June 06, 2016

The Story of Alma Mater

Ever dreamed of a store delivering customized t-shirts, tops and all other kinds of apparel?Alma Mater is just that. Now wait it isn’t just any other kind of customized product selling merchandise. Here you get products customized according to the institution you are affiliated to. Your very own customized college products.

Origin of the idea

“Three years ago, two friends, one too many beers, one kickass business idea, one million dollar company… This, in a nutshell is how Alma Mater came about.”- this is how the alma mater story begins in their facebook page.This company is a brain child of 2 people-Varun Agarwal and Rohn Malhotra way back in 2009. They hit upon this idea while reminiscing their good old college days over a chilled beer. That’s when the idea of catering to the needs of alumni of various colleges came into light. Thus, the name Alma mater. Varun started this apparel store targeting the necessity of memorable items and apparels for different institutions alumni. Soon, after that he wrote a book titledHow I braved Anu Aunty and co-founded a million dollar company. This became an instant hit paving the way for him and his company. The company is based in Koramangla, Bangalore.

The Journey So Far

The major feature of this online apparel website is its “PLAY” tool. As the name suggests you can literally play with the design, graphics, colour, fabric and other aspects of your desired products. Unlike other websites they don’t offer you selected choices. Here you can make your own designs and order them. Their unique outlook and aesthetic designs led to huge leap in profits. They manage to ship 15000 products every month.

Keeping the target audience in mind the price range remains at an affordable limit of 450-700 rupees. Till July, 2013 they have sold 3,00,000 products. With the help of these tool you can draw doodles, make designs. As many as 800 fonts and 2000 vectors are at your disposal. Apart from that you can add your institution logo and change the background colour. Thus it provides huge pool of creative potential to unleash your creativity and wear it on your t-shirt. A plus point of this tool is its social forum. One can form groups here and easily discuss & build design with their friends. Till 2013 the response is substantial with almost every associations using it – from school students, college students to start-up companies to individual group associations. The company first started out-sourcing their work but now the manufacture & printing process is solely done by their 200 dedicated workers. This has removed the hazard of relying on others and minimized errors. With the incorporation of the PLAY tool, work has cut down further as continuous involvement with the customers aren’t required. One can just create their design and order it. As of now, they have worked for 2500 schools/colleges, 600 corporates, 100 start-ups spreading over 180 different cities of the world. This includes India and 6 other countries. Till May 2016, the company website registers 323401 happy customers, 15232 customized designs, 3554 college clients and 458420 likes on facebook

Future outlook

The current focus of the company is to be the number one merchandise in customized t-shirt & products market. Their sole agenda is to completely monopolize this market and rake the 25-30% gross margins to even greater percentage.

Written by Social Monks.