Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Start-ups cash in on craze for family photos

ZoomIn finds mention in today's HT (Mumbai edition): Start-ups cash in on craze for family photos'HindustanTimes ePaper

ZoomIn pays Jhaveri 75 per cent of revenues it makes from his photos that it prints and delivers. Jhaveri, whose business with his clients earlier ended when he handed them photos on a video CD, fixes his own price on these prints, and makes extra money with no effort from his side. In an attempt to increase revenues and expand reach in a nascent digital printing

They are trying to tap into a unique opportunity India offers: a large event photography market, created by a near-obsessive need for pictures taken at weddings, engagements and family functions. For good reason. "Unlike in the US, professional photographers contribute close to 50 per cent of the photo printing business here," says Sunny Balijepalli, co-founder, ZoomIn which is conducting pilots with such people in Mumbai, Pune and Ahmedabad, in addition to addressing end-consumers.

Statistics are hard to come by but a Gartner, Inc. study estimated the Indian digital camera market in 2006 at $110 million (Rs 473 crore) growing at 20 per cent to 22 per cent annually. 

The advantage with this model, companies say, is it creates large single-point photo sources. For example, Jhaveri has uploaded more than 40,000 photographs on ZoomIn. Non-resident Indians, he says, order more prints online after attending, say, a wedding. There are other reasons for targeting the pros. 

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