Few startups are really synonymous with innovation, uniqueness and unconventionality, while some others seem to replicate the existing business ideas and models. In the Box Space is one of the few startups that thrive on a mission and a vision to usher in a new era of commercial sustainability for human life and existence. In The Box Space is an unconventional startup in the hospitality industry, creating cozy, luxurious, relaxing, cost-efficient spaces out of shipping containers through restructuring and technical customization. 20-ft and 40-ft containers can further be customized as sitting areas, bars, libraries, guest houses and much more depending on requirements.
How In The Box Space Came into Existence
The story behind the inception of In the Box Space dates back to the founder duo’s family vacation to Amsterdam in 2015. They were surprised to see millions of shipping containers on Rotterdam Port. On return from the trip, they could not help wondering how to repurpose and reuse shipping containers in India. They came to know that such containers are feasible where conventional buildings are not allowed, while doing a detailed study. How living out of a container would be was unexplored in the Indian market until Inderpreet Kaur and Neeraj Khandelwal launched In The Box Space.
A Brief about the Founders and Partners
Inderpreet Kaur is one of the partners and Chief Interior Designer at In The Box Space. Having 13 years of experience in the corporate sector, Inderpreet is responsible for creative designs and implementing strategic decisions made by the company. Born in Rajasthan and brought up in Japan, Neeraj Khandelwal is responsible for developing the business and making operational decisions at their startup. He comes with 10 years of experience in a number of renowned architecture firms and lots of product development knowledge. Arpita Khandelwal, a Chartered Accountant by profession, is one of the partners and project head at In The Box Space.
Business Model of In The Box Space
In The Box Space is a unique startup based on a unique idea of recycling deserted shipping containers into customized, cozy, efficient spaces which can be utilized for lounges, bars, spas and personal recreation. In a country like India with huge population where economy of space is a crucial need of the hour, In The Box Space is another name of innovation. Customizing containers with designer interior and luxury feel is one of the standout features of our business model. “That the containers are repurposed to withstand any natural calamity such as earthquake and hurricane is another highlight of the business model,” says Neeraj Khandelwal.
Role of Technology at In The Box Space
Transformation of shipping containers into living spaces with luxury makings is out and out a technological process, which is entirely different from the making of a conventional brick and mortar space. Structural engineering and construction technology play an important role in it. There are structural engineers to ensure that shipping containers remain structurally strong even after they are converted into luxury spaces. There is also a team of professionals who have in-depth technical knowledge of shipping containers.
Where In The Box Space Stand in Competition
In The Box Space mainly competes with brick and mortar building businesses. It will take some time to gain an edge over conventional brick and mortar businesses which are deeply rooted in the Indian market. Also people need to come of the age to understand and embrace such eco-friendly and environmentally sustainable, unconventional living spaces made out of shipping containers. Being the first of its kind on a large scale, In The Box Space faces little competition from few such similar businesses which operate on a small scale to make temporary structures, to say, site offices. “We are creating multilevel spaces using more than one long-lasting container at the best prices,” says Neeraj Khandelwal.
Challenges that In The Box Space Faced
“The biggest challenge for In The Box Space to break the perception that recycled products cannot be luxurious. Many believe that only premium products can be high on the luxury quotient. In India, shipping containers are said to be low-cost living solutions for the poor, which is not the case overseas. In some foreign countries there are townships entirely made out of shipping containers. Living and recreation in recycled containers can be a great experience if customized properly. However, Indians are coming forward to accept unconventionalities. We are also trying our best in formulating strategies to make people understand the advantages of using repurposed shipping containers from different perspectives,” says Inderpreet Kaur.
Response to In The Box Space
Neeraj Khandelwal and Inderpreet Kaur’s startup has elicited warm response from leading hoteliers and restaurateurs. Such a good response in a very short time has made them confident of a promising future for their startup. The partners of In the Box Space are looking to propose this concept to the urban development authorities starting from Delhi NCR across North India. They are sanguine about the Pan Indian expansion of In The Box Space.
Funding and Marketing
On being asked about their plans to scale the business, Neeraj Khandelwal says that they are open to emerging trends in technology and the hospitality industry. They are also looking to create multifold opportunities by broadening the scope of recycling and using containers beyond the existing services such as restaurants, shops, hotels, farmhouses and recreational dwelling units.
In The Box Space is looking to enter the government sector as well. They are eyeing on becoming a part of the Smart India Initiative that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched to provide the socio-economically weaker sections with cost-effective housing solutions. In The Box Space is looking for funding to take the government projects which are much larger in scale.
“We are on a mission to make the most of shipping containers as eco-friendly products, with a vision of a new world where people will lead a natural life,” says Neeraj Khandelwal.