CottonKappy aims to be an established online shopping website based out of Kerala.

Move over Che Guevara T-shirts of Pinarayi and Chennithala dialogues are in vogue now
news E-Commerce Tuesday, October 11, 2016 - 08:06

When Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan took the Opposition’s allegations head-on and recently said in the assembly, “Nothing of that sort is going to happen, you go mind your business,” the opposition cried foul saying that he had resorted to undignified manner to respond.


But when 25-year-old Yedhu Krishnan watched the proceedings of the assembly on television, he decided to cash in on the popularity of Pinarayi’s words and minted t-shirts with the dialogue printed in Malayalam.


For he identified a possible market, that had the potential to popularize his three-month-old online shopping website.


Yedhu, along with his three friends JayaVishnu, Paul Soman and Krishnakumar started CottonKappy, an online retail store based out of Kerala, with their main product being t-shirts with dialogues from Malayalam movies printed on them. Though the idea was not novel and had already been tried and tested successful by many others before him, the t-shirts were fairly in demand.


The idea of printing Malayalam dialogues on t-shirts was first experimented by band Avial in a song sequence in the 2011 film Salt and Pepper. The trend had then caught on to youngsters with many retailers tapping into this idea.


When “Pinarayi t-shirts” struck a chord with the consumers, they also made available t-shirts with Ramesh Chennithala’s words printed on them- “Thank you for recording your opinion.”


A few days before the assembly session commenced, Chennithala, the leader of opposition had, in a Facebook post asked the users to send him questions that the opposition needs to raise in the assembly. To the questions that were suggested, Chennithala’s standard reply was, “Thank you for recording your opinion.”


Move over Che Guevara, T-shirts of Pinarayi and Chennithala dialogues are in vogue now!


As Industries Minister EP Jayarajan saw himself neck deep in controversy over his nephew's appointment to a top position in PSU, social media users found solace in trolling him with "Chittappan Da" (Uncle Da, on the lines of Kabali Da). And this too qualified to be printed, and sold.


Two years into his job as an engineer at IBM in Mumbai and a short stint as a bank employee in Chennai, Yedhu quit his job in 2014 to relocate to Kerala. His idea to start a company found resonance with three of friends from school, who also quit their jobs a few months later.


Though the foursome initially wanted to set up an online retail store, the lack of financial support for the same delayed it by nearly two years.


“At the time, it was easier to avail financial support to begin a tech-based firm and we founded Inoltro technologies. After the company started doing well, we decided it was time to venture into what we could not achieve in the past,” Yedhu told The News Minute.


Kerala needs an established e-commerce platform, Yedhu believes, considering the number of people who use online shopping in the state.


“For one, Kerala still does not have such a platform that we can say reflects our culture or sells Kerala-based products. Two, with other online shopping giants like Flipkart and Amazon cutting down on cash-on-delivery option to many places, we felt there was enough space for CottonKappy,” Yedhu says.


The name of the company is an intelligent take on “Kutton Kappy”, which means Black Coffee.


The t-shirts with Malalayam prints is one element that sets CottonKappy distinct from other online shopping websites, the team believes.


The t-shirts that are bought from Bengaluru and Gujarat and designed by the CottonKappy team, that is later sent for printing in Mumbai. With a tie-up with DTDC and India Post, the orders are delivered in a few days.


With close to 700 orders in a month, the company is doing fairly well, the founders say. After the Pinarayi and Chennithala t-shirts were introduced four days ago, as many as 60 orders are received daily.


With the Pinarayi and Chennithala dialogues printed t-shirts gaining popularity, Yedhu also admits that the demand for these t-shirts is time-bound.


“The advantage is that there is scope of constantly re-inventing our designs,” Yedhu says.

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