Kaagazi’s Kavya Converses About Her Stationery Collaborative!
First things first, Happy International Women’s Day to everyone out there. With women making their mark in different professions across the world, we thought to contribute to the occasion as well.
Today is about celebrating women! We have with us, Kavya Agarwal, entrepreneur, founder of Kaagazi Collaborative. Kaagazi is the birthchild of Kavya Agarwal. A brand that is in sync with the ‘Made in India’ initiative, but created for stationery lovers worldwide. The all-inclusive stationery brand produces gender-neutral products that can be customized across all languages. The papers are created to go with both writing as well as drawing instruments.
The idea is to not let stationery sit idle on your shelves. The idea is to let you use stationery extensively. Kaagazi contains ample options for new writers and offers vintage-styles paraphernalia for old souls as well. Look what’s in store for everyone.
Here are the excerpts from the interview:
1. How and when did you start Kaagazi?
Back in my college days at the National Institute of Design, I was really bored of doing hypothetical classroom projects because they did not challenge me. That’s how I thought of creating Kaagazi. Apart from crafting an independent career for myself, I wanted to do engage in a solid branding exercise that had some real-world application. Thankfully my guide, Mr. Tarun Deep Girdher, supported my initiative. Under his guidance, I was able to register my company before completing graduation.
2. The name of your venture is very authentic. Inspiration?
There was a lot of to-and-fro regarding the name. I knew I wanted to create a brand that carried Indian values and could instantly be related to the kind of products I was selling. Also, my affinity with the alphabet K is long known to my family and friends. Hence, almost after 3 months of discussions, I decided to adopt the name Kaagazi – which literally translates to ‘can be written on paper’. It is also a common surname in Western India among the communities that traditionally worked with paper.
3. In these 10 years of Kaagazi’s existence, how much have you contributed to the fountain pen community?
When we started out, our initial offering was sketchbooks only. Slowly, we became aware of the Indian fountain pen community in 2017 when some of our customers started demanding fountain pen-friendly paper. Their main pain point was that fountain pen was very expensive and sold by very premium brands. So, there should be a worthy-enough paper for them. That’s when we decided to add notebooks that could bear the responsibilities of a fountain pen heroically. I am proud to share that all Kaagazi products today, including the sketchbooks, are fountain pen-friendly. They come at affordable prices so that even beginners can use them without feeling intimidated.
4. What challenges do you face in this particular community?
I think there are a lot of people who buy from international brands not knowing that the materials are actually produced in India or some other third-world country. The cost of the product goes up exponentially in such cases and ends up eliminating the amateur segment for fountain pens completely.
We produce equally high-quality notebooks with sturdy structures but somehow, the foreign companies end up eating our market share in our own country. It’s actually disheartening to see that your fellow citizens would rather purchase the same product from an internationally well-known brand than support you.
5. Writing has so many benefits, as a notebook entrepreneur, can you list some for our young readers?
I think the main benefit of writing or recording something by hand is the stimulus that goes all the way from your hand to the brain. Writing has such a calming effect that somehow is missed out in typing on the keyboard, it gives you a better chance to connect with who you really are and promotes better retention overall.
6. In the age of social media and digitalization, where writing has become a rare activity, how do you plan to grow your notebook business?
While it’s true that in the digital age, writing has become a rarity but interestingly the stationery market in India has been growing at a CAGR of 10-12% per year. It is still the most convenient and affordable way to record their thoughts for most people. Beyond writing, fountain pens are becoming increasingly popular in the creative arts community, among calligraphers and artists. I feel that people are also increasingly becoming exhausted of the amount of time they spend on screen, so we aim to give them options to spend time offline and treat this as an activity for personal growth and development.
7. What is the international coverage of Kaagazi? Can our readers in Canada get your products?
We have been active in the B2B space internationally however, we are yet to start retailing outside India. Having recently acquired our export license, we hope to start catering to the B2C segment globally very soon!
8. What is the road ahead for Kaagazi?
We want to build a brand that takes Indian stationery, handmade paper and other products to the world. Apart from increasing our visibility worldwide, we will be expanding into categories beyond notebooks and building a brand that takes the story of fine Indian craftsmanship to the world.
9. Any special comments for our readers?
If you have not tried Kaagazi products yet, we highly recommend you try some of our notebooks and provide your valuable feedback. In all probability, you will love the functionality and ease of use of all our products.
For More information: https://kaagazi.com/
Check out the video: inked happiness – YouTube