This ecommerce startup delivers gifts anywhere in India in just two hours
Chandigarh-based Winni is an online gifting platform that offers a variety of gift items, which can be delivered pan-India in just two hours.
Gone are the days when festive gifting took weeks of advance planning. Nowadays, we have a plethora of options to choose from within our budget and to match personal preferences at the click of a button.
Chandigarh-based, an online gifting portal, has made tremendous headway in this field in the past few years. It was launched in 2013 by Sujeet Kumar Mishra, Chander Pal, Sonali Gaur, and Abhishek Sharma.
“Along with the internet revolution and growing connectivity pan-India due to affordable data plans and smartphones, Indians began appreciating the ability to buy a range of gifts online that could be delivered to their loved ones living in other parts of India."
"Therefore, we built a technology-enabled online gifting platform. At Winni, we promise the best quality products at affordable prices to be delivered in defined timelines,” Sujeet Kumar Mishra, Co-founder and CEO, Winni, tells YS Weekender.
The story so far
According to the founder, when Winni was first launched, there was a dearth of online gifting solutions along with an effective delivery network in India. The few companies working in this space did not have robust tech solutions in place, making it challenging for customers to navigate them. Another major issue was the quality of the products being delivered, as most were unlike what was displayed on the website.
An awareness of these shortcomings allowed Winni to emerge as a tech-reliant, strong player in the game.
It now offers a ‘guaranteed delivery policy’ to deliver cakes, flowers, and other gift items in two hours flat, standing apart from other players in this domain.
Through trial and error and its eight-year long experience, the platform has developed the ability to provide a seamless experience by mapping user’s purchase intent. It is able to offer a variety of products addressing the needs of different segments of the audience and ensure the delivery of those products on a particular day or time to celebrate specific occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries.
Further, Winni imparts training and supply chain support to its vendors for timely delivery and processes orders at a massive scale. It also provides high-quality raw material and teach better baking skills through training programmes to ensure a consistency of taste and feel in its bakery products.
The team claims to have successfully completed 50,000 deliveries in the five days of Valentine’s Week this year, with 20,000 of these taking place on February 14 itself.
The popularity of its bakery products has encouraged the startup to start an on-ground vertical called Winni Cake & More, which now boasts of over 100 outlets across India in the span of just 15 months.
What’s on offer
On the Winni portal, one can choose from cakes, flowers, chocolates, plants, home decor, candles, metallic utensils, gold plated gifts, crystal gifts, soft toys, men and women’s accessories, perfumes, digital gifts, and personalised gift items like mugs, cushions, and jewellery.
Of these, its cakes, flower bouquets, and chocolates are the most popular.
“We feel these are most popular because we offer a two-hour delivery policy, strictly maintain quality standards of products across geographies, have a 3,000-member strong vendor network, and over 100 franchise stores in 23 states and 5 union territories,” says Sujeet.
“We offer an affordable range of products in all categories and control the quality by ensuring that hyper local players adhere to our strict standards while delivering the products on time,” he adds.
New collections and products are launched every 15 days, catering to over 50 occasions and festivals every year. The themes of these new launches are designed accordingly. They also have a new product line in place for Diwali, including varieties of dry fruits, cookies, personalised gadgets, plants, and chocolates. New packaging has also been introduced for the entire range of products for Diwali. As the festive season bodes well for sales, the team has instituted heavy discounts on a wide range of festive gift items and products.
When asked what sets them apart from their competitors in this space – namely Ferns & Petals and IGP, Sujeet says, “All our products are delivered in one go at the same time unlike others. We have the most affordable range of quality products across all categories, and the highest repeat customers in the online gifting industry. We also have over 100 retail outlets that help us control the quality of perishable gift items and ensure a seamless delivery experience.”
The business and challenges
According to indianretailer.com, India has proved to be the fastest-growing market for the ecommerce gifting sector, which is expected to grow to $200 billion by 2026. The growth of Winni supports this prediction.
Started with a rough investment of Rs 50 lakh, Winni is a bootstrapped company that generated Rs 65 crore revenue in the financial year 2020-21. In the first four years, it delivered 200 orders per day, which has now gone up to 2,000-3,000 per day, amounting to more than 100 percent growth in business year-on-year since the last four years.
Its retail business -- Winni Cake & More -- was launched 15 months ago, and has seen tremendous growth since then. Plans are in place to start over 300 franchise retail stores by the end of this financial year.
Though the period of the pandemic was challenging, Winni was able to ride through it by taking tough decisions that changed their process and delivery norms.
Sujeet shares, “We trained manpower, merchants, and partners on maintaining better hygiene from a Covid-19 perspective both while preparing the products and delivering them. We worked to ensure contactless gift deliveries by following all safety norms and disinfected our kitchen and warehouse facilities constantly as per government advisories on a daily basis.”
Additionally, it also reduced margins on product sales to cope with the sudden challenges it faced and increased its marketing aggressively by exploring every possible opportunity available to reach out to relevant customers.
Sujeet points out that in this period, people began to opt for digital gifts like celebrity video messages, personalised caricatures, on-demand virtual live music performances and virtual greeting cards, and Winni’s team worked to fulfill these changing demands.
Signing off, Sujeet says, “The online gifting industry will start consolidating in the next three to four years, and we are going to play a crucial role as a leading firm in this domain.”
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Edited by Megha Reddy