Textbuk.in allows engineering students to rent books without burning a hole in their pockets and do their bit for the environment
Sameer Tulpule, founder of textbuk.in, still remembers how he had to shell out loads of money every semester to buy books while completing his graduation in electronic science.
Sameer Tulpule, founder of Textbuk.in, now has over 900 odd students
renting out books for each semester. Pic/Krunal Gosavi
After gaining a degree in business marketing and working in the BPO industry for seven years, he realised it was high time he did something for engineering students that would not only help them to rent books online but also save the environment. That was how he and his partner entrepreneur Vishal Sharma decided to set up textbuk.in.
The online service, launched in January last year in Pune, helps students to rent books for each semester at a nominal rent and save up to 60 per cent. All they have to do is log on to the site textbuk.in, fill up a form and place an order for the books that they need.
They have to make the payment and they receive their delivery within three days. Apart from this, there are also schemes for students of different years wherein they can make a one-time payment for a year and avail up to 50 to 80 per cent discount and rent the books for seven to eight semesters.
Moreover, whenever textbuk.in gets a new customer, Tulpule, who has tied up with Tree Public Foundation, an NGO that works for conservation of trees, plants a sapling at a plantation in Pune.
Explaining the idea behind this venture, Tulpule says, "Engineering books are expensive. Students have to buy different sets for every semester. At the same time, we wanted to promote re-usability of books so that we can fight against deforestation and save the environment."
Tulpule and Sharma worked on the idea for over four months and finally implemented it in January, 2011. They started off by dedicating the first six months to a feasibility test wherein they managed to attract 60-odd students and ensured that the books were returned on time.
The initial response motivated them and after creating awareness about their service by setting up kiosks in college campuses and distributing pamphlets at eateries and cyber cafes, today textbuk.in has around 900 odd users.
Tulpule has built an inventory of books by tying up with distributors and buying new copies of local and international publications.
Though right now, textbuk.in is catering to students of Pune University and Nasik and Ahmednagar districts, Tulpule hopes to expand the services to the western coast of Maharashtra including places like Thane, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Satara and Sangli.