This Diwali send a handwritten letter to your loved ones
On Delhi’s busy Kasturba Gandhi Marg, LB-36 and LB-37 go virtually unnoticed as a stream of people busy with their smartphones walk past.
Secured with locks, these are the postal department’s letter boxes, their green and red paint fading. They are a reminder of the dwindling popularity of handwritten letters, though Jashwanth Cheripally, co-founder of The Indian Handwritten Letter Co. (TIHLC), doesn’t agree.
In an age where “season’s greetings” are expressed through forwarded messages and animated GIFs, the company helps users send personalized, handwritten letters. The base price for a letter is Rs160, including shipping costs. Prices vary based on customization and word count. And Cheripally believes an increasing number of customers are interested in this old-school way of communicating.
And ahead of Diwali, the Bengaluru-based company has its hands full. “This is the peak season that continues till Valentine’s Day. From (individual) customers to corporates, there is huge pressure on us to deliver letters on time. We have a team of 28 writers who are working hard to finish these handwritten letters for people,” says Cheripally, who founded the company with Anubhav Ankit two years ago.
Drafting and sending a letter through TIHLC is easy. Users can fill up the sender and delivery details and write their message on the website. They can choose from different handwriting fonts, letter templates, pick an occasion and even attach a picture. If a customer is unsure about how to draft a letter, TIHLC can help.
Last year, many customers reached out to TIHLC just four-five days before Diwali and wanted their letters to be delivered on the day of the festival. This year, requests started coming in a month ago. A Bengaluru-based customer, who wanted to send Dussehra wishes to his fiancée, requested the company to send a letter to her every day in the run-up to Dussehra. That meant nine different letters in nine different colours, drafted in Marathi.
For delivery, TIHLC uses the services of courier companies as well as India Post. “We have tied up with courier companies so that the shipment (letter) reaches faster and is also trackable. We use India Post for all the pin codes that are not serviceable by courier companies. They are also our integral partner in terms of international posts,” says Ankit.
The company doesn’t store any data on its servers for more than three weeks. “We take customers’ privacy seriously and there is no data that goes out from our system,” says Cheripally.
Cheripally believes the company is not addressing a dying market, it’s addressing a huge problem of “being personal” in the future. They believe it’s becoming fashionable to send a letter to cut through the digital noise that surrounds us.
LB-36 and LB-37 needn’t give up just yet.
To send handwritten letters, visit Tihlc.com.