Priyank Kharge, QuadMo Solutions: Online & mobile solutions for gifting, rewards & recognition systems

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YourStory in conversation with entrepreneur Priyank Kharge about the business idea behind QuadMo Solutions, a venture in the gifting, rewards & recognition (R&R) space.

Priyank, introduce us to the business idea behind QuadMo.

QuadMo Solutions intends to revolutionize the gifting, rewards & recognition (R&R) ecosystem through innovative, intelligible and adaptable online and mobile solutions. We would like to change corporate and individuals’ outlook on R&R and gifting and also deliver the much-needed technology innovation for the next big push through our products “SPOTL!GHT” and “CheerVoucher”.

Tell us more about your flagship products, SPOTL!GHT and CheerVoucher.

SpotL!ght is India’s only 3600social R&R solution that allows corporates to design, customize and implement their R&R programs effortlessly while truly engaging their employees, managing talent and fostering corporate objectives. SpotL!ght empowers companies as all employees get a socialized platform to acknowledge each other's efforts;  empowers peer-to-peer relationship and results in a healthy work atmosphere. This rich talent recognition software is based on 3 principles - amplifying employee motivation, simplifying rewards & recognition process and satisfying stakeholders with a wide range of rewards.

The product not only gives employees the liberty to choose their gifts but offers a variety of products and gift vouchers to pick from. Employees can receive personalized video and voice messages by their senior management across geographies. It can be used to broadcast an award to everyone both in the employee’s internal network and external network such as LinkedIn. This feature can also drive a strong corporate branding to the external audience.n The solution also allows for e-certificates to be downloaded and printed out.

CheerVoucher isIndia’s first gift voucher portal that delivers vouchers right into your mailbox and mobile phones, which makes gifting a highly personal experience.

The users have the freedom to choose their budgets, the gift vouchers, the delivery time and personalizing vouchers. While the person receiving the gift voucher has the freedom of choice, freedom from lost paper vouchers and difficult redemption process, the person sending the gift gets freedom from the dreaded “what can I give as a gift?” syndrome.

CheerVoucher is a game changer for retailers too, by enabling them to showcase and send e-vouchers and mobile vouchers easily, securely and instantly on the gift voucher portal. We are instantly giving retailers additional sales and a newer revenue channel besides wider reach online and new customers beyond geographical boundaries.

How did the business ideas for QuadMo’s products come about? How much capital was required to implement the ideas?

Just like many other startups, four friends [Rohit, Vivek, Naren and I] from school & college came together to do something on the mobile platform. Many meetings and hundreds of coffees later, we realised that the gifting arena has not moved up the technological value chain like movie or airline tickets and hence, came up with the business idea of mobile gift vouchers which people can send to loved ones across countries and within the city itself as CheerVoucher.

As we did more ground work on gift vouchers, it led us to corporates who are one of the biggest consumers of gift vouchers as they use it for their corporate rewards and recognition. During our interactions with HR people, we learnt that the gift vouchers which were to serve as employee recognition and motivation, didn’t truly do the trick and hence, we thought of a solution that would truly encourage and empower employees, besides recognizing and rewarding them across offices and countries. We built the SPOTL!GHT almost onsite with inputs from the HR of corporates and the employees.

Initially we started out very lean with the all of us doing groundwork and most of the jobs ourselves. Once we saw the need in the market and potential of the ideas, we began investing in development and technology by pooling in a couple of lakhs each. We began working out of small chamber in a friend’s office before moving into a ‘goodwill’ office where we now have a team of 10 people.

Tell us about your backgrounds.

Rohit Rawal has experience across roles such as strategic marketing, product marketing and business development for software solutions. With an MBA from IIM Calcutta, his work experience spans firms such as Infosys, Cognizant and Subex. Narendra Pirgal is an architect by profession who now only remains an investor. Vivek has 10 years of experience in software development, in firms such as Nortel, Wipro and Aricent. His expertise lies in multimedia and application frameworks for mobile devices, wireless protocol, network stacks and development of dialers/IVR platforms. Shubhapradha has 9 years of experience at Wipro in areas of storage, networking and operating systems. She has been a project manager at Wipro for clients such as Hewlett-Packard and a winner of numerous awards for her project management skills.

I have experience in the 3D and graphic design arena, having led a European design company before turning into an entrepreneur in the technology space. I have also been actively involved in incubating a couple of successful IT/ITES firms.

Let us know about the tie-ups that you have. Is there acceptance for your concept? Also, what is the size of the market that you’re addressing?

