Printo story- Manish Sharma

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Our story at Printo

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About Printo What? Retail stores that offer easy printing Products & bespoke How? Hub & spoke model 17 stores: Bangalore & Hyderabad 200+ employees Cash profitable

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About Me (Audience check - To be entrepreneurs / VCs ) About me Bombay boy: School - college - relationships lots of experience at college, no academic learning TCP/IP RFC  Serial entrepreneur / undertaker DBS Internet    +$  AI s/w co.           -$$    Employment     +$$  

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Printo Journey  Concept process Back of the envelope plans Fashion retail / Hajaam / Printshop Objection Handling "Why do a Xerox shop?"  "Statistically significant for Dhirubhai"   Decision process Spoke to people in industry - 'confirmatory bias' Took surveys Did what I wanted 

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Printo Journey My Lesson: At first, listen. Then listen more. But then do what you want.

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Initial Team Was tough to form the team  I was from IT and had not been in India.  Never faced this problem before Every other person I knew was a techie!  Spoke to several and pitched to many Got a little desperate for a partner Looked closer home Close friend and closer.... Spouse Debt to Coffee Day And Barista 

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Initial Team My Lesson: Team is everything. Culture is more than everything.

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Raising Money XL said 2 crores to prove concept (3 stores) Advisors with Skin in the game Angel investors bet on industry and team Friends and some family Statutory Warning to all F&F: "This is a gamble. 90% chance of no return" Stuck at 70lacs Switched to "the train is moving...." mode

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Raising Money My Lesson: People jump on to moving trains

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First & Second Store Drove to Bangalore, rented apartment cum office First store in Koramangala Tough time in real world -  No schedules What is a DG? Theatre training to rescue Grand vision Clean store,  No-nonsense service, ready to print only Changed operating model in 4 weeks Second store in Infosys Great credibility. Inspirational facility. Time suck. De-motivation.

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First & Second Store My Lessons: (1)First models are mostly crap                       (2)Large cos. are not necessarily great customers

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More funding.... Seedfund - 2006 4 months to MiB Sequoia - 2007 6 months to MiB My Lesson: Time suck. Minimum 6-9 months to raise. 

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Fund raising lessons Look for angels, friends and family Fear vs. Greed VCs do not invest at concept stage do not have competence to judge industry do not understand early stage (no exceptions)  2-3 exceptions in India

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Building the business It is WIP Average time taken to build a 100cr company? Time for $50mn top high-tech NASDAQ listed firms? Your take: ___ years Why?  Learning is slow Environment is not controlled Non-tech arbitrage businesses have huge challenges hard infra soft infra corruption Gained tremendous respect for family business intuition

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Building the business My lesson: Business is  pickle. So marry well.

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