Engineering is an expensive degree, not just in terms of the tuition fee, but also the prohibitive cost of books. Realising how it impacted the students from low socio-economic groups, Bangalore-based Vishesh Jayawanth decided to do something about it. The result? RentMyText.in, India’s first online book renting store for engineering students.
The 24-year-old stumbled on the idea while studying at Sri Bhagawan Mahaveer Jain College, Bangalore.Ranga, the social platform he started to get college students to teach soft skills to children in various orphanages in the city, opened his eyes to a sorry state of affairs. “I realised that even if these students make it to good colleges, the cost of the books was daunting. They end up spending thousands of rupees on books that are used only for one semester,” says Jayawanth.
It was in mid-2011 that he revisited his books-for-rent idea. After a year of calculations, worksheets and power point presentations, he launched his company, Online Guru Educational Services, in September 2012, with three employees. The aim was to make education affordable and accessible by introducing innovative, student-friendly concepts.
Here’s how the website works: students can pick any book depending on the semester, pay a refundable deposit, which is the maximum retail price of the book, and have it delivered at their doorstep in 1-5 days for a price. There is no limit on the books that can be rented and there are two payment options: cash on delivery, or transfer money to the company’s account. After the semester ends, one needs to return the books in mint condition to have 60-70% of the deposit refunded.
While it results in a saving of up to 60% of the cost of books for students, it also offers a green advantage saving on paper.