While talking about E-Commerce startups, Bhubaneswar is certainly not the city that comes into mind. The temple city, Bhubaneswar is the capital of Odisha, which yet have to make a noticeable impact on the Indian entrepreneurial economy.
But entrepreneurs are made to break the rules and do things out of the box. So two young minds overcame all the odds and founded the first custom based E-Commerce startup based in Odisha. The startup CollegiateStore was founded about six months ago in late 2013 by two young budding entrepreneurs Smruti Ranjan Mohanty and Ankit Acharya. While Smruti comes from a business background, Ankit had no connection with business before starting the venture.
CollegiateStore is an online customized apparel brand for schools, colleges, corporate houses and NGOs. The startup lets you customize everything available in their online store including a wide range of apparels like t-shirts, hoodies. Apart from customized t-shirts and hoodies, CollegiateStore also sells personalized mugs, mobile phone covers, books, wallets and jackets.
The founding pair always had a passion to do something new, which was the main motivational factor to start the venture. They always seek freedom to do work which pushed them to stay away from the ‘Yes Boss!’ daily jobs and make their own way. They aim to make CollegiateStore the final destination for all types of merchandises and apparels.
Currently, the team consists of 9 employees working in various fields like sales, marketing and HR. CollegiateStore has appointed many campus ambassadors to endorse its products in various college campuses.
“We bootstrapped the startup last year with a capital of 2.5 lakhs and still have not raised any funding. But we are looking for investors and venture capitalists” said Ankit, Co-Founder of CollegiateStore to TSJ.
“We ship more than 3000 products per month from our own warehouse”, he added.
CollegiateStore has gathered a good client base of over 50 clients within the six months of its lunch which includes big companies like Dell, Infosys, Textron, TataSky and premier institutes like IIM Bangalore, NIT Rourkela, Symbiosis, Delhi University, Ramjas College, Symbiosis, Xaviers, IIT-BBSR, Nirma Institute etc.
CollegiateStore plans to add more wide range of apparels and a leather section to its inventory. It’s necessary to mention that the startup has bagged its first international client some months ago and have gone international.