Startups popularising do-it-yourself kits through their products


October 29, 2015

Tasmayee Laha Roy, The Economic Times

Kolkata, 29 October 2015

Whether it is making your own coffee table or rustling up an exotic dish, Generation Y has taken a liking to DIY (do it yourself) kits. Helping them in this endeavour are some retail and food startups, which themselves are experimenting with the concept.

Half-year-old Bengaluru-based startup Ubyld ships close to 100 DIY furniture kits every day. Cofounder Shobha Nair said as much as 90% of its customers were women, "who take pride in making their own shelves, consoles, wine racks, coffee tables and chairs".

Priced between Rs 1,500 and Rs 3,300, the Ubyld kit comes with pre-drilled wood components, screws, screwdriver, glue and an instruction guide. The guide has a smart QR code, which when scanned with a smartphone loads a 3D view of the furniture being built.

"In an age where mass production has become a norm, DIY is a way to differentiate your product. Things like sewing kits have been around for a very long way to create customised products for the younger lot who want to fit into the crowd and stand out at the same time," said Devangshu Dutta, chief executive at retail consultancy Third Eyesight.

"Uniqueness in the product, and also the involvement that goes into making your own things, is driving the DIY craze," he added.

Delhi-based leather brand Nappa Dori has a kit for the Indian doit-youselfers who would like stitching up their own belts. This 14-element kit comes at Rs 2,800 and belt making includes everything from dying the raw strip of leather to punching holes.

Nappa Dori sells close to 20 such kits a day to customers from the three stores of the brand in Delhi and on its portal. It also ships these kits abroad where DIY is a popular concept.

DIY has most takers among gourmets, who order these kits to cook up exotic dishes and get rid of packaged food. While some of these kits offer just measured ingredients, there are others who provide partly prepped ingredients.

Let’s Chef, Hautechef and Burgundy Box are among the food startups that are working on the idea. Most of these startups also serve meal boxes.

(Published in The Economic Times.)