Website designing for dummies

Manasi Mithel        Print Edition: Feb 3, 2013

PIXPA DIGITAL
LOCATION: New Delhi
BUSINESS: Web designing, hosting and creating integrated e-commerce platforms, specifically for photographers
FOUNDED IN: February 2012
LED BY: Gurpreet Singh, Anuj Sharma
COOL QUOTIENT: Easy website design templates, social networking upgrades with no additional costs

When several photographer friends asked Gurpreet Singh to create their websites, the New Delhi-based digital designer decided to provide them models so that they could do it themselves. He along with Anuj Sharma, a web technology designer, developed Pixpa.com, a do-it-yourself web designing platform, using which creative professionals can showcase and sell their work online. "You don't need any favours with Pixpa. It's easy," says Singh, the company's CEO.

The company was first incorporated in the United States in January 2011 as Pixpa Inc. A year later, the company was incorporated in India and called Pixpa Digital Pvt. Ltd. All operations of both the companies are run out of its Okhla office in New Delhi.

Pixpa Digital offers a range of design templates that enable people with little or no technical skills to easily create their own websites. Photgraphers, artists and videographers can use Pixpa to share their work online - photographs, videos, slideshows, blogs and social media links - using multimedia tools, all by making a one-time payment of Rs 8,000 to Rs 16,000. "Year-round multimedia and social networking upgrades are included in this with no additional charge for hosting," says Singh. The cost of getting a custom-designed website is more than Rs 20,000, apart from Rs 5,000 to Rs 8,000 paid to the website host.

Pixpa has an integrated e-commerece platform that aid photographers sell their work. It may be the new kid on the block, but the Rs 2.7-crore start-up already has 3,000 subscribers. Indians account for just 15 per cent of its subscriber base at the moment, but Singh says Pixpa has been growing at a rapid pace in India, too. The firm's initial funding of Rs 1 crore came from IdeazInc, a design and digital solutions firm headed by Singh. Barely a year after starting in India, it is making profits. "In just the last six months, we grew at 150-160 websites per month," says Singh.

Pixpa's first client was Mustafa Quraishi, a well-known photographer with little time to manage his massive portfolio. "The last two times I tried to set up my website through some freelance web designers, it took a year and the website still didn't go up. I got my current website up and running within two weeks," he says. It takes only a few hours now for a new subscriber to get a website up and running.

Though such platforms are common in Europe and the United States, Pixpa is one of the first of its kind in India. "Internationally, it is a billion-dollar market, but here in India we don't have any competition," says Singh.

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