After moving from The US to Mumbai, Pratyush Jalan, had a number of suitcases and piano which he wanted to put somewhere safe until he could settle down and find himself a place. But, to his surprise, he could not find any place or service which could help him store his stuff for a few days. Unlike the west, Indian cities do not come with a garage space as well. This left him with an idea to work on the concept of storage in urban cities.
He then started working on his brainchild and founded BoxMySpace, a one-stop solution to declutter your home and office space. Currently working with a team of seven, Pratyush is based out of Mumbai and the team is working on providing consumers with a storage space. They deliver the boxes to your doorstep and once everything has been packed, you can schedule a pickup to get them stored safely.
How does it Work?
BoxMySpace provides two offerings. They are classified as Storage by box and Storage by space. While storage by box is preferred for small items which include books, antiques and other ‘boxed’ items, space concept is used for rather large and heavy items such as furniture and bulk merchandising. The storage process involves a series of simplified steps:
- The user goes online, registers himself and selects the requirement, either storage by box or by space.
- In case of box, after selection and registration the firm delivers the specified number of boxes, three sq. ft. in size to their doorstep and gives the user a time of seven days to pack their stuff, after which a pickup is scheduled.
- Once done, the company picks up the boxes and delivers them to the storage warehouse in Bhiwandi. In case of storage by space, the pickup is scheduled and executed. Spaces provided are usually 4X4X4 ft. and 6X6X6 ft.
The boxes which are packed by the customer are scanned from the top view and the images are uploaded to the customer’s online account so as to ease recognition with the help of a visual catalogue. In case the customer wants the box back, the company provides a 24 hour delivery service.
Unique features of BoxMySpace
Being the only provider of storage space for both B2C and B2B, BoxMySpace provides an added feature of document storage in the boxes. The documents are digitized, a process involving scanning and uploading all the digital documents contained in the box on the user’s account for further use, without the need to call back the box.
The delivery and pickup time is 24 hours, which makes delivery and pickup of boxes convenient without having to wait for long periods of time.
According to Pratyush, “The biggest was obstacle was building up a good logistics operation team, figuring out different hurdles and starting at a low cost. Most of the logistics operations are B2B so the providers generally have big volumes, hence, to convince them to accommodate was a big hassle.”
There are several startups working in this field in US and UK, one of the popular ones being Makespace which is based out of NYC. The storage space industry in India, however, has no other competitors at present which makes BoxMySpace the sole player in the industry.
The Startup Model and strategy
BoxMySpace follows a subscription model to generate revenue and standardized pricing on a monthly basis. While a box costs INR 99 per month, a space of 4X4X4 ft. can be rented for INR 999 per month and a 6X6X6 ft. space costs INR 1999 per month. The company is growing at a rate of approximately 80 percent month-on-month basis. And to enhance their working and enhance the technology, the startup is in talks with several investors regarding funding. As of now, BoxMySpace is a bootstrapped venture.
Pratyush, an undergraduate from Cornell University, NY has left no stone unturned to market his product and has applied both online and offline marketing techniques to spread the word.
The concept of storage space is intriguing, but, it should also be kept in mind that people who are storing their belongings in some external storage place are risking the security of the same. Though the company commits to safeguarding data and provides an insurance of upto INR 10,000, this could prove to be a problem for the startup.