You love doodles and interesting lines on your tees and you find yourself doodling your way out during your leisure time. However, you cannot find interesting concepts on tees, t-shirts and sweat shirts whenever you go for shopping.
Have you heard of Alma Mater?
Every person living in Bangalore probably has and even wears the apparels and memorabilia that this Bangalore-based company offers to alumni students from different schools and colleges across India.
Started by Varun Agarwal and Rohn Malhotra in 2009, the former being in his 20s, an author, photographer, film-maker and co-founder of a million dollar company, Rupa Publications, Alma Mater has managed shipping more than 3,00,000 units till today and is on its tips always to innovate further and introduce better products. This passionate will to making things easy and better for the customers has led them to introduce PLAY, a customized service by the company to customize T-shirts online and also get it printed. Though there are other companies that go for customised merchandising options, but most of them are cumbersome and become irksome too when they are not as per the design and detailing you want on the apparel piece.
Alma Mater PLAY provides people with the chance to doodle on tees and what more, you have 2000 art vectors and 800 designs to choose from. For companies wishing to come up with their own merchandise for projects and videos or schools and colleges deciding on customised apparels with their institute’s logo, the company makes the whole thought and process easier, just at a single click! A plain white boring T-Shirt can turn into something colourful with innovative designs, and brighter hues and prints when you log on to the website and hover your mouse arrow over the T-shirt and click on it.
You can add the text that you like to, add the art design you want in it, the colours you like it in, choose the image you wish to upload on it and print and ship it as soon as you are done with your choices. The name PLAY suits the act of choosing designs and prints for T-shirts and tees as it is almost like playing with T-shirts. Cool! Isn’t it?
The earlier options for Customized Merchandizing at Alma Mater were time-consuming so the duo came up with PLAY that did a lot of time-cutting for the process of sending mails to the company, giving the design and colour options to the designers and then finally receiving mails that are with the final prints. Though it was a continuous hard work for 8 long months, the team has finally come up with a full-proof well-integrated system that can work with the back-end operations as well as the Print Output.
The PLAY tool has been popularised socially through PLAY Groups that enables people to creta designs using PLAY, whether it be for school, college, biker groups, gangs of girls, kitty parties, rock band, or a company and even a start-up venture. PLAY Group will save all your designs too for the future.
From Patna to Jabalpur to metro cities, the company has been able to spread its glory far and wide across India. Tees, hoodies, sweat shirts and t-shirts are the best ways t improve marketing and branding for a company or group.
The company has worked with record-breaking 600 corporate houses, 2500 schools and colleges, 100 start-ups, 400 private groups across 180 Indian cities and 6 different countries with more than 3 lakh units customized and sold over the time.
The printing and manufacturing of all these products have lately become in-house that was earlier outsourced by Alma Mater. Now the chances are to maintain and offer the same quality material to each and every customer out there. In a month, the company ships about 15,000 units and prefers shipping orders of 20-50 apparels at a time so that the profit margins are higher.
The successful entrepreneurs have come a long way and their start-up journey, the roadblocks they underwent and the societal pressures they have gone through has all been recorded in a book called ‘How I Braved Anu Aunty and Co-Founded A Million Dollar Company’ which has been a great success not only as a book but also as a video on Youtube with 1,22, 782 views. The book has also sold like hot cakes and is a must-read for aspiring entrepreneurs to understand how to care for one’s dreams and passions in life more than a third party telling you what you should do in life and how their children have fared well.
Agarwal’s message through the book is clear: “I just wanted to tell that if you want to be a carpenter, be a carpenter; don’t let anyone run your life.”
Agarwal has since found his way through Anu Aunty’s (his mother’s friend) nosy ways to realizing his entrepreneurship dreams as he has three companies in Bangalore running under him. The multitasking maven has even worked his way through associating himself with great musician A.R. Rahman and actress Preity Zinta, among some others.
He now wants his company to be a one-stop shop for all customized merchandising needs however, as he insists, the company will always favour school and college alumni and help in providing them with their memorabilia. He strongly believes in the motto, ‘Less words, more actions’. His message to aspiring entrepreneurs is painstaking sincerity, love for work, an aim to sell, setting numerous short-term and long-term goals and persistence even with failures. Do you have them in you?