Working with companies like BEL and Aricent both in India and abroad, Partha Neog (42) noticed that the spending power of corporates had actually become a lucrative market for various brands. What he also observed, however, was that though big brands were reaching out to corporates, the mechanism appeared ad hoc.
As head of products at 99acres.com, he was well-equipped to understand internet products and user behaviour. Sensing an opportunity, he ventured into the world of entrepreneurship by founding Vantage Circle in 2011.
Started as a shopping discount platform, Vantage Circle has today tied up with more than 1,100 brands to offer shopping benefits, health and wellness privileges, meal vouchers, and reward points to performing employees.
By leveraging the platform, employers can offer their employees personalised privileges in various categories and also track the usage of the account online.
Employers can set usage limits for their employees’ accounts, credit their wallets, and handle all reimbursements like medical, phone, fuel, etc. Vantage Circle also eliminates the need for vouchers and preservation of bills in specific formats; the payments can be made using a wallet, with automated reimbursements. Says Partha,
“Vantage Circle offers more than 950 customised privileges across sectors like travel, restaurants, clothing, etc.”
Partha had his school education in Guwahati, Assam. After finishing engineering from NIT Kurukshetra, he went on to work for a few years before doing an MBA from ISB Hyderabad. He brings two decades of experience in product and executive management.
Through Vantage Circle, corporate HR can leverage exclusive corporate discounts and cashback programmes to reward employees. For the brands, it plays the role of a marketing channel to promote products by offering special pricing on products and services. Brand engagement activities like brand quizzes and surveys help the brands connect to high net-worth corporate consumers. Vantage Circle’s detailed analytics even measures the success of brands’ engagement campaigns.
Providing benefits like wellness programmes, rewards and recognition, and shopping discounts to employees have traditionally been hassle-filled tasks for corporate HR departments, requiring them to deal with multiple vendors.
Vendors, on the other hand, find it a time-consuming and expensive affair to reach out to corporates. Vantage Circle, which started with a seed capital of Rs 30 lakh, bridges the gap by bringing both parties on a single platform.
Vantage Circle charges 5 to 10 percent per transaction and has a fixed monthly fee for brands. The revenues for the last three fiscals were Rs 35 lakh, Rs 1.2 crore, and Rs 1.8 crore.
Tying up with brands
Reputed companies like Infosys, Tech Mahindra, Wipro, HCL, and Accenture have partnered with Vantage Circle to update their traditional methods with regard to the changing lifestyle and technology. Says Partha,
“Over four lakh users are registered with Vantage Circle, which provides easy access to trusted brands like Samsung, Flipkart, Amazon, redBus, Cleartrip, CaratLane, Toyota, Tata Motors, Croma, Future Bazar, etc.”
Vantage Circle connects the employee and the brand. The startup charges brands for marketing their products and services on the platform. The revenue growth is about 10 percent month on month.
Vantage Circle currently has 23 employees spread across Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Guwahati. The company is expanding the range of services by including products like shopping benefits, rewards, and wellness for corporates. The startup boasts of having more than 1,000 brands and four lakh users.
“Also, we are targeting mid-segment companies now that we have covered most of the bigger corporates. We are working with various partners to increase our reach and create awareness of our solution. Based on the employee feedback, we have recently added a lot of wellness products and services. We are adding financial and insurance products, which increases the benefits for employees,” says Partha.
Website: Vantage Circle