Daak Room: Reviving Letter-Writing Culture, Featured on Shark Tank S3 and Praised by PM Modi

Delhi-based start-up Daak Room, recently featured in Shark Tank India Season 3 aims to foster the habit of writing letters in the young generation through writing carnivals, workshops and products.

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When Mohammed Rafi lent his voice to Gopaldas Saxena, also known as Neeraj's lines - 'Likhe jo Khat tujhe, wo teri yaad mein, hazaron rang ke nazaare ban gaye,' back in 1968, the track became an instant hit. The song conveyed the emotions of writing a letter to a beloved and how the sender starts seeing the essence of the letter reflected in the beauty of nature, such as flowers and stars. This was emblematic of an era when letter-writing was a cherished practice, eagerly awaiting acknowledgment and response—a culture that gradually waned in the face of fast-paced communication. It is precisely for this reason that Daak Room, a cultural enterprise, has been garnering applause as it endeavors to revive this cultural tradition, earning admiration from none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi.


For Harnehmat Kaur and Shivani Mehta, the co-founders of the startup, it's also about reliving their childhood days. Mehta reminisces about how she used to write letters to her parents, grandmother, and even friends. In fact, Harnehmat Kaur mentions that they still write letters to each other to this day. 'We write letters when we want our words to endure,' Kaur explains, adding that they also exchange letters on Raksha Bandhan, which they fondly call 'Rakhi letters.' However, it's easy to see how such a habit took a backseat as they grew up, with multiple communication options becoming available to them.


Harnehmat Kaur, the co-founder of Daak Room mentioned that she still writes letters to the other co-founder and friend, Shivani Mehta.

Kaur and Mehta met during their college days at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. They discovered they shared many things, including a room, and eventually, a business idea emerged from their mutual passion and love for handwritten communication. However, wasn't it a considerable risk to start a venture aimed at reviving a forgotten culture? 'We are revisiting old trends, items, and cultural practices in general. We could foresee the potential for growth in this idea,' Mehta explains.


Daak Room stalls in the early years.

Daak Room came into existence in 2013, starting as a small postcard stall in their college canteen, before adopting the name two years later. The founders, both in their 30s, decided to transform their passion into a business idea in 2022. Following their experience on Shark Tank India Season 3, the brand expanded into e-commerce and now offers a range of products including Letter Writing Kits, Postcard Sketch Books, Postcard Calendars, and more. Among their collection, the postcard pack featuring travel, nature, and Hindi Shayari particularly caught our attention. One Shayari stood out to us, with words like: 'Kal ka poora chaand dekha chipka, aasman pe ek rupaiye ke jaisa. Raat tahalte, hum bhi ameer the' (Last night, I saw the full moon stuck to the sky, resembling a one-rupee coin. Drifting through the night, I too felt rich).

hiiiShivani Mehta, the co-founder of Daak Room included postcards into the online store because of her fondness for preserving stamps.

The inclusion of postcards comes from Mehta's fondness for preserving stamps. "We have seen the transition between physical to digital but the power and the beauty of physical writing was always there on our minds," she says adding that she and Kaur wanted to give people the reasons for writing in this digital age. 

Ensuring involvement


Letter Writing Carnivals include a post-office set-up to help children relive the bygone era.

Besides selling these nostalgia-inducing products through their online store, the founders are committed to fostering a culture of letter-writing among people, starting from their own workplace. 'We occasionally involve our employees in letter-writing activities and even exchange postcards on the farewell of a colleague,' Mehta explains.

To ensure broader engagement and participation, the founders have been organizing Letter Writing Carnivals in Delhi, and they extended this initiative to Allahabad (now Ayodhya) in 2016 and Chandigarh in 2017. Speaking about the carnivals, Kaur says, 'Our aim is to introduce the younger generation to the art of letter-writing by setting up mock post offices and letter boxes. We also hold competitions for letter writing and postcard making to encourage participation.'


Such carnivals have ensured the coming together of different generations. "While one generation has written letters and has seen the transition, the younger generation has not lived that era at all. We have seen parents and children coming together in the carnivals and parents going on nostalgic rides about writing letters and sharing stories with their children," Mehta says.


From a session conducted at a school.

Adding to it, Mehta confirms there are various workshops on writing craft, philately, and other activities. Talking about their revenue model, Mehta also says that carnivals hold one of the largest shares along with programs conducted in the schools. "We offer a curriculum that comprises 5 modules, all of which promote the art of writing," Mehta says. Dark Room also hosts such sessions for corporate employees and majorly works with government and private companies to carry their marketing campaigns in the schools mixing it with their vision of promoting letter-writing.

Recognition by celebrities and experiences 


Daak Room came into the limelight when Prime Minister Narendra Modi appreciated them for their initiative, talking about which Kaur says, "We had asked people to write letters to their role models in a school and tried to deliver those to the people and also sent a few to the PM that was written for him. We got a reply from him appreciating our initiative." The brand had also reached out to Amitabh Bachchan as they were organizing the event in his native town, Allahabad after which they got a reply from him too. 

However, the appreciation by the PM was used as a comparison tool when Anupam Mittal, the founder of and one of the sharks in Shark Tank India mentioned that the Daak Room was more of a passion project than a stable business idea. The brand, which was recently featured in the show, received the funding of Rs. 36 lakhs for 6% equity by Ritesh Agarwal, the founder of Oyo.

Appearing in the third season of the Shark Tank, the founders were impressed with their pitch which included a postman delivering letters to the sharks from their known ones. The founders took the stage following the activity where they spoke about how they wanted to inculcate the habit of writing letters back to the people. After the pitch, the founders demanded Rs 36 Lakhs for 4% equity at a valuation of Rs 9 crores. The other sharks backed off over the concerns related to the market size and the concept of the business, although, they mentioned that they would love to visit the letter-writing carnivals with their kids.


The co-founders at Shark Tank India Season 3.

Reflecting on their journey on Shark Tank India, Kaur describes it as memorable. 'For a conceptual brand like ours, still in the building stage, having that kind of platform and receiving advice from the sharks was amazing,' she says. Kaur also mentions that both founders made a pact not to turn down any new opportunities. 'The process was so enriching for us that we were satisfied with it, even without knowing for sure if we would appear on TV,' Mehta chuckles as she recalls.

The founders are savoring the appreciation for their initiative, especially after their episode aired. 'People are calling us, amazed at how we've built a business around letter-writing,' Kaur says, noting that their social media following has also surged.

While they experiment with various aspects of their business, founders Harnehmat Kaur and Shivani Mehta are determined to uphold their core mission. 'If we hadn't started this initiative now, it would have been much more challenging in a few years. But currently, we're hopeful that the culture of letter-writing can be revived.'


Shark Tank India Daak Room