Merely 12 percent of the world’s community is left-handed – and twice as many men as women.
It is a persistent crusade for left-handers to struggle and adjust to products meant for right-handers in India. Sandeep and Pavitter Singh, the founders of Left Hand Shop, realized the problems a left-hander faces when his eight-year-old son had difficulty writing with gel pens. At times he could not even interpret what he was writing and thus started resisting to write thoroughly. His class performance got worse as well due to his problem with writing.
This Pune-based couple set up the Left-Hand Shop. It is India’s first company that offers entirely to the needs of left-handers in 2016. Their company provides school stationery and cricketing equipment from local and international brands along with their brand called MyLeft. MyLeftHand supplies scissors and pens made from Maped, while the remaining products are made in India and sold under the brand MyLeft, registered under Diffstuff E-commerce Pvt Ltd.
We found out that other left-handed kids face the same problems, and the products they have been using to write are not meant for left-handers. So we decided we will buy products for him online. As they are not available in India, the products come with an added import duty — a left-handed pen cost Rs 1,500, and a sharpener was Rs 600 on Amazon
Sandeep Pavitter Singh, Founder, Left Hand Shop.
In four years, Sandeep highlighted that the startup has about 50,000 customers and is increasing quite satisfactorily.
“We do not have an advertising or marketing budget, and the business is purely by word of mouth or online search results. Even with about 100 percent increase in customers annually, we were only able to breakeven with investments,” says Pavittar Singh.
One of MyLeft’s popular products is the metal sharpener which is worth Rs 28. Some other works include a pouch, priced at Rs 99, that provides for left-handed school stationery. A left-handed clipboard is also a part of the range that also includes impartial and fun products like clay and playing cards. The Pune-based company retails online and marketing is done organically via social media.
According to Singh, the considerable challenge in servicing such a market is the inadequacy of awareness among consumers. This is a view echoed by Rohan Jadhav, marketing manager of Maped in India. In the past, it had tied up with Singh to sell its range of left-handed products, such as sharpeners, rulers, pens and scissors, but since July it is in an exclusive agreement with Flipkart.