From Akshay Kumar’s prank call to 5-star private dinner, CherishX is enabling safe celebrations
Over the last couple of years, we have indulged in grandeur celebrations and luxurious experiences. However, the last year taught us how celebrating is more important than the pomp associated with it.
Being stuck inside our houses for the most part of 2020 has allowed us to indulge in doing it all by ourselves -- from baking cakes to cooking restaurant-style food at home and even arranging the décor by ourselves.
Leveraging on this idea and change in lifestyles, Delhi-basedis providing customers with DIY (Do It Yourself) decoration kits.
Team at CherishX
Founded in 2015 by Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management, Gwalior graduates Mudit Jaju, Mayank Singhania, and Ichchit Agrawal, CherishX provides services in Delhi-NCR, Bengaluru, Jaipur, Kolkata, and Pune for now.
The startup is registered with the Startup India programme and was a part of Facebook’s FBStart Program batch of 2017.
From anniversary and birthday decorations to fort-night with kids, CherishX has a DIY kit for every occasion, of every size.
Additionally, its mobile application and website allows customers to discover, personalise, and book experiences and services such as balloon decorations, guitarist performances, as well as personalised gifts. The startup also provides curated experiences like candlelight dinners, private movie screenings, and couple activities.
Birthday decorations by CherishX
CherishX’s products and services range between Rs 499 and go up to Rs 50,000.
The founders initially invested Rs 20 lakh to start the business. “We did a lot of freelancing projects as side hustle to fund the business in the initial stages,” Mudit says.
With more people wanting to celebrate from the safety of their homes, CherishX recorded a 150-percent increase in orders in its home-surprises vertical of its business, as compared to 2019.
It introduced concepts like digital surprises, private dinner experiences, and DIY kits to keep up with the social distancing norms.
“We started services like booking a guitarist on video call, personalised radio shows, celebrity wishes, and virtual birthday parties for kids so that our customers get to celebrate during the pandemic,” Mudit adds.
Private candlelight dinner organised by CherishX
Secondly, with people not wanting to have decorators coming into their houses, CherishX introduced DIY kits and couriered them to customers’ doorsteps. “DIY kits come with easy-to-follow instructions and can be shipped across the country,” Mudit adds.
Thirdly, the startup curated experiences such as private candlelight dining experiences in five-star properties, “Whilst maintaining social distance and not worrying about the virus,” he says.
As per the startup, Bollywood celebrity Akshay Kumar’s Prank call ranks #1 under the digital gift category, and open-air romantic dining experience at Citrus Hotel, Bengaluru, tops the candle-light dinner category.
Founding team at CherishX
How does it work?
CherishX targets customers between the ages of 23 and 40-years old.
Customers can check the services and products offered either in the mobile application or website and book their orders accordingly. The platform guides customers on the booking process. Once the booking is received on CherishX’s dashboard, it is transferred to the vendors via the vendor app. Orders are then managed by the backend team and platforms.
CherishX works on a commission-based model with its vendors. “This provides them a medium to get bookings, customer communications, and managing availability,” Mudit adds.
According to him, the startup’s USP lies in the fact that all its services are managed end-to-end by the team. These experiences are quality controlled and created by CherishX date artists. The team has 48 employees -- including office staff, ground team of decorators, and delivery teams.
Balloon bouquet by CherishX
CherishX’s marketing strategies are highly driven by word-of-mouth, and it leverages social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to run advertising campaigns.
CherishX has so far helped more than five million customers celebrate their special occasions, generating Rs 15 crore revenue, annually.
“We are now looking at diversifying our services and experiences, and going in-depth in our product categories,” Mudit says. The startup plans to introduce product lines such as pre-wedding functions and bachelorette parties, among others.
Going ahead, CherishX plans to increase its delivery centers in Delhi-NCR and improve technology to handle scale. The startup is looking forward to expanding to cities like Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Chennai.