There are plenty of times when we all wish that we had a little more space at our disposal. From relatives descending for extended visits, to relocating leaves you struggling with excess furniture. Bengaluru-based start-up, Box Me aims to tap in to all of those needs, with flexible storage options that range from just one cubic foot upwards, and which can be availed for anything from a single day onwards.
“The idea came to me and my colleague Sriram Dandapani when his parents moved here from Delhi in November 2014. There was no space to accommodate all of their things, and no convenient storage options available,” begins 24-year-old co-founder and former business analyst Akhil Mohanan. The pair was joined by Mohanan’s college batch mates Aravind A and Ajay Sreedharan, and by March of this year they were ready to take on their first customers. “We work well together because we have different skill-sets,” says Mohanan, elaborating “Sriram has the most managerial experience, I love design and have focused on envisaging the product while Aravind and Ajay bring their technical experience.” While all four are currently serving notice in their respective companies, from August onwards they will be on board full time, working towards their target of 10,000 users by the end of the year.
Mohanan hopes that their attention to details and ease of service will set them apart. For smaller items, users can avail specially-designed airtight boxes (which are delivered to your door, and picked up a week later once filled), while for larger items space can be booked online by the cubic foot, and your items are then collected. Their 55,000 foot warehouse has 24-hour security and top-notch fire safety, and basic insurance is included in the storage cost. “The most unusual item we’ve been asked to store so far is a luxury car, for someone who was moving abroad but hadn’t found the right buyer,” says Mohanan. “This gave us the inspiration to develop an ‘open inventory’ concept, where people can list items they want to sell, and keep them with us,” he says. They also plan to expand operations to other cities countrywide, with their first targets being Mumbai, Hyderabad and Chennai.
—Maegan Dobson Sippy