Quirky - That would be the most fitting of terms if one was to describe the unique modus operandi of Geetika Chhatpar, founder of Pyjama Party Productions: a rather eclectic startup working out of Wanowrie, Pune. Set up in 2006, the company operates across two verticals, a party supply store and an event management service. As ordinary as either of those sound, a quick stop by their playfully designed website gives you strong sense for their free-spirited style. Folks, they’re anything but ordinary. YourStory.in is pleased to feature Pyjama Party Productions on their road to profitable merriment!
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born and brought up in Dubai, U.A.E. A lawyer by qualification, dancing is one of my passions. Oh, I’m an ardent animal lover too.
How would you briefly describe your venture?
Think Archies. Now think of their exact opposite. That’s us! We have gifts, practical jokes and party supplies that regular stores don’t stock. The store has everything from candles to ashtrays and caters to just about any party need. The other facet of our business is our event management service for more elaborate wishes.
What was the idea that led you to establish this venture? How has that been translated to your business model?
Coming from a very consumer-oriented environment in Dubai, I noticed Pune lacking in a one-stop store for all entertainment needs. If someone had to throw a party, he had to run from pillar to post to get everything he needed. We try to bridge that gap of convenience by offering as much as we can at our outlet.
How do you differentiate yourself from competition?
Everything we do is different! From the way we interact with our customers, to the products we sell. It’s hard to pin it down to just one thing.
What is the range of products that you have to offer?
Wow! We have party supplies, party accessories, practical jokes, doggy accessories, t-shirts by Sheepstop, soaps by Soap Opera, bar accessories, gift packaging, accessories (chains, jewellery sets, earrings, etc.) and even home decor!
Tell us a bit about the market size and the target audience that you are trying to capture.
Ideally, we’d like to rule the world! Until then, we’ll cater to ladies and gentlemen from 5 years upwards. You can imagine the target audience even if we restrict ourselves to just Pune! Thanks to our online presence we have orders coming in from all corners of India. We’ve even captured an international client base.
Tell us more about your international customers.
We have done so many things on order for so many people abroad! To mention a few: customised party supplies and decorations have been made and flown out to customers in Dubai, London and California. We have also shipped our products to several other countries in Europe and the Middle East
How has the response to your portal been so far?
Considering we literally started from nothing, the response we’ve received has been very encouraging. Every bit of feedback has been immensely helpful.
What are the typical margins you make with your offers?
Margins are anywhere between 30-35% on MRP but many clients can’t afford to shell out that much, so margins on those products are also as low as 20%.
What is the best compliment your work has received?
People often compliment us on the website which I find absolutely exhilarating as I personally took care of everything from the design to the content. The little cartoons were drawn by my friend while I was reading the content out to her and I was so impressed, I just had to incorporate them into the design.
Which products do buyers tend to favour?
Kids generally like the practical jokes while older people love the bar accessories.
Do you have offers for specific events/occasions?
Absolutely! We can customise the products for all occasions: weddings, baby showers, birthday parties, doggy parties, baby announcements, and so forth. You name it.
How do you cater to the work-culture demands and to customer satisfaction?
Our work-culture is all about having fun so it’s easy to cater to that! Our fun-loving personality is reflected in our interactions with customers. They end up having a good time regardless of whether they actually purchase anything. We aren’t a shop, we’re an experience!
How do you plan to scale up your business?
As our brand matures we hope to bring many more products in and at least one more outlet so that people don’t have to travel very far to see us! At the moment we have retail requests from a lot of brands but we have absolutely no space to allot to their products.
We are looking into the online shopping phenomenon and trying to figure out the best way for us to incorporate that into our website without sacrificing the fun, quirky ideals we’ve set for ourselves.
Are you looking to hire?
Yes, always. Our tweets and status updates regularly announce our requirements as and when new projects come up.
What new flavour will you bring in the coming years?
We have many ideas in mind. It’s all very top-secret so if I tell you, I’d probably have to kill you.
Anything else that you would like to tell your customers and fellow entrepreneurs?
Customers: Big Boss chahte hain ki aap Pyjama Party jaakar, party ki tayari karein! No, but seriously, come and take a look at what we have. If there’s anything you need and can’t find it anywhere else, we’ll probably have it or will be able to procure it for you. Visit us on Facebook / Twitter to know more.
Fellow entrepreneurs: I hate big corporations as much as you do. Let’s meet over coffee and compare notes on strategic take-overs.
If you are excited about the Indian e-commerce space, then do register now to attend e-sparks 2011 – India’s premier e-commerce startup showcase on 17th December 2011 at Bangalore.
If you are an Indian e-commerce startup, then please do register now to be the e-sparks of 2011.