AIE is a young start-up by IIT and BITS Pilani alumni and veterans from the photography Industry Divya Agrawal, Anubhav Das and Jaydeepsinh Jhala who are ushering in the concept of core tech driven cloud services for efficiently delivering photography solutions in India. Focussing on their basic offering they have generated revenue worth INR 10 Lacs in a short span of only 2-3 months time while bootstrapping it.
The idea came to fruition with the founders testing the initial concept of hiring freelancers and enthusiasts way back in 2014, when they engaged in a collaborative photography project encompassing 14 of the premiere colleges in India including IITs, IIMS, BITS Pilani , VIT and so on and ended up with a total of 1200 photographers within a span of 1 month. The project aimed at making a photography book on ‘Unseen India’ was recognized by the Limca Book of Records 2015 as the largest photo collaboration of its kind and the first in the country.
AIE has invested heavily in building its cloud based platform to improve the efficiency percentage from 70 to upwards of 85 in their shoots and to develop a steady operations pipeline to minimise the no. of calls needed between all the stakeholders in an average shoot aiming not only to reduce logistical hassles for the client but also to increase the trust in the brand.
Buoyed by the response from the industry and the end consumers, said an elated Ms. Divya Agrawal, Founder-Director, AIE to answer how the venture has been able to achieve the revenue target without external funding, “The venture has been bootstrapped since inception with founders pooling in their savings from their freelancing days while in college and professional life . Also since the venture has been unit economics positive from day 1 of operations, it was easy to scale and grow organically. We are in a market of high volume ticket transactions and it was just about making a product which could truly address the pain points of the enterprise consumer. If you have a powerful enough idea without any seed funding you can generate a good business. All you have to do then is stick to your guns till” added Divya.
At AIE, the founders have targeted scale from the get go. They started off with shoots in 10 cities and around 30 photographers and in a span of a little over 2 months they are 20 cities with over 150 photographers. They have completed over 100 shoots with close to 300% jump in revenue month on month with the 1st month revenue being 3.5 Lacs . Also they have started with their stock photography for SMBs with a repository of over 2 lac images especially rich in FMCG product photographs
Total photography market of India is upwards of 10 Billion USD year on year across verticals including real estate, e-commerce, fashion, events, portfolio, wedding, advertising etc. and they are looking to capture a sizable chunk of that market aiming to be the sole brand providing end to end photography solutions.
For AIE, the metrics of success of the product is calculated as function of client satisfaction, speed of the project and the efficiency of the execution especially when the end product is as intangible as a photograph.
The Product road map consists of streamlining operations on cloud service, building a B2C platform alongside of a stock photography platform among others. The founders apart from focussing on the business aspect, desire to make a lasting impact on the way photography is perceived in the country today by adding engaging content to their app offering as they plan to venture out into the consumer space within the next few months.