Growing up in India, the only camera in our house was my father’s Yashica MF-2, one of our family’s prized possessions. Decades later, it’s been passed down to my brother.
This was before the age of digital photography. Our Yashica had 36 photos in a roll, and each roll was expensive (at least for our family), so you had to make them count. You also had to be careful not to expose the film to sunlight as you removed it from the camera.
Once a roll was done, my dad would get it developed at a store nearby, and once the prints were ready a few days later we’d flip through them together, passing them around until everyone had seen the entire stack. Then my mother would do what all Indian mothers do, and start sliding them into the plastic sleeves of our home’s many photo albums.
When people visited, more often than not the photo albums were pulled out of shelves and pored over. Close family sometimes received prints to take home, usually not. Of course, when our little family moved to the US, my mom made sure the albums came too. They’ve been a big part of our family gatherings here, a way to remember and acknowledge our families in multiple countries, while adding on to the history of our family in the United States.
Nowadays, film is almost nonexistent. But the photos remain.
At Kicksend, it gives us great joy to announce that starting today, our customers in India can order photo prints straight from their mobile devices and get them delivered to family members anywhere in the country.
In addition to Canada and Mexico, India is one of our first international printing integrations, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. So why India?
Saying that India loves photos is the understatement of the year. I was born and brought up in Chennai, and my parents and extended family have a ridiculously comprehensive photographic record of my brother and myself’s early lives. I believe most other Indian people can say the same. Culturally, there’s an extraordinary amount of importance on documenting and preserving the lives of the ones we love through photos.
Next, one of India’s finest traits is that its denizens are unabashedly and uncompromisingly focused on family. The importance of staying in touch with the ones who love you is a message that’s propagated at the cultural level. Unfortunately in India (as with many non-Western countries), simple and easy to use apps for keeping in touch are rare. However, the need for them is widely prevalent, as we memorably discovered when Kicksend first launched our digital photo sharing service there over a year ago.
Finally, over the next few years, the rise of affordable mobile devices in India (and other countries) means that hundreds of millions of people will have a handheld computer for the first time. It will be with them all day. It will have a camera, and they will be taking hundreds of billions more photos than they previously did. They will need a simple, understandable and user-friendly service to help them do more with those photos — and that’s where Kicksend comes in.
We already help our customers easily share digital photo albums (often containing hundreds of full-resolution photos) with any of their family members’ email addresses or mobile numbers. With our photo-printing service, we also want to help you preserve those memories forever.
With our new integration in India, we’ve made it incredibly easy for anyone to mail prints to their family members within the country. Just choose your photos, add as many addresses within India as you’d like, and tap “Print.” The process itself takes seconds, and everyone receives their high-quality, matte-finish prints in less than four days. No need to develop rolls of film or wait in line at the post office.
At Kicksend, we believe thoughtfully-designed technology can bring family and friends closer in ways that were not possible before. We take the extra time and effort to make our product as simple as possible (and we know it pays off). It’s important for us to build software that everyone on the planet can use — and that’s why it gives us great pleasure to start helping the people of India keep in touch even better with their loved ones.