With the rise in consumerism, e-commerce and ease of purchase, picking a gift for a friend or a family member should be a breeze, but it is anything but that. Weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, festivals and other occasions, and we all tend to blank out on what exactly to gift our loved ones.
Anu Gupta (38) and Sapna Chaudhary (38) thought of introducing a concept that will solve the gifting problem.
This June, the duo launched MakeMyWishes which, they say, works on one mantra — wish, share and get. The receiver is happy to receive what they wished for and the sender is happy to give a meaningful gift, which the receiver will remember. In August, they launched the Android application of the platform.
Anu has more than 15 years of experience in the finance industry with various companies like Deustche Postbak Home Finance, Jones Lang LaSalle and ICICI Bank.
Sapna has more than 13 years of work experience in the finance and gifting platform. She has also worked with many reputed brands like Standard Chartered Bank, ICICI and DHFL.
Anu says that she launched the platform with a working capital of Rs 20 lakh, and majority of the initial investment was spent towards technology.
Anu explains how the platform works: first, users are required to create events such as birthday, anniversary, Diwali and Eid etc. In the next step, they need to add wishes to the event that they would like to be fulfilled. They can create and post a wish by pasting a URL or an image of the one or many things they need on their profile or they can also browse the platform’s curated collections. The third step includes uploading a profile photo, cover photo and updating the shipment address. And the last step involves inviting friends to the platform and sharing your wishlist with them, along with the events details.
“While the concept works in the West, the same approach is currently not part of the Indian culture and hence people hesitate to share their 'gift list' as it may seem unpleasant to guests. However, we tend to ask our close friends and family what they would like as gifts when they celebrate their special moments. Hence, the concept of the gift registry could become popular in India, if the focus is on the close friends and family, who care about the kind of gift that they give or receive,” says Anu.
Currently, MakeMyWishes claims to have over 1,500 registered users on the platform with more than 1,300 events created. These users have already posted 300-plus wishes, with 75 wishes already fulfilled either completely or a contribution has been initiated.
For customer acquisition, the startup is carrying out offline and online media activities to reach out to the targeted segment. According to the platform, it is also adding a host of new features to make it more interactive. Its main focus is to get users and get their wishes online.
The revenue model of the platform is based on the affiliation network.
“We have not yet completed a year but we are sure that within this large addressable market, we will be able to make a dent on the segment. We are expecting an annual turnover of Rs 3 crore next year,” says Anu.
According to an industry estimate, currently, the Indian wedding industry is over Rs 1,00,000 crore and is growing at 25-30 percent annually. The estimated cost of a wedding in India, with no expenses spared, could be between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 5 crore. According to another estimate, the Indian wedding gift market is worth $40 billion and the industry is growing at over 25 percent, annually.
In this segment, many players are exploring opportunities in the wedding gift market. Formyshaadi, Weddingwishlist and Indiagiftregistry are some of the platforms, that are particularly targeting the wedding gift industry.
Industry players say that personal gifting is on the rise and an ever-higher number of occasions are being added to the tally, which includes not only anniversaries and birthdays, but also such ones as Valentine’s Day, Father’s Day, and Mother’s Day, among a long list. They believe that the flourishing of gifting culture surely opens an opportunity for new businesses to cater to the new demand as well as pushing the business growth.