Entrepreneur: Nidhi Rajora
Business Name: Flashback Photobooks
Welcome to Entrepreneurs of India #startupstories episode 117
Photos freeze the moments in our life, the moments we wish to relive a thousand times; those we love to cherish. Everyday we take a number of pictures, but most of them are destined to be forgotten or are eventually lost.
Flashback Photobooks is an app that helps you convert the pictures on your smartphone into beautifully printed photo books. That is, you can transform those pictures into an eternal part of your life where they can be cherished, shared and shown!
“We want printing of your precious photos to be Simple, Affordable, and Accessible. We want people to never lose a memory ever again,” says Nidhi Rajora, founder of Flashback Photobooks. What made her launch an app like this? How is it relevant in today’s digital era? Let’s find out!
1) How did you get your idea for this business?
Around a year ago, my brother was blessed with a baby boy, when he came to visit, we quickly dug up our old photo albums, to see Bhaiya’s baby pics, it was this nostalgic, beautiful moment which quickly escalated to us digging through bunch of different albums from our childhood, reminiscing and reliving countless memories.
A couple of days later, I realized to my horror, that having been married for four years, I had not one album of my own. While we were taking countless pictures using our phone everyday, more so than before, none of them were getting saved, for posterity, I used to think that they are in my phone, they are safe. But truth be told, phones die/get stolen/get sold and so do those precious memories that we cherish so much.
I realized that even in this day and age, when we are all part of the digital revolution, there are certain moments where the heart still wants that physical manifestation of our memories, that is the age old Photo album.
I probed into why people don’t make physical photo albums anymore, and found that it is simply because the process has become too cumbersome and honestly, daunting. Most people don’t even know where to start. That is when I decided, that there has to be an easier way to do this, if the photos exist in the phone, the answer too should lie within the phone.
A year in times, lots of blood and sweat later, we launched Flashback Photobooks App.
2) Why is “now” a good time for this idea to exist?
I believe that there is a certain sense of vacuum that is now being felt, people are slowly waking up to the realization that though the digital revolution is great, the physical manifestation of few things is very important and can’t be ignored. For example, written letters, vinyl records, polaroid cameras, they are making a comeback owing to the fact that there is something about the physicality of an object that cannot be replaced by the digital version.
We all grew up with homes that had a cupboard filled with photo albums, opening which would lead top an entire afternoon of nostalgia, we all somewhere miss that, and more so want our children to have that. Physical things have a permanence that we all still crave for.
3) What was the reaction from your family when you first decided to become an entrepreneur?
I am an Industrial Designer from the National Institute of Design. I had a really nice job, which made me very happy, so when I told them one day that I want to start a company of my own, I had expected some resistance or backlash, but there was none. My husband, parents and in-laws, completely understood that I want to create equity for myself, though my own company, and supported me fully from day one.
4) What was your biggest mistake in business and what did you learn from it?
I am so new to this whole world, that I honestly don’t think I’ve made my biggest mistake yet, but watch this space, it’ll probably happen soon!
But seriously, expecting a very linear trajectory to growth or success is something I did. Though I’ve found through the past year, that when you are building something from the ground up the trajectory is non linear, it ebbs and flows, halts and accelerates, often not entirely in your direct control. So, the focus should be on doing your bit, consistently and continuously.
5) What is your biggest obstacle in the next 12 months and how will you overcome it?
Making a solid product (The App) though challenging in its own way, was relatively easy, as it was something fully under our control, but marketing the App and getting the word out to the world is our biggest challenge this year. We are exploring multiple channels, making numerous errors but stumbling along and figuring out the best way to get the product to the people.
6) What habits contribute to your success?
GRIT and PERSEVERANCE are the two things that I feel contribute to long term success. More than opportunity, luck, intelligence or education, for me, its sheer grit in its everyday humility that gets the job done.
7) If you had the opportunity to start this business again what would you do differently?
No, not really, I believe that just like every accomplishment, every mistake I make, made or will make is precious to me. It’s all a part of the journey. They are all lessons that I needed to be able to cope with the challenges that I will face.
8) What is your favourite inspirational quote?
“The moment you want to Quit, is the moment when you need to Keep Pushing.”
9) Where do you find inspiration?
Travelling to the hills and mountains is where I feel most inspired. Just when you are losing scale about your issues and problems, a moment of solace in the hills makes you understand your place in this world, and I always come back with a readjusted perspective.
10) What is your favourite book?
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand.
11) What advice would you give to someone starting out?
Find your Passion and then give it your all. There will still be challenging moments and hardships, but if you truly are passionate about what you do, it’ll provide resilience in the bleak times.
Nidhi Rajora plunged into entrepreneurship with an idea that seemed old in digital era. But her research made her realise that people were still fond of photo albums as some things in life are best enjoyed in their physical manifestations. They were actually seeking a way to make photo albums without going to studio. Flashback Photobooks App served the right segment of customers. In a way, it gave this generation an opportunity to ‘touch and feel’ the photos they clicked and cherish those memories.
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