‘The musty smell as I opened my world of books enchanted my senses, the words painted for my soul, a world tour beyond by fences. ‘
The feeling of reading a physical book used to be a pleasure for many minds. But as these young minds matured, this habit, failed to catch up with their fast-paced lives. Investing in a good book became redundant and the books continued to wait for its reader’s eyes to behold the drama it portrayed through its words. In conversation with Sijina and Sushanth, founders of dopamineR, who are on a mission to take this holy habit to a wider audience by providing the books for a very economical amount.
Tell us about dopamineR Books. A Book for A Rupee, could you also elaborate on this concept?
dopamineR Books is a Not-For-Profit Startup.
We provide bestselling books to read at just ₹1 per day rent!
Our mission is to raise the habit of reading to the next level by making books available to readers at their doorsteps, that too for the lowest cost ever.
Our vision is to bring back the good old days when people craved to read books and enjoyed the aroma of the fresh prints.
We commenced our operations on 20 November 2019 and have been serving our readers with a robust collection of books as well as our dedicated service. dopamineR books is based in Kerala and have full-time service [Direct Home Delivery And Pickup After Reading] in Kasaragod district. We also extend our service to readers all over India with the help of India Post and private couriers.
We launched our fully functional e-commerce website in May 2020, so as to provide our readers with the best possible service from dopamineR books.
What inspired you to begin such a venture? What is the story behind it?
In fact, We are just two tired beings, Sijina and Sushanth, striving to make the world a better place and leave a mark of ourselves on this planet.
Our inspiration was nothing but the massive unproductive lives lead by people around us [including us]. We wanted to do something about this wastage of energy and brains in this so-called new generation. We wanted people to realize the virtual reality they were living in. The power of dreams as well. And this immense internet consumption that is skyrocketing every single second. Isn’t it time to take a break and listen to our own inner voices?
Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before this startup?
We both are currently in the second year of our MBA degree and this is our first attempt towards being full-time entrepreneurs.
Where is dopamineR Books based? Why do you think that is the best place for you?
Our hometown is Kanhangad in Kasargod district. We felt that this was the best place to start because literally there was only a handful of people who would dare to read books here comparing to the actual population. As of now, in the tenth month of our operation, we have succeeded in providing books to almost all areas of the district by creating a community of over 500 readers from our district alone.
How did people respond to the concept? Do you think it has been as effective as you’d hoped it would be?
We feel happy to say that we haven’t experienced a bit of negativity yet after launching the operations. Most of the people came to us with awe as they knew that reading would not be more economical than this. Of course, we have made our mistakes and learned from them. And talking about the effect, we feel content as our aim was to bring back the love for books and we have succeeded in it, but there is still a long way to go!
Does social media help you reach the right audience? Do you do any other form of marketing?
That’s a relevant question in our mode of operation, as we only use Instagram and WhatsApp for promotion. We haven’t yet done any paid promotions as well as we haven’t run a single ad on Instagram. Still, we have managed to gain a lot of interest from people in and around Kerala. But as you know there are still a lot of people who are yet to find us. We hope they find us soon ????
How do you source your books and to where all do you send your books to? Tell us about your team and how you met them.
Most of our books are sourced from fellow readers. We are unable to buy books continuously as the profits don’t allow us to. To support that, we have a program called “Donate and Earn” which allows us to function as a book bank. Anyone who is interested in supporting the cause can donate and we will be paying them half the returns we make from their books.
Prithwiraj [Partner and Best Friend]
Akash Suresh [Helper and Best Friend]
Shammas [Associate-Kannur district]
What are your plans for the future? What are your expansion plans?
Our priority is to set up hubs in every district of Kerala. So that we can initiate direct delivery and pickup service to everyone in the state and avoid delays in transit.
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