It was a usual day in BITS Pilani when Shourya Agarwal – then in his third year of B.Tech – received a letter from his father. The letter contained pictures of his childhood and was meant for his birthday, which happened to be on the same day. An overwhelmed Shourya failed to understand how to reply. For him, WhatsApp messaging or a phone call or a text message wasn’t enough. He wanted to write a letter that emanated his emotions. And while doing so he faced numerous challenges such as transportation, logistics, et al. This inspired him to brainstorm a platform that allows users to get hold of their precious memories (in the form of photographs) seamlessly from their mobile phones. And that was how Flying Homingos was born. Shourya along with his BITS batchmates Rajat Gupta and Malhar Patil now run Flying Homingos from Mumbai with an aim to deliver memories at everybody’s doorstep. The TechGraph editorial team sat with the brains behind this innovative startup to understand their vision. Here’s an excerpt of the interview.
TechGraph: Tell us about your company.
Shourya Agarwal: We, at Flying Homingos, are a pretty emotional and nostalgia-stricken bunch of guys and we believe that ‘memories are priceless’. Therefore we deliver your precious photographs at your doorstep free of cost in a elegantly drafted postcard format. The name of this product is Phostcard. It is a B2C app-based product that is free for all the users. We have an industrial revenue model in place that helps us monetize our business while delivering memories to your doorstep.
TG: What is the technology framework behind Phostcard?
Rajat Gupta: We are using the latest technology to bridge the gap in human relationships that technology has created over the past few decades. We are creating a highly secure platform for the people around the globe to connect with each other keeping their privacy intact. We are available on Web, Android, and iOS platforms. Our system is powered by state of the art technology including AI, AR, PWA and in-house automation tools.
Shourya Agarwal: At this point in time, we want to focus specifically on the photography market that coincides with our principle of preserving memories, however, we aim to foray into the advertisement world in the future. Asides we want to venture into the B2B market as well just as Facebook did but we need to strengthen our hold over consumers first.
TG: What is your operations model?
Malhar Patil: We have collaborated with a large printing facility, which essentially has become ours. Asides, Flying Homingos have a robust logistics network that makes the delivery of Phostcards seamless. Asides, we have an automation system that takes care of more than 90 percent of our operational requirement. We started off with three cities, however, today we deliver in 94 cities and have a pan India presence.
TG: How well has your product been received and is there any special story that you want to share with us?
Malhar Patil: Well, since our product engages the customers emotionally, it has fared pretty well. People who have ordered Phostcards have gone crazy as ours is a first platform that does something of this sort. In fact, we have a huge number of customers that have shared Phostcards on their Instagram stories.
TG: What is the roadmap for Flying Homingos?
Shourya Agarwal: At this juncture of time, we want to expand and increase our user base. Although we are currently delivering in 94 cities, we are aiming for a nationwide penetration. We are currently on a hiring spree for our tech, sales and marketing team. The future certainly looks bright and we envision venturing in other vistas that befits our purpose and vision.