Offering personal and corporate e-gifting range from customised gift cards to reward programmes and channel incentives, Gurugram-based Storecheq Innovations is helping customers express their love for dear ones through its digital gifting currency.
According to research by Technopak,one of India’s leading management consultants, the total size of the Indian corporate and personal gifting market put together in 2017 is about Rs 2,50,000 crore. Of this, the corporate gifting market in India is estimated to be Rs 12,000 crore and is growing at over 200-percent per annum.
Embracing the huge potential of the industry, many players are looking to innovate, marrying rapid growth of the industry with the digital boom. Many gifting startups, including GoGappa, Giveter, Giftology, among others, are trying to create a niche in the e-gifting space.
Industry estimates highlight that $400 million (out of the $30 billion India’s gifting market) could be attributed to the digital space. One such player is Storecheq Innovations that aims to make individual and corporate gifting a seamless process through the nation’s first giftech platform, Storecheq.com. With a strong focus on e-gifting, the platform offers e-currency gifting, digital gifting, e-corporate gifting among others.
Storecheq is a unified platform to buy, sell, create and redeem gift cards, which not only aims to benefit individuals and businesses but also retail merchants.
How does the platform work?
Claiming to be a gifting currency, Storecheq offers digital gift cards in the form of a virtual claim code that allows a recipient to redeem and opt for a gift of choice across 1,000+ stores and 100+ brands. They can even use the amount partially at multiple stores at any point.
Merchants can use the Storecheq platform to participate in the gifting market and drive additional sales. Individuals can use the platform to give a gift of choice to their near ones and businesses can use the platform to gift and reward their employees, customers and channel partners. The brand is working on different aspects for making Storecheq behave like a gift currency and has integrated many small merchants, local brands onto the Storecheq Gift Card programme.
The giftech platform lets corporates customise gift cards for occasions/festivals, rewards programmes, channel incentives, customer promotions or business gifting. It also lets HR and business teams to easily configure gift cards, including branding and messaging, denomination, partner benefits, validity etc. They can opt for digital cards, or for gift-like physical cards.
“It is convenient for receivers. It is almost like getting cash, but with higher value than the denomination due to offers and incentives from partner brands. The key USP of the platform is that it is easy to use and we create a brand equity for our customers,” said Vivek Gupta, Founder of Storecheq.com
Revisiting the initial days
Launched in April 2017, Storecheq is the brainchild of Vivek Kumar (44) and Gurlal Algh (43). The founders have known each other for over 26 years and Vivek highlights the complementary skills they brought to the table, helping them build the trust required for starting their venture. Vivek has over 20 years of experience in telecommunication and IT, specialising in building relationships, partnerships, businesses, customer management and global operations. Gurlal has 18 years of experience in telecommunications industry and banking industry. Prior to Storecheq he worked with Nokia, Lucent Technologies and Royal Bank of Canada.
Talking about the ‘aha’ moment, Vivek recalls, “Gurlal and I, we both have kids and with kids come so many unwanted gifts on birthdays and other occasions. Cash is an alternative but it is not a gift and doesn’t create the bond or memories people expect from a gift. We wanted to create something that people could gift to anyone of any age for any purpose or occasion. We wanted to create a universal gift product.”
The co-founders then roped in Tarun Kumar and Manoj Chandra to lead Storecheq’s tech and marketing aspects. Manoj is a seasoned marketing executive and growth strategist. Prior to Storecheq, he was associated with Bata Shoes, Godrej Consumer Products, and RPG Spencer’s. Tarun is the tech lead at Storecheq and has over nine years of experience in the technology space.
Aiming to empower local merchants
So far, the brand has issued more than 800 Storecheq cards, over 1,300 third-party gifts, 25 corporate customers and 1,000+ individual users. It is monetising on a simple revenue model wherein there is no usage charge, generating revenue from partner merchants by redemption of merchant card, products & services and also through gift card management fee from retailers.
The brand is currently bootstrapped and is looking to raise some seed funding soon. Backed by a team of over 10 members and three advisors, the startup is currently focusing on replacing cash gifting with Storecheq’s e-gifting option as a preferred choice.
The company’s vision is to enable not just large retailers but also many local brands and merchants to participate and take advantage of the gift card market.
The brand is also eyeing an opportunity to take the platform global, starting off with the US and Middle East.