Gokulraj, a young entrepreneur, has a bag full of business plans targeting the college-goers.
A tiny animated Albert Einstein walks on the notebook, mouthing popular Tamil comedian Goundamani’s dialogues. It is possible to click snaps with the little guy. Before you brush it off as an imagination, this is one of the unique features called ‘Augmented Reality’, of the new generation notebooks called MyCopie.
Students can experience this with the help of an app called ‘Ingage’. You need to download the app on to your phone and point the phone's camera at the image of Einstein on the notebook. By doing so, Einstein will seemingly come alive on your phone screen. Gokulraj pursued his masters abroad right after his under graduation from an engineering college.
However, this ambitious youngster started his first venture called eFuture Solutions in 2007 when he was in the second year of his college. Providing digital signatures, he is still a co-owner of the company. His next start up came in 2011 — ZapStore.com which was an e-commerce website.
A chance meeting with six students from NIT-Surathkal led to the birth of MyCopie. The students printed notebooks with many advertisements and gave it away for free. After having talks with the students, Gokulraj wanted to turn these free notebooks into premium, ‘most wanted’ notebooks. Sold only in colleges, these notebooks have garnered widespread attention and popularity if the Facebook page likes are anything to go by.
Note for fun
These slick new notebooks have everything and more that a college student could dream of. “Our target being students, we have included a lot of exclusive coupons that would be useful,” says Gokulraj. “We have coupons from McDonald’s, KFC, Coffee Day, and many other outlets which are popular among the students.” The first notebooks to incorporate the concept of ‘Augmented Reality’, Gokulraj says that this was introduced to make the notebooks more interactive and fun for the students.
Started in February 2013, these notebooks have become the rage among students now with over one lakh copies being sold out.
They are sold in Anna University, WCC, Stella Maris, SSN and other colleges. Not just in Chennai, these notebooks are a hit in Bangalore too. “We have a team of four in Chennai and three in Bangalore,” says Gokulraj. Printed in the international A4 size and 70 GSM paper, Gokulraj made sure that college students got only the best quality notebooks. Gokulraj also gives away these notebooks to underprivileged students. “We collaborate with the colleges to identify such students and give them free notebooks,” says he.
Plans are also on to have tie ups with a popular beauty salon and a bike brand to sell the notebooks in a different way. “The notebooks sold in the beauty salon will be differently designed, catering to both men and women,” says Gokulraj. “Containing beauty tips, these notebooks will be one of a kind.”
The tie up with a famous bike brand would see the distribution of these unique notebooks to students during road show events conducted in colleges.
Apart from MyCopie, this young entrepreneur also has other projects in his kitty. He is the program leader of the Startup Leadership programme in Chennai which will be launched soon. It is a six-month course for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs. This programme is already going strong in Delhi, Pune, Mumbai and Hyderabad.
“In this programme, every class will be different. We also have plans to bring in experts to provide hands-on experience,” says Gokulraj.
He’s got other plans too… My Charge: a mobile recharge platform exclusively for students with special offers; My Events: a free event-hosting platform for college festivals; My Voice: a curated blog where students can post their opinions and the happenings in their colleges; and My Blog: a student blog where select students from different colleges can write about student life and happenings.