There is something intuitive about handwritten words. Those slants and those curves have something so magical in them that you’re nothing less than mesmerized.
If anyone I come across has a beautiful handwriting, I instantly respect that person, partly because of lack of my own skills. I love good handwriting but don’t have one! Here, I would take a moment out and blame my father for it who, being a surgeon, has mastered the art of ‘doctor’s handwriting’. His handwriting is like a dying man’s pulse. A single legible alphabet in the beginning followed by a straight line, till the end, I always joke.
It was one of those days when I thought I could bring a good change in my life and learn how to write beautifully, that I stumbled upon this god sent website named The Indian Handwritten Co. Trust me, it must have taken me less than a minute to fall in love with them. What can be more precious than sending handwritten letters in the days of blunt, instant communication?
So I always kept it in my bucket list to be able to write about TIHLC, if not write like them. Trust me, it was the easier way out for me. When I spoke to Anubhav, the co-owner of TIHLC, I was taken aback when he told me that he does not have a beautiful handwriting but just a fairly legible one. It was simply his love for letter writing that he continued the habit and met his co-founder Jashwanth Cheripally. Jashwanth, unlike Anubhav has a good handwriting but what got them together in partnership was the fact that they both loved handwritten letter writing.
“The idea was hatched in October 2015 and for fun, we launched a blog site, which was more of a hobby, where people could request letters” says Anubhav. Within two weeks, they were inundated with requests which made them realize that there are many more like them who admired handwritten letters. What started as a hobby by Anubhav and Jaswanth soon turned into something big, something better when in a year’s time, the team received a bulk order of personalized handwritten letters from a large e-tailer. Soon, this team expanded to a total of 14 writers, all sharing a common belief that handwritten letters are still the sexiest way of communication!
Sometimes, a challenge is just what you need to prove to the world that your idea is workable! This is what the TIHLC experienced during their initial round of conversations with one of the very successful VC’s & Entrepreneur from Mumbai who challenged them to get 100 orders to begin with. “We stuck to our gut feeling and almost a year later our orders are going through the roof.” A bulk of their business is from corporates, right from custom designs to writing in different languages, they are glad to be part of their client’s journey.
All the team members have a day job and work for TIHLC in their free time. ‘To qualify as a writer you have to fill up a form on our Careers page and if it works for us, you are on!’ says Anubhav. So if you’re someone who would like to turn your love for handwriting into a source of income, head to their website right now. Today, the team can serve you with magnificent handwritten letters in 10 Indian languages. And the heartening testimonials from clients proves that their service is at par!
Another characteristic of the team worth admiring is the way they protect their client’s privacy. No client data is stored on their servers for more than three weeks after the letter is shipped. Many a times there are personal letters that are worked on and the team ensures that what is personal, remains with the client.
As a big chunk of their orders come from the corporate offices, the team has also started catering to their clients with writing postcards and greeting cards. Soon enough, all their clients would be able to pick from numerous calligraphic fonts.
A day in their office includes listening to different stories, coming up with content and always following up with the operations team to ship things out at the earliest. Since it is a dispersed team, the tasks are assigned using cloud and data is managed accordingly.
When asked about the future of the company and letter writing in general, Anubhav aptly said that ‘Looking at a trend, just like fashion goes through cycles from bell bottoms to skin fits, we are not saying letter writing is vintage, but saying it’s fashionable to send a letter now to cut through the noise. And as you don’t have time, we will be happy to do it for you (i.e your thoughts and our words)’.
What keeps him and the team going everyday is the fact that this idea hasn’t been done before, it is unique, it is refreshing and it is intimate. With such simple ideals in mind, it is no surprise that they see themselves as the world’s largest personal communications company. Anubhav’s mantra to put his belief to fruition is also pretty simple. He believes “Risk toh Spideman ko bhi lena padta hai, hum toh fir bhi Salesman hai” from the movie Rocket Singh.
I feel Anubhav is just being modest while saying this. If I were to have handwriting like his I would made sure the world knew of it! And to this exclusive business venture that gives ‘personalized gifting’ a new meaning, I raise my glass to toast for their success!