised posters for the IITK student community. The response was overwhelming; they sold over 2000 posters within a fortnight! "That was the time when I realised that this IS a business idea to capitalise on" says Sahil. He roped in his junior, Ayush who was into web development and made a crude website and registered his start up and christened it as Bluegape.

Things were not easy. The registry of the company, paper work, procurement of payment gateway and domain name took a lot of time and patience, and not to mention, frequent travelling. "I was out of campus for most of the week switching between Delhi, my hometown in Punjab and Kanpur" recounts Sahil. Family support also didn't come easy, his parents were worried initially, but seeing his passion, they eventually gave in.

Every company has its highs and lows, "Ours had its share too" Says Sahil. Within months of going online, they faced copyright issues. The issue turned worse when their website crashed because of the hate mail they received. They resolved the issue but it was a hell of an experience for them. They were rewarded as well, when the Times group supported their enterprise by providing them office space and a capital of 10 lakh for further investment.

Sitting back reflecting Sahil says, "Somehow I was always made for this". An intelligent student, Coordinator of the Entrepreneurship Cell with two foreign interns under his belt by the third year, he definitely WAS made for it.

Currently the company is being run by Baghla along with Akash Rastogi (COO of the company) and Ayush varshney, the web development head. Akash shares with us his insight on startups "Passion is something that drives and inspires to do business but money is the lifeline of business. Most of the startups fail because they ignore one of the above two"

Such ventures are what this country requires the most. Bluegape currently handles 50-70 transactions a day and plans to increase it to 300 along with diversification to 10 other personalized products. Putting things in Sahil's words, "I created jobs when people were busy searching for one." Truly, being your own boss must be cool!

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