Written by Prathibha Polapragada, President & Owner of MyPicTales

Foreword written by Bill Michael

The submission deadline for the 2011 Xerox Best-of-the-Best Contest has just recently passed, and we have been very busy collecting and prepping all of the outstanding submissions for judging. I took this picture to show just how many of our Premier Partners have entered their outstanding work…it represents a single days worth of mail (UPS and FedEx are on a first-name basis with me now!).

As we look to recognize the 2011 winners in the coming months, I wanted to take one final opportunity to reflect on a company that left favorable impression on our 2010 judges. MyPicTales, an online photo book publishing company, entered the portfolio book of a client into last years Best-of-the-Best Contest through their partnership with ColorCentric. The piece featured rich and stunning abstract images of cosmetic products, all of which needed to be produced to the highest quality. Because of their strong partnership with ColorCentric, and confidence in the Xerox iGen, MyPicTales knew that they could exceed the expectations of their client and deliver a top-notch photo book.

Not only was the photographer thrilled, but the piece allowed MyPicTales and ColorCentric to gain recognition as winners of the 2010 Best-of-the-Best Contest Photo Publishing Category. I recently had the opportunity to speak with Prathibha Polapragada, President and Owner of MyPicTales.

Xerox: Please give the readers some background information on MyPicTales. What would you like us to know about you?

Prathibha Polapragada (PP): Being the youngest of 7 kids, I always had an innovator / rebel / risk taker spirit in me. It had been a goal of mine to own my own business before I turned 30. I have always been an avid traditional scrap-booker. And when I looked around to find a way to transition into digital scrapbooking, I did not find much at that time in the way of the creative process or printing of my digi layouts. So I built a product and service to solve my own problems and I was lucky enough to capture loyalty, and make profit out of this venture, such that our customers just kept coming back again. In today’s world, opportunity is just about everywhere, if you can focus on getting it right. With internet, you can start a business revolving around a hobby or a passion and make a successful business out of it. MyPicTales is rated among the top three photo publishers in the US in the scrapbooking market for the past two years in a row. We hope to soon be number one in both photo publishing and scrapbooking segments.

Xerox: Your work won an award in the Best-of-the-Best Contest last year. What made you decide to enter into the program?

PP: As a start-up, we are constantly looking for notoriety. The more people know about us, the more business we get. And when a company wins an award, the positive attention and press that generates from such an event, can help in a number of ways. A) It is a testimonial to the superiority of our products and services B) It is a seal of approval from the Industry leaders C) Our customers can now purchase not just products, but “Award Winning” products, which is a huge factor that weeds the competition out.

Xerox: How has winning this award impacted your business?

PP: Now we have award winning products. Customers look at such crucial information before making a purchase decision. We have seen increase in business. And more customers are willing to spend extra to have our brand. Also, it helped us raise capital during our first round of funding. It is easy to sell your concept, when it is tastefully embellished.

Xerox: How have you used your success in the Best-of-the-Best Program as a selling point for your company?

PP: We raised more capital to fund our programs. We have the award displayed on our website, communications, and marketing campaigns. We are able to partner with other premier vendors because now the trust factor is high.