Papercup was founded in the year 2010 as a hobby project by three 19 year olds, Suranjana Endow, Mahasweta Mitra and Somrwita Guha when they were in their 1st year of undergrads in the Department of Economics, Jadavpur University. The three girls put some money and time together to make and sell handmade products like notebooks, greetings cards, pen stands etc. at the JU college fest, Sanskriti.
The initial response was encouraging. But it was far from being the potential livelihood option at that point. In the next couple of years it remained a hobby project than anything else with Papercup appearing at different college fests and exhibitions to sell merchandise.
Towards the final year of college, the entrepreneurial bug bit Somrwita and the urge to turn Papercup into a potential brand came into the picture. She decided to work on it full-time by herself as the two other founders parted ways. In 2013, she joined XLRI Jamshedpur for a Post-Graduate Programme in Entrepreneurship Management. This acted as a springboard to formally launch Papercup as a start-up. The rich culture, esteemed faculty and alumnus of the institute helped her build the desired network she was looking forward to.
A lot has changed since Papercup started in JU but one thing that remained constant was that intangible feeling of happiness they received from the myriad people who have come across their brand virtually or in person.
In 2014 she completed her course and came back to Kolkata to formally launch Papercup. At this point, Papercup was registered as a Partnership Firm between Somrwita and Subhajit Panja. Subhajit is an alumnus of Jadavpur University.
In 2015, Papercup launched its first ecommerce website and also started hosting events across the city of Kolkata. It was a fine blend of shopping experience of home décor accessories and other lifestyle products along with live music and spoken word poetry.
However in 2016 Panja had to discontinue from Papercup as he joined The Indian School of Business in Hyderabad.
In late 2016 Somrwita’s father Mr. Tapas Kumar Guha (retired as the Director of KMDA) joined hands with her and at the present moment (2020) it is being run by the father-daughter duo.