Fine Tuning Of Business in A Startup
- By Kushal AgarwalJiji Janardhanan
It's a personal story on how we fine tuned our newly minted venture Xoxoday!
Giftxoxo.com was started as a group gifting company in 2012. The “Gift” word in the company name suggests that we’re in the space of providing gift items for people. The statement is true and we were a gifting company in the beginning. Our business model has transformed over a period of time and we have taken pivots interim.
We in initial days at Giftxoxo.com found that Wedding is a big market in India and abroad. Gifting was one of the most important elements here. Every group of friends try to pool-in money for the bride and the groom and wants to gift something bigger and better. Thinking it as a big market we built tech interface for group gifting requirements. We marketed it to the consumer world, however in first 3 months - received ZERO transactions. Even our friends weren’t using it :( We understood certain basics and ground level facts and learnt that this business is “Nice to have business” and its not dire need. This business model looked nice in excel sheet, however the ground reality was different.
Post failure of group gifting business, we entered into gifting business for the corporates. It was a typical corporate gifting business where we supplied any gifting item as per corporate requirements. The gifting item would be pen, mug, t-shirts, TV sets, Gift vouchers, Bags etc. The company showed good growth and within one year of operations we had done a business of 1.5 crores INR, and 5 crores INR in the second year of operations. We eventually realized that this business is too intense with too much of manual involvement. It was difficult to bring technology in place which could help scale the business. Giftxoxo team eventually realised the need to take another pivot in the business.
We observed new gifting trends evolving in the world – it's “Experiences As Gift”. Experiences in 2013 was quite a new concept in India and Giftxoxo could become an early mover in this field. This market is quite popular in the American and European markets but the same had been barely tried in India. The Experiences here could be an adventure experience like Skydiving or a Wellness experience like an Egyptian Spa or a Farming experience in a Village, etc. Giftxoxo started curating many such beautiful experiences and started to make them available for the people to gift. We used the existing corporate gifting channel to sell these experiences as Gifts for employees and clients. We made Experience Gift Boxes - it gave a tangible feel to experiences. Here we compiled similarly priced experiences in a box and let the person choose any One from the set. This product was very well appreciated in the market as it gave the flexibility and the freedom to choose the desired experience.
Eventually there was a demand in the market to automate and digitise the overall employee reward programs in the corporate. Hence Giftxoxo team built an enterprise SaaS based platform named as XoxoEngage.com for corporates through which they could digitise their total reward program for employees. The business flourished and the company did a business of 11 crores INR in the third year of operations and close to 40 crores INR in the fourth year.
Later while commencing the fifth year, Giftxoxo realised that Gifting of Experiences is still a unique thing and people were liking them. We saw a merit in pitching these experiences to individuals as well for self consumption. The market size with this thought increased to every weekend, every special occasion, exploration during the leisure trips and every gifting aspect as well. But now the word “Gift” spoils the game. Hence the birth of “Frogo” :)
Frogo is an experience and activities marketplace which showcases activities and experiences on the go! & you may book it whenever required. Any passionate professional or service provider can #Host an Experience via this platform. Frogo is available in Website by the name Frogo.in and Mobile App by the name Frogo itself. Now if you sum the entire story till now, the venture has three names / businesses viz. Giftxoxo, Xoxoengage & Frogo. With a team of nearly 150 people and an aim of doing a business of 100 crores INR, its really hard for a venture to support three different businesses. Hence, Giftxoxo – the parent company, started thinking to consolidate the business and sell only experiences. Three names increases cost to market all three individually, cost to develop the product independently, cost to acquire new customers independently, creates confusion in the minds of consumers from three names and lots more.
Now The challenge lies to decide on which name?
Giftxoxo has “Gift” word attached to it and hence it cannot be the ONE. However Giftxoxo is the most popular name among the three. XOXO is more prominent and people know Giftxoxo due to word XOXO. We came up with an available domain name as Xoxoday. Frogo’s domain name is available only as Frogo.in and the .com version is not available to purchase.
Hence analyzing all scenarios, we fine tuned our business with Xoxoday as one single brand identity which will serve to #Hosts, #Guests & #Enterprises!