We got a great opportunity to get the interview of Mr. Vivek Agarwal, cofounder of YOBooks. This interview was taken online. The set of questionnaires was sent to him and he has answered all of them. The interview is definitely worth reading. Mr Vivek Agrawal is wonderful person with a great vision to solve the real world problems which the student’s usually face. Let’s move to Questions and Answers now.
BGD : How your company started?
Mr. Vivek : The idea of YOBooks was something that took shape over a very long period of time. My hometown is 4hrs journey from Kolkata, and during my pre-university days, while preparing for various entrance exams, I traveled 2-3 times to Kolkata, just to get second hand books.
It used to be quite hectic as I use to lose 1 full day in traveling, plus books used to be too heavy to be carried.
At that point I noticed a gap in the market – the Tier 2 cities have almost NO access to second hand books. But I didn’t have any answer to the problem. A long gap of almost 10 years and with the boom of the e-commerce in India, I had a solution to the gap.
BGD : What was the vision behind it?
Mr. Vivek : The vision behind YOBooks is to provide an online platform to sell good quality used books at a decent price and deliver them to the customers, irrespective of their region and area. We provide access to books to people living all over the country from the metro cities to remote areas.
YOBooks is trying to solve the basic problem of the reading community – including Students, Teachers, and Avid Readers by providing access to an Online Portal Selling Used/Second Hand Books.
BGD : What your company actually do? ( We can get it from the website, but a short description about you may help people to know about you in a better way. )
Mr. Vivek : Our strong USP includes
· Affordable Pricing – Less than 50% of the New Book’s Price.
· Quality – Each book to be checked before shipping to ensure quality.
· Less Delivery Time/Shipping Cost – Hubs to be set-up close to the customer to ensure less Delivery Time/Shipping Cost.
· Various Topics Covered – Books on Subjects like – Engineering, Medical, Law, Finance, and much more.
· Competitive Exam Books Available – Gate, CAT, CA, CFA, CPT, Bank and other entrance exams Books Available on Request – Request book through our online portal.
BGD : What are the difficulties which you have faced or you are facing?
Mr. Vivek : The journey is always filled with challenges and that’s what entrepreneurship is all about.He further quotes that :
The major difficulty we are facing with is hiring the right talent. May be the educational system in our country needs to change and start imbibing the sense of creative thinking amongst the students rather than just make them run behind degrees.
BGD : How your company is helping India to grow?
Mr. Vivek : Our startup keeps multiple things in mind when it comes to helping our country to grow.
· Affordability – We provide books at very affordable rates, which help students save good amount to cost.
· Convenience – Students can focus more on their studies, rather than going out in the market searching for Used Books.
· Coverage – For us coverage is of two types: Subject Matter and Area. We at YOBooks cover books of various subjects and also deliver them to almost all the places in India. We have tie up with some of the prominent courier companies in the country as well as with Indian Speed Post, which gives us a great coverage. Students of tier 2/3 cities as well as from remote areas have access to used books.
· Reuse of Books – The books are being re-used by different students/avid readers, thus help in reducing the requirement of paper to print these books and hence is contributing towards the environment.
BGD : What is your message to young entrepreneurs?
Mr. Vivek : Two important points I want to share with the young entrepreneurs :
· Never cheat your customer, (un)intentionally. The cost of acquiring a customer is huge.
· Be honest to yourself and your business.
Within a very short span of time, we have customers across some of the top institutes of India, including, IIT-Delhi, IIT-Kgp, NIT-Trichy, Christ University-Blr, FMS – Delhi University, to name a few. This speaks of the amount of trust that students are showing on us.