PrintOctopus is an E-commerce marketplace, which helps artists to showcase and monetize their artwork through print on demand merchandise while helping consumers design products, which reflect their individuality. Our mantra is threefold – Browse, Create and Sell.
The company was launched on October 15, 2015 and is based out of New Delhi, India. The idea of PrintOctopus came to me at Loughborough, where I studied IT & Business Management.
In my second year of under graduation, I was elected as the merchandise representative of my halls of residence. That is where I learned about printing. During the same time, my sister, a graduate in Graphic Designing, faced challenges in her career. She took up a corporate job. There, she had to forego doing what she loved the most – designing quirky stuff and photography, and started working only on clients’ briefs. She didn’t want to start her own merchandise venture as that was a lot of investment in terms of time and money and there was a huge commitment involved. That’s when I realized that my sister was not alone; and this was in fact the case with lot of artists in India. I saw an opportunity to combine my knowledge in printing with the artist community in India. Now I knew what I wanted to do. With a clear mind and a spirited heart, I began my work on PrintOctopus.
To further solidify my understanding of the area, I joined a postgraduate course in Innovation & Entrepreneurship from University Of Warwick, United Kingdom. Under the guidance of my mentors, who were professional e-commerce consultants, I completed my final project on PrintOctopus in Warwick. I came back to India and started implementing PrintOctopus. It was my firm belief that at the end of the day, an artist should do what they love – design! They shouldn’t have to worry about the small and tedious tasks of bargaining with a printer, maintaining stock, making a website, handling a store, marketing and so on. PrintOctopus was my solution that would make it easier for artists while also getting them the money and the recognition they deserve.
For artists, PrintOctopus provides a platform where they can unleash that creative superhero and flex their artistic muscles for the greater good. Artists can upload their work on PrintOctopus’ website for free and then sell it on a variety of fantabulous quality products. The boring details of printing, production and delivery are taken care of by the company.
Being aware of the growing problem that artists face in our country firsthand, I knew I wanted to turn PrintOctopus into a close knit community of artists, where not only do we promote the artists but artists themselves can learn from fellow designers, make contacts and form useful contacts and opportunities. We thus try to ensure that we are always in touch with all the amazing designers on boards, as well as facilitate dialogue between the artists as well.
On the platform itself, we have tried to make sure that any artist’s experience is completely smooth and easy, and that the artist has full rights to his designs and the complete freedom to choose the royalty. It’s my dream to make PrintOctopus the primary source of income and support for artists in India.
It’s been over a year since our launch, and it makes me incredibly proud that my team and I have been able to achieve a lot of what we set out to do. Currently, we have over 10,000 designs across various genres, and over 400 artists who actively upload their awesome art. We are shipping a huge number of products each day, and as cliched as it sounds, the absolutely unbelievable response we get from our customers each day keep us going, and make us believe that we are on the right path.
The Way Forward
I personally am involved in all processes of the company, and I can promise you we have absolutely have no plans to slow down. Currently, we are working on our CREATE tool, which will help everyone to personalise their items, right from placement to the actual text and images. Apart from this, we also want to expand our product range and we are working each day to improve our metrics. At the end of the day, I want that any user of the website, whether a customer or an artist, has the best experience on the website. I invite all of you to join us on the journey, whether you’re an artist or a lover of all things quirky, you’re going to have a good time here!