A Young Entrepreneur Makes It Easy To Buy Books Online At Dirt Cheap Prices
A stint with entrepreneurship in college, made Riticka Srivastav hungry for creating her own line of business. A college pass out, she brought together her two diverse passions; books and business, and culminated it into a venture.
Riticka started Book Thela, an online bookstore that hands out new and used books at throwaway prices! More from Riticka on her journey and what prompted her to jump into the startup world, right after finishing her Bachelor’s.
"My passion for entrepreneurship deepened after doing a side entrepreneurship stint in college where I was selling packaged food products to hostel students (who had no access to food at night except the mess), and that’s when I realized that I will definitely start something on my own one day.
I am a fun-loving person who loves reading, playing the drums, listening to music (rock and metal songs) etc – typical things people of my age do.
Book Thela is a go-to place for booklovers who are on a shoestring budget
The main aim of starting the venture was to unite broke bibliophiles like me with their favourite reads without the hassle of travelling to far off places to buy cheap books. As a college student with a limited budget, I had to travel a lot to different places to buy cheap secondhand books. This is when I realized that I could mold my business idea around this problem and provide a solution for the same.
I was in my last semester of college and was actively looking for internships for my training period when my father, who is an author himself, suggested the brilliant idea of selling used and secondhand books online. He knew about my passion for books and entrepreneurship and encouraged me to follow my dreams.
I did a lot of research after that to ensure that Book Thela becomes a sustainable business and officially launched it on 22nd March, 2017.
Journey and challenges
The journey has been amazing till now. Book Thela has received a phenomenal response and we were able to achieve our break-even point within the first month itself.
The major challenge which we faced was getting the shipping done on time to create a pleasant experience for the customer. As logistics is the backbone for any e-commerce company, we decided to outsource our logistics to different courier partners like FedEx, Delhivery, Holisol etc. to ensure that shipping is carried out smoothly without any delays.
Life as a young entrepreneur
Running my own venture at such a young age has been a great learning experience for me. I got to understand the dynamics of the industry and how to leverage my strengths to develop a sustainable business.
I developed new skills every day and it also gave me the confidence that age is just a number, all you need is hard work and sincerity to run a business. When I receive an email or review from customers thanking me for the books, the feeling is empowering – I’m actually bringing a smile on someone’s face and changing their life for the better as books are a bundle of knowledge. If you do what makes you happy, everything else will fall into place.
Genre of books and languages on the website
We only have books in English language as of now and, foreign ones like French, German etc. The genres of books on the website include two main categories – fiction and nonfiction. We have also made a separate section for Bestsellers, New books, 49 Club (all books priced at Rs. 49) etc.
Plans for expanding
The target audience for Book Thela is all kinds and types of book lovers, especially the younger crowd. We plan to broaden the target audience by covering more categories, languages and other value added benefits to make Book Thela the one stop shop for used books. We want to develop and launch an app in near future, expand the categories on the website and add some college study material and entrance exam books.
Our other focus is to establish an intimate connect with our customers, therefore we are planning to buy books directly from them.
My passion for reading
I am an avid reader who could spend her days reading if left alone on an island full of books. I was introduced to books at a very young age and that’s how I cultivated the habit of reading. My father has a personal library at home with more than 10,000 books in his collection so I never run out of reading material.
My favourite fictional; character is HARRY POTTER! I must say J.K. Rowling is a genius! I love the way the character ‘Harry Potter’ in the book teaches us so much about friendship, hardships, fighting your battles and other life lessons. The plot is so gripping till the very last page.
I am hooked to these books;
Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
Far Pavilion by M.M. Kaye
Angels and Demons by Dan Brown
Rage of Angels by Sidney Sheldon
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell"
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