GiftBig is a new B2C e-commerce brand initiative powered by QwikCilver Solutions, a technology startup that has pioneered the gift card category inIndiaover the last three years. Based in Bangaloreand co-founded by T P Pratap and Kumar Sudarsan, GiftBig was launched just a month ago and isIndia’s first fully integrated e-commerce portal for gift cards and gift vouchers. It has been built with integrations (in real time) to physical stores and portals of leading brands and retailers acrossIndia. This would enable gift card buyers to complete the gift card purchase, activation, balance enquiry and card packaging from this single destination in real time.In a conversation with Anisha Mehta from YourStory.in, Co-founder T P Pratap shares more.
Pratap tell us the story behind starting up QwikCilver and GiftBig.
The founding team comes with work experience of over 15 years across domains like technology, payments, retail, consumer marketing in organisations like Verifone, HP, Wipro, ICI, Timex, Aztec. Sudarsan and I were batchmates at BITS-Pilani and when we met later, we founded QwikCilver to evangelise and pioneer a new consumption category inIndia- closed loop gift cards for organised retail and e-tail. The idea was born as a result of our personal experiences. As consumers, it was extremely difficult to find appropriate gifts for our friends and family; gifts that would be to their liking. The existing process for purchase of a gift voucher at the best of brand stores inIndiawas tedious and cumbersome, to say the least. The time you need to spend at a store to purchase a Rs 250 gift voucher was anything from 10 minutes to over an hour. After a lot of cribbing, laughing and groaning about these archaic ways of gift voucher retailing inIndia, the germ of the idea cropped up. We thought that we can explore the idea, take this need-gap and do something about it with a technology-backed solution.
Define your target group
The GiftBig consumer is a gift card lover. He/she is someone who wants to gift his loved ones the freedom of choice. This would fundamentally extend to consumers in the 25-40 age band; and corporates seeking smart options to gift to their employees, staff and channel partners.
Was it a difficult to cope with challenges as a first-time entrepreneur and build a trusted network with established brands in the market?
The challenges and excitement of being an entrepreneur lie in growing a new category. GiftBig is a pioneer in the category of gift cards inIndia. We never felt challenged as we are India’s first fully integrated e-commerce destination for gift cards. What is also great is that our venture is backed by the support of all our partner brands who have tasted success with our technology platform. This robust technology platform is the core and inherent competitive advantage of GiftBig.
Our partnerships extend to marque brands inIndiasuch as Trent-Landmark, Titan, Van Heusen, Fastrack, Louis Philippe, Allen Solly, PVR, Puma, Flipkart, Hidesign, Shoppers Stop and Raymond among other brands.Tell us about your traction rate and how much has translated into sales?
The sales conversions and consumer response has exceeded our expectations in the first few weeks since the beta launch of GiftBig in October 2011.
How does your revenue model and supply chain work?
Our business partnerships with leading brands and retailers have been successfully worked on and established over the last two years. This has helped to setup a robust supply chain for GiftBig. Our product inventory model is also unique and ensures fast delivery as per the orders and requirements of any consumer anywhere inIndia. We stock the gift cards in-house and they are linked in real time to the billing POS of the brand stores. This helps us to get the cards activated and shipped quicker. These partnerships help ensure that the cost of inventory is significantly lower.
Are you looking at getting funded now?
GiftBig has successfully raised funds from VCs. We would consider raising funds again soon for GiftBig in line with our business plans.
How big is your team? Are you looking at hiring?
We are actively looking to hire and scale up over the next two months.
What are your expansion plans?
The mission is to help GiftBig grow and turn it into the most preferred gift card destination inIndia. We want to grow across geographical markets and product categories, to provide unique gifting solutions to end consumers.
Go to www.giftbig.com for further details!