The Messy Corner: Sibling’s Journey From Scratch To Golden Fortune

Rising demand personalized gifts has been instrumental in driving the growth of the market. The Messy Corner, Mumbai based startup, was established in April 2015 by the Poddar siblings, Aayush and Aanchal, who initially had no idea that their mutual love for Travel and Lifestyle accessories, will one day turn into their big success story, which now has secured revenues worth RS 6 Crore in FY20, as claimed by the founders.

By Pallabi Ghatak

The Messy Corner: Sibling’s Journey From Scratch To Golden Fortune

Gifting, no matter how tiny it is, is an awaited oasis in the barren stressful and repetitive routine of life as it welcomes exhilaration to the daily hustle-bustle, breaking the despondency, creating new reminiscence and providing the bliss of enjoyment, sparkling with sweet memories. For that, personalized gifts have special demand as it beautifully captures a memorable moment, and it is inherently expressive as well, causing the enlargement of the popularity of personalized gifts that has boosted the growth of the online gifting industry, leading to the launch of innumerable customized gifting startups. Standing out among the many is Mumbai based e-Commerce startup, The Messy Corner, which focuses on stylish travel and lifestyle accessories.

THE MESSY CORNER: The Messy Corner (TMC) was found in 2015 by Aayush and Anchal Poddar, who love traveling and would often get personalized gifts for each other. Back then, the lack of Indian companies offering personalized gifts and accessories that are stylish, good in quality, and affordable, shepherded them to start TMC.

"We love personalization...We like to create gifts that we would love to keep for ourselves."- from there they started their journey. TMC not only offers its customers just the selection from a wide range of products like travel, lifestyle, stationery, and accessories, but they also personalize any of the products with their name and favorite charm on it. "TMC's customization experience is best in class", claimed by the company owners.

Now, TMC is a 20 member team, including full-time employees and freelancers. It does not specifically target any particular audience and all products are priced between Rs 299 to Rs 3,999. The startup designs its products in house. It sources the raw materials from local markets in Mumbai, Delhi, and Chennai and manufactures the products at TMC's factory in Vasai, Mumbai.

Since the Covid-19 situation, the startup is facing a drop in demand as the pandemic has put travel off the charts. However, it constantly tries to envisage the new unique products and recently introduced a UV Care Steriliser and cotton masks, costing 3,999 and 100 each respectively which are now selling like hotcakes.

THE TALE BEHIND TMC: Aayush (33) is an MBA in marketing from the University of Mumbai and has been managing the family business, Shree Textiles, for a long time. Aanchal, on the other hand, has a master's degree in marketing from the University of Bath, UK.

All it was started from a spare room at the corner of their house and initially they invested 10lakh Rupees in it. Aanchal recollects, "Our mother used to keep shouting at us to clean the room and we did try. But, in minutes, it became a mess again. So, we decided to name the company 'The Messy Corner'. It signifies the efforts and messes it takes to bring the products to our customers."

She adds, "The story began with our love for travel accessories, which inspired us to sell our first ever product - Passport covers...We also found out that they (customers) also want something unique and 'out-of-the-box' products and that's how we came up with our other set of unique products. Diaries, Laptop and iPad sleeves, Travel pouch and Wallets, AirPods covers, and Sling bags are specially designed and which are not easy to find."

PROMISES: Their primary goal is to constantly come with new products and ideas that the customers will adore. Every gift and design is created with particular recipient or occasion in mind, ensuring the usage of the highest quality of products.

"Every product we ship goes through a rigorous quality check.", claims the founders. They are also corroborating to provide the best customer service, super friendly, and enjoyable shopping experience at all times.

While they are competing with the other giant startups in the market, they have a long list of corporate clients that include Google, Zee TV, Deloitte, KPMG, JP Morgan, HUL, while its celebrity portfolio has names like Alia Bhatt, M S Dhoni, Bipasha Basu, Shraddha Kapoor, and Yami Gautam, having a customer base of 1.5 lakh users. The founders claim, the startup recorded revenues worth Rs 6 crore in FY20. "Our target for FY21, not considering the Covid-19 situation, is expected to be Rs 10-20 million," Aayush says.

Though the startup has not met any external fund, it is looking forward to the right strategic investor and planning to launch five more categories this year, holding their breath with full positivity.

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