India’s First Online Textbook Rental Service

Remember the time when we were students? Money was never enough and we couldn’t delay buying those textbooks any longer as exams were almost here! Those books created a huge dent in our pockets. And what happened to them once the exams were over? They got sold for peanuts to the nearest raddiwala (person who buys paper and other scrap). Now, also stop to think of the environmental damage – Millions of students buying millions of textbooks every year contributing to the felling of millions of trees. There is finally a sensible alternative to all this mindless destruction – Textbuk.in

Textbuk.in is India’s First Online Textbook Rental service. Students can save a considerable amount of money by renting their textbooks from here, with the added comfort of having the textbooks delivered and picked up from their homes. In addition to saving trees by recycling textbooks, the initiative also promises to plant a sapling for every new customer they get.

Sameer Tulpule (left) at the Manthan Awards 2011

Sameer Tulpule (left) at the Manthan Awards 2011

TBI spoke to Sameer Tulpule, co-founder of Textbuk.in and asked him about this innovative concept.

TBI: What led to the genesis of Textbuk.in? What made you think you wanted to do this?

We have been students ourselves and understand that every rupee counts, especially when you are a student. Your pocket money is never enough and any add on would be a big bonus. We also know that the generation of today is looking to add as much value as it can to make the world go green. We brainstormed several ideas with these two objectives in mind and realized that textbook rental is one such venture which addresses both these issues.

Textbuk.in is India’s First Online Textbook Rental service. Its goal is to build awareness amongst the students that they can do their bit by recycling textbooks and in turn make India a greener place. In the process they also save money. Textbuk.in facilitates recycling of textbooks by planting a tree every time a student uses its service. The model works similar to a library where students/ customers rent textbooks for a limited period of time and return the books. Students rent the books online and people from Textbuk.in deliver and collect it from their homes. Traditionally textbooks are either purchased or sold to the second hand market or to the roadside Raddiwalas. Textbuk.in is trying to streamline this fragmented market and aligning it with a social responsibility model using technology.

TBI: What are the current categories you serve and what are your expansion plans beyond Pune?

We are serving Engineering, Diploma and B.Sc. students and planning to have textbuk.in as one stop destination for educational books. We will be adding other streams like Medical and Law in next 6 months. We are catering Pune and Nasik currently and shortly expand our boundaries by serving in Mumbai, Ahmednagar and complete Maharashtra shortly.

TBI: What is the impact you believe you are bringing about with your initiative?

We have 900 customers and growing by each day. The delivery statistics is also impressive and till date this initiative has delivered over 3500 books and the Textbuk.in hopes to close current semester with about 5000 books which would amount to saving close to 15000 trees being felled to make these books. We have already planted close to 350 saplings along with their out partners and by 2015 they wish to plant 3 Million trees through this initiative alone. This concept is appreciated for futuristic efforts to work towards crowd sourced model to build scale.

Visit Textbuk.in for further information and spread the word to reduce and recycle.

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