Confused about gifting? Wishpicker is here to help
Q. What do you do when you are unable to choose a gift for your girlfriend?
A1) Get an earful from her
A2) Forget the incident and move on
A3) Start a company which makes sure nobody has to face this problem again
An entrepreneur will choose the third option and so did Apurv Bansal. He graduated from IIT Delhi and quit his high paying job at Bain Consulting to venture out of his comfort zone and startup. What he lacked was an idea, so he called up his batch mate Prateek from IIT Delhi who was working with Royal Bank of Scotland at that time and also faced the same problem while trying to send a gift to his parents for their anniversary. He could not figure out a right gift for them.
Apurv took a two week leave from work in may 2012 to figure out his options and then resigned by mail. Prateek was inspired by a trip to silicon valley which also prompted him to leave his job and get a taste of startup life.
After both of them quit their jobs and started working to solve the gifting problem and started up the with Wishpicker. They were totally against using the word "gift" in the name so they came up with six names and sent the list to over 500 friends for voting and over 75 percent selected Wishpicker.
Wishpicker is an online portal which helps you select and decide gifts for your loved ones based on their age group, personality and other factors. Wishpicker displays select gifts from online eCommerce portals like Flipkart and 10 other portals and the algorithm displays gifts to users based on over 100 different parameters. If you select the Facebook option then it reads your social graph the gifts based on the likes and interests of the user. Once you select the gift it redirects you to the respective eCommerce portal form where you can buy it.
Their servers crashed the day they launched Wishpicker due to the tremendous response, following a private beta which resulted in good word of mouth value for them. But Apurv shared that things have been going good since then. They have reached an Alexa India ranking of 5K within a week of launch and the traffic has been going at a good rate since then.
Currently they have a team of 5 full time employees along with 5 interns. The biggest challenge they faced so far has been on the hiring front; they made their first hire after filtering through over 500 resumes and 60 interviews.
I tried looking for something to gift my grandfather on his birthday and Wishpicker brilliantly came up with suggestions which were perfectly suited for old timers like him. And the best part is that I could select the gift based on his personality and my price range and also select the place and date when it can be delivered to avoid the future hassles.
Over all I found the interface really good and intuitive and very easy to navigate with minimum number of clicks and page transitions. On selecting a particular gift it directly takes me to the product page of the eCommerce site which is selling the product, from where I can go ahead with shipping the product to his address.
Currently the market for online gifting is still nascent in India and with eCommerce picking up pace it can only grow with a lot of space for new players to accommodate and grow.
Check out Wishpicker.
PS: Apurv finally gifted his girlfriend with a dinner in a 5 Star hotel in Delhi which she had to pay for since Apurv had started up and is paying for his employees salaries. Gifting problem solved, but another one to handle! (read why it's a bad idea or a good idea to date an entrepreneur)