Pikkabox: a Desire, a Journey, a Startup ! - Blogmantra


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Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Pikkabox: a Desire, a Journey, a Startup !

I feel that travel startups have a lot of potential today in spite of the cutthroat competition because travelling is no longer just a journey, it is counted as an experience. You may have come across many business plans and startup stories, but not as enticing as the one I am going to tell you about. Travelling, it leaves you speechless in the beginning and then turns you into a storyteller. Inspired by this, a New York based Indian couple experimented with their wanderlust and laid the foundation of an online business.

Gaurabh and Anuja from Pikkabox
Image Source: the betterindia

Pikka Heads of Pikkabox

Meet the husband-wife duo who started Pikkabox in June 2015. Husband Gaurabh Mathure is a Creative Director in a well-accomplished Design Consultancy. On the other hand, wife Anuja Joshi is a Design Strategist.
They both had firm careers and a fulfilling life in a city like New York when they came across Remote Year- an exclusive year long travel program. Remote Year is a startup by Greg Caplan and Sam Pessin that lets the digital nomads travel the world with a group of 75 professionals, takes them to 12 different countries in 12 months and exposes them to the cultural richness, heritage and unique experiences associated with each country.
Moved by this life-changing idea, the couple pitched in. 2015 was the inaugural year for Remote Year and it received 75,000 applications along with Gaurav and Anuja's for 75 spots. 
But Anuja was initially doubtful of the program, it was Gaurabh who convinced her for it. Anuja said:
Gaurabh and I love to travel but a limited number of holidays and a 9-5 schedule meant our travelling was also limited. I have to admit, taking a year off and leading a lifestyle on-the-go was not in my life's trajectory.
But anyhow, the lucky couple got accepted at Remote Year and they started their journey from Prague in June 2015 and this travel startup laid the foundation for them to begin theirs.

More: Read about the ultimate travel startup 'Remote Year'

Image Source: pikkabox

What is Pikkabox?

For the founders, Pikkabox is a passion project started in June 2015. But for you and me, Pikkabox is an online store that helps you order a box full of interesting and unique goodies hand picked by Gaurabh and Anuja from foreign lands. It means you just sit at home, scroll through their website, and request them to send you a box full of souvenirs. Sounds interesting and one-of-a kind, right?
So far they have curated nine boxes from nine different countries, and they were an instant sell-out.
The name of their business 'Pikkabox' is as intriguing as their venture. Pikka bird is a fictional character from the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, where the bird is said to belong to the Planet Lamuella and it gets euphoric by the ordinary things like the rising sun.

What did they do?

While they were on this Remote Year trip, they thought that it would be great to send souvenirs to their dear ones. Friends and family were amused when Gaurabh and Anuja shared the idea with them. That's how it all started, with just a simple thought. They decided to keep it low profile for a year through their travels while laying roots till the time they launch it full-fledged after coming back.
Since with Remote Year, they had to stay for a month in a particular city, they got enough time to prepare a place-specific box and do rest of the pikkabox-work along with their respective freelance jobs which allowed them to pursue the trip with all expenses managed.

Every time, they visited a new city, they would update it on their site and let the people know about the place and its whereabouts through engaging notes on their blog. They would showcase the city specific mystery box on the site for people to order.

Pikkabox- what is inside a box
Image Source: pikkabox

What is in the box?

While Gaurabh and Anuja were on the go, they strolled through many places to collect valuable artifacts, handicrafts, postcards, stationery, toys, home-products, edibles and anything that they found interesting. Unlike other e-commerce sites, they didn't want to sell products, they wanted to sell stories. So with each product, they added a card so that you could see the place through their eyes. The cards were meant to describe the value, sentimental attachment and usefulness of the product with its local area.
In a box, they put around six to eight curated products that they think would give their customers a glimpse of the city and the country that they visited. They made a limited number of boxes each month to put it on sale and shipped all the boxes at the end of the month.
The price varies from box to box. It entirely depends on the country. Like a box from Istanbul, Turkey costs more than a box from Ljubljana, Slovenia because of its popularity. 

Just like their Remote Year trip, their business ended in a year and you would not find any box for sale on their website right now, but the good news is that they are planning for the future and relentlessly working to launch Pikkabox version 2.0 for you. 
Gaurabh and Anuja reminded us that 'The moment is now, not tomorrow or yesterday or someday. Right here, right now this is your moment'.

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