Puzha.com is a passionate idea the founders took to the next level in 1998 by establishing it as a business unit. At that time, offering Malayalam content to the readers around the world through internet meant more than the technology and the internet access itself. Creating awareness among writers to provide content, baby stepping internet users to use fonts, training the staff to create web ready content and in short, everything looked quite challenging! Started off in a small facility near the Market Gate of IIT Bombay, Puzha was relocated to Aluva in 1999 with an expanded team of editorial staff. The Puzha.com portal was formally launched in 2000 and by that time it had made all interactive publishing features, Chowara text editor, and all web utilities available to the visitors. There are three ‘firsts’ associated with Puzha.com – The first internet malayalam magazine, the first interactive portal and the first Malayalam online bookstore.
Sustaining the online literary and language initiatives demanded a revenue stream and that’s how Puzha.com partnered with DC Books, Kottayam to launch DCBookstore.com. With more than 4200 Malayalam titles showcased and serving the readers from 34 countries, this modest ecommerce venture in Kerala turned out to be the largest local language bookstore in India . It is a stirring experience to watch that a few customers stop by Puzha.com Aluva office to pick-up their orders and at the same time someone requests an book shipment to Algeria ! In lines with Puzha.com’s vision, the bookstore also generated Malayalam content in the form of book descriptions, author profiles, reviews and slowly gained popularity among the serious readers.
Puzha.com conducts short-story competition every year and released a book- Puzha Kavithakalum Kathakalum – a select collection of stories and poetry published in puzha.com to promote the writers. Puzha.com participated in Akshaya computer literacy program of Kerala Government and conducted the literary competion. From January 2005 , Puzha.com has launched its Malaylam print magazine, Puzha Magazine , in the United States to compliment its online efforts by taking it to a wider audience.
Puzha.com promoter’s team brings in decades of experience from diverse business domains. Passion for the language and entrepreneurship bind them together as a team. The core team constitutes four contributors. Thomas T.K, Jeomoan Kurian, Harish Nair and Shaji Thomas.
It was Thomas’s idea to offer literary works in internet and name the company as puzha.com, a name close to any Malayalee’s heart. An engineer by profession but a writer by heart, he had published in leading Malayalam periodicals and aired in All India Radio. Apart from providing the direction for publishing, he developed most of the features in the portal and directs the engineering staff on product development. Thomas holds an M.Tech. from IIT Bombay.
Jeomoan had set-up the first puzha.com office, in Powai, Bombay in 1998, a place where the team improved the literary ideas into a self-supporting business model. He was instrumental in partnering with DC Books to launch dcbookstore.com and signed up various writers and content providers for the portal. He established the quality processes and trained the team working full-time during the initial years of operation. He looks after the branding and strategic partnerships of Puzha.com. Jeomoan holds an M. Phil. from IIT Bombay.
Harish together with James set-up the office in Aluva enabled all infrastructures like telecom, computers, and interiors and recruited the editorial and support staff. They worked with the lawyers and government for necessary approvals and copyright issues while testing the channels and products in parallel. Harish is a physicist holds a Ph.D. from University of Delft, Netherlands. Harish now spends his spare time with the Puzha team on training them on new tools and attends the operations issues.
Shaji Thomas has over 20 years of software development experience and contributed significantly to developing Chowara Malayalam text editor, Dcbookstore.com, ecommerce channels and streamlined the content updating process in the bookstore. He is responsible for the product development of Puzha.com. Shaji holds an M.Tech from REC Suratkal.