For SPOTL!GHT, we have tied up with eYANTRA. eYantra isIndia's leading brand merchandising and corporate gifting solutions company with 150 product categories and 12000 different products. Our client list includes companies like Subex, Symphony Services, Allegis and ICICI Prudential Life Insurance.

With respect to the total available market, the annual R&R spends inIndiarange from .002% to about 1% of payroll costs, with the average and median both around 0.5% of payroll costs. To put the figures in perspective, if a company has about 15,000 employees and an average employee salary of Rs.200,000 per annum, then they would be spending around Rs.1.5 crores annually on various recognition initiatives.

The total spends from the top ET 500 companies inIndiaon various recognition initiatives (including merchandise) is around Rs.750 crores. Assuming that the next set of 2000 companies also total-up to have similar budgets, then that puts the annual spend on recognition initiatives (including merchandise) to around Rs.1500 crores

For CheerVoucher, we have over 25 exclusive partnerships with retailers and with 3 malls inBangalore. We also have exclusive tie-ups with over 15 corporates. We have over 700 customers & over 15 corporates including Nokia Siemens Network, HP, Aditi, KPMG, Ilantus, ZTE, etc. And the corporate gifting market stood at Rs. 6,000 crore in 2007. Diwali gifting by corporates in 2010 was worth around Rs. 3200 crores, according to the Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry of India. So, we’re looking at a fairly large pot of gold.

Where do you see the internal R&R space in India and QuadMo five years from now?

R&R inIndiawill soon be a dedicated strategy in almost every firm and as a more structured and organized part of the corporate policy (just like appraisals for performance review).

Currently, many firms carry out rewards and recognition on ad hoc basis and on a need basis. But clearly, the trend is shifting to viewing R&R as an integral part of employee engagement and encouragement.

Corporates are already assigning dedicated resources in their HR teams to manage employee engagement and rewards & recognition, besides allocating dedicated annual budgets for R&R and fixing targets for their managers and business units for the number of awards to be allocated. It is only a matter of time before firms across all verticals decide to have a dedicated employee engagement and R&R platform to enhance their corporate values and brand. QuadMo will be trendsetters in the R&R space in terms of reward program design, R&R implementation and analytics based on R&R. With the experience that we gain from our various corporate engagements, we wish to become the first-choice or the go-to partner for any corporate looking to evolve an R&R strategy.

What is QuadMo’s revenue model?

For SPOTL!GHT, we have a subscription-based fee for every corporate that signs up. We make revenue via the initial solution set-up fee and also, through the monthly usage fee and annual maintenance fee. There is also a revenue share agreement with merchandise suppliers.

For CheerVoucher, there is a small convenience fee charged from the sender for the personalization of the service. We also get 5% - 10% of the voucher value from the retailers. There is also the mall gift voucher service where we take over the entire gifting service of the mall for corporates and individuals on a monthly retainer basis. We also charge 5% of the voucher value from the mall. We also make revenues through the sale of personalized gift cards for retailers, malls, corporates and individuals. We help retailers to enhance their sales online by helping them set up the CheerVoucher model exclusively for them.

Let us know about your expansion plans.

Currently, we are looking out for funding to give us a comfort zone to hire people for business development and improve on technology and also, a pan-India reach. For CheerVoucher, tie-ups with retailers across metros and cosmos in Phase I and Tier II, Tier III cities in Phase 2, enhancing sales network, bringing out social network applications and mobile applications and also, setting up strong customer relations processes is on the roadmap. For SPOTL!GHT, we’d like to set up a strong technology team, acquire multiple merchandize partners and a pan-India sales network. We’re also looking at white labelling and SaaS-based models for sales outsideIndia.

How has the journey been so far for CheerVoucher & SPOTL!GHT?

CheerVoucher has been used by more than 1000 individuals and the average value of transaction Rs. 2650/-. The personalization of mobile vouchers is a huge hit and our customers are mainly from US,Middle East,Australia, UK etc. A mall transacted more Rs. 35,00,000/- only through CheerVoucher in first 10 months. It’s helping gather more footfalls from new customers for retailers and we’ve seen a more corporate orders for retailers (a jump of at least 70%) through CheerVoucher.

For SPOTL!GHT, we have seen 4 successful installations in less than 5 months. We have more than 25,000 employees currently on our centralized R&R platform across 5 corporates. There have been rewards/cash incentives worth Rs.40 lakhs managed through our solution across just two corporates.

To know more about QuadMo’s solutions, check out www.quadmo.com and www.cheervoucher.com. Also, do let us know what you think of this story by writing to us atfeedback@yourstory.in.

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