Alma Mater, set up by Varun Agarwal and Rohn Malhotra, manufactures the most innovative memorabilia. They now provide you the opportunity to make customised online T-shirts

They’ve been in existence for only three years now but they’ve already co-founded a million dollar company and one of them has even released a best-selling novel and is working on the sequel! Varun Agarwal and Rohn Malhotra, founders of Alma Mater, a company that manufactures and retails alumni memorabilia, are among the most innovative entrepreneurs of their age. Adding another feather to their cap is the launch of their customised online t-shirt maker-PLAY!

In a chat with Varun, he says: “When we started the customised merchandise option at Alma Mater we realised the process was extremely long. First, you would have to send us an email, and then tell us your design requirement. Our designer would then send out a few options and then the back and forth over emails would start. By the time the design is done it’s already a week and then begins the process of choosing the size break-up, etc. So we came up with an option to make all of this super-easy and that’s how we decided to start working on PLAY. While before it would take even weeks to get a customised t-shirt orders placed, with PLAY you can do it in minutes. Actually minutes!”

Delving into how PLAY works, Varun explains: “PLAY is actually very simple to use and figure out. It’s an easy to use tool where you first choose your product (tee, hoodie etc). You then choose the colour of the t-shirt. You can then add an art from our Art Library of over 5000 vectors. You can add your custom text, or upload an image or your logo. You can even doodle on the tee and add individual name and numbers for your team. Once done with your design you can choose your size break-up and place your order.”

Speaking of where they drew inspiration from for PLAY, the entrepreneur-filmmaker-author states: “There are a lot of site in the West that are already doing this. However, most of them are not very user-friendly. Our real inspiration obviously came from Photoshop. ‘What if we can create something like Photoshop which even a grandmom can use?’ is what I thought.”

Despite it being easy to use, putting PLAY together was a Herculean task. According to Varun, “It took us eight months to build this although we had been planning for this for over two years. But we had to wait it out because this kind of technology was not available in India and internet speeds were not great. Also the Indian consumer wasn’t comfortable buying online until a few years ago. But all that has changed now.”

Alma Mater’s PLAY has been receiving a phenomenal response. The co-founder says: “We’ve been getting messages from all over India from people going completely gaga over the PLAY tool. A 53-year-old lady used the Play Tool to design tees for her kitty party and some students from PESIT who graduated last year got a chance to make their class hoodies in minutes. The response has actually surprised us.”

Apart from creating an online custom t-shirt maker, Varun and his partner Rohn are perpetuating the spirit of unity with their ‘Social Tee Networking’ concept. Varun says, as he wraps up, “While we were working on Alma Mater PLAY, we realised just creating a PLAY tool wasn’t enough. We had to make it social. So we came up with ‘Play Groups’. Here’s where one can create designs using ‘Play’ and save them in their ‘Play Group’. Groups can be created for one’s school, college, company, start-up, biker gang, rock band or anything under the sun! And then Play is used to save designs in one’s group. One can also ask his/her FB page fans to create designs and save them in the ‘Play Group’. Collaborations on designs are possible using ‘Play Group’. It’s like a Facebook group except it has designs.”

To design your own t-shirt, visit official page