This two-year-old Jaipur-based startup is a preferred gifting destination for the Bachchans and Anna Hazare
Indibni is actually a very interesting word. It is an ambigram (mirror image) of the word ‘indi’. The Founders of Indibni, however, have wrapped an India story around it. The three ‘i’s stand for India, Innovation and Individuality. The mission of the company is tethered to the idea of Design for Life.
Indibni is a Jaipur-based startup in the gifting space which embraces themes and ideas pertaining to Indian culture. The three founders Nitin Jain, Ankit Jain and Khushbu Mathur believe that gifting is not about price, utility, shape or size; it is all about the experience it gives to a buyer, and feeling it evokes in the receiver. According to Nitin, the founding if Indibni was the result of multiple explorations and failures – almost like an arduous but memorable journey.
Starting up and early days
Nitin recalls his early days:
I did my schooling in a Hindi medium school affiliated to the Rajasthan Board. In my pre-university days I took PCM with Fine Arts - a unique combination. After that I was convinced that I had to make a career in a creative field. I eventually ended up doing my undergraduate and post graduate degrees in Animation and Design from Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra (Ext. Jaipur). In college, I met Ankit Jain, a very original individual with an offbeat nature. Both of us wanted to start an enterprise but we did not have fundamental understanding of product design and materials. Ultimately, we roped in Khushbu Mathur, my junior from school, and a graduate in Crafts & Design from IICD (Jaipur) - she became the third partner.
Indian culture and ethos are the motivations behind Indibni. The founders recalled their childhood days when they used to create cards and mementos to gift, and delight, people around. Indibni is looking to carry that story forward by creating beautiful products that have utility; or at least, a story behind them that people can relate to.
The “Indibni” gifts
The target audience for Indibni is, well, just about anyone who needs to buy a gift. And the market is huge - people are always looking for innovative gifting solutions to celebrate festivals and occasions, or just to remember and cherish their loved ones. Nitin says, “We have two types of products, or rather, two types of customers.”
Customers for ready-to-buy gifts
Most of the company's ready-to-buy products are quirky, and range from Rs. 150 to Rs.1500, and the buyers are youngsters aged between 13 and 35 who live mostly in the Indian metros and larger cities. Indibni has processed orders from over fifty cities in India through various e-commerce platforms like Amazon, Flipkart, ebay, Snapdeal, Fabfurnish, PayTM, etc. The products are also sold through some of the outlets of retail chains like Crossword, Poparazzi, and Shoppers Stop. These products are much appreciated by the NRIs, who are looking to send gifts to their loved ones in India. So far, Indibni has received orders from over 15 countries.
Customers for personalized gifts
Since we are also a design studio, we take up corporate orders and provide exclusive gift ideas and designs. People, who know a thing or two about design, are ready to pay for the exclusivity and creativity. We have designed gifts for 3M India, Owens Corning, NBC, JIFF, and many more. We have also done some exclusive souvenirs for the Bachchan family, Mr. Marc Bachet (Filmmaker and Oscar Winner), Late Shri Varghese Kurian (Father of the White Revolution), Shri Anna Hazare (Social Activist) and many others.
There are some retail gifting benchmark stores like Archies and Hallmark who provides gifting solutions, but to be specific, they have very generalized products with limited utility. Indibni is very different. It follows a design process for making exclusive gifts for everyone. Its USP lies in adding utility and personalization to every gift that is created.
On the business front and the scope for scaling up, Nitin adds, “Our annual turnover is in seven figures, and till now Indibni is a self-sustaining business. In the last couple of years we have spent time in defining our market niche, addressing customer needs, and looking at the scaling possibilities. The best part is that we are now past the initial phase, and with every passing year our revenue is growing. Now we have a promising and effective business model. From here-on we want to move fast, with presence in both the offline market as well as the International market. We are also looking to raise funds from the right investors – experienced groups who can also mentor us in increasing our market share.”
The Indian e-commerce market
Indian e-commerce market was estimated to be worth $16 billion in 2013, and is expected to touch $56 billion by 2023. It will control about 6.5 per cent of the total retail market. Gift articles are likely to be about 58 per cent of the market.
The online retail segment in India is at a promising stage, and there are enough opportunities to build reasonably large or niche and sustainable e-commerce businesses. As the online experience gets better for customers, with more choices and quick order fulfillment, gifting as category is likely to flourish.
As of now, Indibni is selling its products through various online marketplaces, and a few outlets of the big retail chains. Talking about the future plans, Nitin says,
In the near future we are going to focus on increasing our product range, launching our own app and e-store, placing our products in more stores in the Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities, and increasing our consumer base, not only in India but also overseas. We are scaling decently in the online space, but the major gifting market in India is in the offline stores - it’s almost 75 per cent of the whole gifting market. We are also aiming to increase our offline presence in collaboration with big retail players like Crossword and Shoppers Stop. Besides, we are also going to go after the international market.
Innovation is at the heart of the Indibni enterprise. To cater to a larger market, and bridge the gap between art and application, they plan to launch the Indibni Design Society - a social enterprise - where they will invite various artists collaborate with them, with their ideas and designs. Indibni will be the producer and marketer of these signature pieces that will be sold under the artists’ names.