The Messy Corner: A Story of Poddar Siblings Creating Marvel out of Mess

India’s gifting industry has witnessed a huge shift as digitization has transformed the lifestyles of millions. More and more customers are hunting for companies that will tailor their products. Precisely, people want to invest in something that is exclusively designed to make their loved ones feel extra special. 

Albeit the growth of the personalized gifting industry was growing at leaps and bounds, ideas were falling short. Identifying this gap, the brother-sister duo, Aayush and Anchal Poddar kicked off the Messy Corner- a Mumbai based leading personalized gifting website.

Aayush and Aanchal Poddar shared an undying emotion for travelling and guess what emotions are messy. Merging their passion with a unique business idea, they started the Messy Corner in 2015. 

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The idea was simple. This smart and young sibling duo wanted to offer people classy yet eccentric personalised products that will make their loved ones happy. Not to mention, the common factor here is LOVE. 

Interview excerpts:

For the uninitiated, what is The Messy Corner all about?

gifting website

The Messy Corner is about all handcrafted personalized travel and lifestyle accessories. Most of our products are made from vegan leather and are great options for gifting on every occasion. Starting from customised passport covers to wallets, we offer a diverse range of products at an economical price. So, you can say TMC is the adorable digital space where one can make his or her dear one happy and build a stronger personal connection. Well, people also buy from us to do a bit of self-pampering too! (Laughs)

The love that you have received from the audience could not have come overnight. Share something about the ups and downs of this venture.

gifting idea

Life in a startup is no less than a roller coaster ride. It was not an overnight success for us. We have been in this industry for more than 5 years now and nothing can beat the challenge that we faced during the COVID19. It was by far our lowest and toughest time faced by the entire team.

However, we believe it really helps when you are genuinely passionate about what you are doing. We followed the same path. Our as a whole team did not stop imagining and innovating new ideas to cater to our customers. 

Can you give a microscopic view on this aspect?

gifting product

Travel accessories being our best selling category was down by 70% in sales. We lost all our corporate gifting business. We had to shift focus to other lifestyle categories and we did great. 

TMC  launched India’s first sanitizer cover. These stylish little leather pouches or covers are an ideal addition to people’s outdoor essentials. The idea behind creating this sanitizer cover came at a time when the importance of health and hygiene has become the utmost priority for every human being. We have always thrived to make essential products for our customers. This cover might look very simple, but it’s a great product and comes super handy especially outdoors. (says Aayush)

That’s too good to be true. So, what do you think sets you apart from other businesses that are similar to yours?

We have many competitors in the gifting segment but none are into personalization. Also as a company, we believe in constant innovation this sets us apart. Moreover, we knew we were going right, when the corporate organizations across the country started believing in our products. It was indeed a landmark moment for our venture.

The initial stage was bootstrapped. How do the operations go about now?

best gifting product

Well interestingly, TMC is bootstrapped. And despite having a customer base of 1.5 lakh people with a  100% growth and having over 2 lakh orders sold covering 4 lakh gift items, till now there is no investor. We are waiting for the right investor who has a similar mindset.

What does the future look like for you, in terms of expansion?

gifting idea

The future looks promising to us. Also, we are coming up with many new categories. The WFH essentials are one of them. Within a short span of time, this category has received a good response from our customers. 

Furthermore, we envision to make our little baby into a global brand someday where every household will have a TMC product when it comes to personalized gifts. 

Why is the name the Messy Corner?

Why is the name the Messy Corner

The room from where we started was a spare one and we always took it for granted by keeping things in a real mess. Since it was a startup and bootstrapped, initially only two of us played all the roles. 

The effort and steps it takes to make a finished product is not a very pretty sight. Our mom used to keep shouting at us to clean the room and we tried to!. But, it hardly took minutes to become a mess again. So we decided to name the company as TMC! (Chirps Aanchal)

How has this venture transformed your relationship?

name the Messy Corner

TMC has made us see the other side of each other which we wouldn’t have seen if we were just siblings. We are a few of the fortunate ones to know both about each other i.e personal and professional lives.

Moreover, we do not face any sort of friction and disagreements because we both have aptly divided

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our work and departments. Also, while taking major work calls that entail are inputs, we make sure to explain our points well and not let any misunderstanding sweep in.

Running such a successful business as a brother-sister duo must have been an eventful journey. Please share some key takeaways for a young entrepreneur. 

Messy Corner gifting site founder

It has been a beautiful journey. Every day is a new event. We learn so much from each other. Our 5 years age gap helps us get different perspectives on the table. Trust is a very important ingredient in any organization which comes in natural for us.

Talking about takeaways, it’s very simple. Love what you do, do what you love. A little hard work and honesty always work. Lastly, keep trying, and keep innovating. 

Thank you Aanchal and Aayush. Thanks for giving the readers of Yeh Hai India a fresh perspective. We wish you and your team all the best to conquer the personalized gifting section with such ravishing ideas.

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Written by Priyanka Mondal

In the backyard of IIMC, amidst chaos and euphoria of Journalism students, Priyanka finds herself among the intricacies of Tagore and festivities of Ruskin Bond. For her life is easy with these two stalwarts and she can live an eternity among them. A copywriter from the core, she nurtures a tiny cinephile, a shutterbug, and a foodie within her. Oh yes, she takes a great interest in human behavioral science and the Universe!

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