Photography spurs online business growth in India: ZDNet - February 25th 2013

The rise of digital photography and opportunities around related content has led to an increase in both amateur and professional photographers in India.

While there are several online businesses in the country catering to amateur photographers, the largely unorganized service segment of professional photography is now changing the way they do business--online. Today, professional photographers run their own Web site, market themselves on social media, provide both electronic and printed products to clients, as well as spend a lot of time doing post-production work on images. While the opportunities have widened, so has the scope of ancillary work.

One example is Canvera. Founded in 2007, the online photography company provides mass customized printed products and recently launched (in beta) Vivyo, an e-commerce offering for professional photographers. I met Peeyush Rai, the co-founder and CTO of Canvera, at the Consumer Electronic Imaging Fair 2013 in New Delhi and he explained how a photographer can set up his Web site in as little as 15 minutes, without having to worry about the technical aspects of Web site designing, managing images, and ensuring privacy and security of client photos. Essentially, Vivyo acts as a platform to showcase and market a photographer's portfolio, and offer photos and printed products on sale.

For consumers like Harpreet Singh, a technology journalist at and photography enthusiast, ordering prints online is painless, quick, and saves a whole lot of energy. "Going to an offline store involves driving to one, waiting for your turn, and the results can never be consistent," Harpreet said. "Another thing I absolutely love is customization. You get to choose the paper, quality, size and everything [else]. You could do this with offline stores as well but the process is really painful, trust me."

Several services like iTasveer, ZoomIn, and Snapfish not only offer photo prints but also custom-printed products like shirts and coffee mugs. The cost and efficiency advantage beats the traditional photo studios and labs hands down.

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About Canvera

Canvera is an online photography company providing mass customized printed products and e-commerce solutions to professional photographers. Canvera's products and services are used by PPs to both deliver a high quality experience to their clients and also to market themselves better. Canvera's coffee-table-books were twice awarded the Best Photobook in Asia Pacific & Japan at the annual HP Digital Print Awards in 2008 & 2009. Canvera was also given the Best Innovation in Technology award by Asian Photography magazine for "bringing professionalism and innovation to an unorganized market" and the Tie-Lumis Award for "Entrepreneurial Excellence" in 2010. As on date Canvera has serviced the needs of PPs in more than 300 cities across India. Canvera entered the market in July 2008 and was founded by Dr. Dhiraj Kacker (CEO) and Peeyush Rai (CTO) who have previously worked at numerous successful startups in Silicon Valley. Canvera is financially backed by Footprint Ventures (, DFJ (, Info Edge ( and Mumbai Angels (