A few good people who decided to quit good jobs for better ideas.
He uses handmade paper for a paperless world.
Eight years ago, Anand Prakash, an economics graduate from Delhi University, created a sample card for Rs 100. "It was immediately rejected," laughs the businessman whose turnover this year is slated to be Rs 75 lakh. "I look at a hundred per cent turnover," he grins, "and we've always managed it."
His office in Delhi's busy Shahpurjat area is a riot of colours and handmade paper products. "My next idea is to create spice paper like, say, crushed cinnamon mixed with paper," says the designer-entrepreneur who was recently shortlisted for the young Indian British Council award.
Greeting cards may be an anomaly in today's times but "my forte" insists Prakash "is anything and everything related to paper". It started with greeting cards, but soon Prakash realised that he needed to diversify. So there are paper bags, journals, recipe books, scrapbooks and photo albums created in various materials including a combination of handmade paper and brass.
Though greeting cards are just one among 75 different products, with a thousand-odd designs they remain his favourites. "I treat greeting cards as the canvas on which I unleash my creativity," he laughs. Boutique stores like Full Circle, Handpaper World, Temple Tree and Either Or stock Prakash'z Creations, now also being exported to the United States, Europe, the United Kingdom, Singapore and Spain. "I've always got 100 per cent advance for my work," he claims.
As a business model, Prakash's greeting cards business has blossomed into a unique initiative involving the local population in his native Jharkhand. "Daltongunj is one of the poorest districts of the country. But it has a rich source of natural materials that I can use in my work and, hopefully by the end of this year, we would have trained at least 30 people to work for us," says Prakash, adding that his handmade paper business has eclipsed the family's aluminum business.
Text: Abhilasha Ojha, with Anoothi Vishal, Gargi Gupta and Priyanka Joshi. | Photographs, courtesy: Business Standard
Image: Anand Prakash uses handmade paper for a paperless world.
Also read: Tulsi Tanti on Suzlon, life, and business