Eva Kafle

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Published On: June 8, 2017 12:09 PM NPT By: Eva Kafle

Addressing visual marketing needs

Addressing visual marketing needs

Khwappa, a company that produces customized illustrations for businesses and individuals alike, comes as a breath of fresh air to the monotonous business identities of today. The start-up has found a way to add a personal touch to your personal business identity, especially in a highly competitive era where professionals would want to stand out. Professionals from all walks of life, be it the field of medicine, business or education, can benefit from the services of the company started by graduates of Kathmandu College of Management:  Saujanya Shrestha, 25; Sonal Shrestha, 24; and Samip Babu Malla, 24.

While attending a class on branding in college, Saujanya, who had been illustrating in college as well, was approached by a couple of friends who wanted their photographs turned into creative illustrations. Seeing how there was a market for such an idea, he decided to base a business model around it, bringing Khwappa to life.

After some initial brain-storming with family and friends, they finally settled on the name, ‘Khwappa’ which means ‘face’ in Newari. When asked about why people should turn to Khwappa for their illustration needs, Saujanya, who has been illustrating for the past two years, replied, “We provide quality artworks at a competitive price, something that is in high demand in the market today” 

Due to their unique marketing strategy, Khwappa, a company that is still in its infancy, has managed to garner a strong and satisfied base of clientele. Where other companies would have considered advertising on traditional media, Khwappa understands the appeal of modern forms of advertising, primarily utilizing social media platforms. Their strategy involves distributing their products among friends and family for free and asking them to endorse their products by posting it on social media–a strategy that has paid off well for the company. 

Khwappa recreates any photos that their customers send into illustrative artworks. Once the illustration has been rendered, they use that image to populate a host of different products such as business cards, stickers, lapel pin-badges and bag accents. Apart from producing such pieces, they also work for different companies by creating logos and designs, as they have been doing for Act 360, a management and marketing company.
Once they receive photographs from their customers, they use ‘Adobe Illustrator’ to turn the raster images into vector illustrations. After the image has been converted into vector illustrations, they meticulously add details and strokes to give it that extra bit of depth. Once the completed illustration closely resembles the original picture, Khwappa prints them in accordance to the customer’s needs. The products are then delivered personally or customers can collect their products from one of their outlets. 

The company also wants to provide an element of surprise to their customers, thus they never consult their customers in advance during their working process. This adds to the element of surprise for the customers during the unwrapping process. The company also does not provide raw files, primarily because it is not in their package deal. But if customers want, they can easily get their hands on it. 

Their price range is diverse. A package consisting of 25 business cards, two 4X4 stickers and a badge will cost you a total of Rs 400, but their packages are also very flexible. A customized package can also be created replacing business cards with stickers, as per the customer’s requirement. But if you want to get two individual stickers, it will cost you an extra Rs 220 which includes the cost of design. But if a customer wants additional prints of designs that have already been rendered, those will cost a surprising Rs 15 to Rs 20. They even have larger packages in which they produce 500 to 1,500 business cards as a single package for larger businesses. 

But running a business is not easy, especially when it’s a budding new startup. One of the primary problems that Khwappa is currently facing lies in delivery. Since they’re a small company, delivering personally on a larger scale is not possible and the venders that they have been working with don’t deliver for them. 

For a startup, getting themselves known can also be a huge problem, especially in such a crowded market. But since they produce personalized products, consumers are more attached to them. And since bigger companies aren’t connecting to their consumers on a personal level, this also gives them an added benefit. It is commendable for them to reach this level of popularity without any financial support—they have not yet approached any investors for their project.

Khwappa has created a brand like no other in Nepal. The way they blend creativity with high production value ensures a promising future for this company. 

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