PrintStop has an online e-commerce store arm, in addition to our physical stores. We mostly sell business printing products ranging from visiting cards, stationery, marketing collaterals and promotional material.
We wanted to target a consumer product and identified mobile phones as a fast growing and a large market. For this, we invested in a flatbed UV printing machine hoping that we will venture in personalised products like printed mobile covers. Other applications we could do on that machine were name tags, office signs etc.
A year after launching the project, we had to shut it down and are looking to sell our machine.
I feel we failed because of there was no required supply of raw material and also the fact that not enough research about the market and the machine was done.
The supply problem was that, most of these covers are imported from China and supply is extremely erratic and not standardised. For example, one lot of iPhone covers would have a different design as compared to the second one. Also, a large number of mobiles were being launched and this added to the procurement problem.
While investing in the machines, we ignored the nitty-gritty of various technical aspect of the machine. For example, different materials need different treatment. Some need a pre-coat, some need an over-coat.
Hence, we could not extend this to any surface.
We have made a few more small investments and those machines too are gathering dust.