Finding that ‘perfect gift’ is often such a stressful task and to address this dilemma of many, Giveter was formed in 2012. Brainchild of Avinash Saxena and Mayank Bhangadia, both graduates of IIT Delhi, they quit their job as CTO at Zomato.com and Senior Consultant of Schlumberger Business Consulting respectively, to pursue their ‘calling’. Victims of choosing bad gifts themselves, both these techies now specialize in suggesting the right ideas for the right occasion through Giveter. Thus sympathising and empathising with fellow bad gifters, Giveter provides a list of interesting products catering to different occasions and for those people who are special in your life.
A visit to their website and you can clearly see how they have classified their gifting options. Giving you the option of age, the relationship and occasion to choose your gift, they provide options that make choosing more convenient. Having around 2526 handpicked gifts that are tailor made for the right person or the right occasion has just made life easier for many of us. Submerged in the pool of competitors, Avinash and Mayank spoke to us about their venture, gave us a few tips and steps to stay unique and be successful.
What made you start Giveter?
Internet today is overburdened with products and websites. We thought a systematic tool to find the right gifting products is missing from the Indian web space. There are websites which sell common gift items, but these gifts are restricted to these websites’ own product portfolios. And then there are a few product aggregator websites which are primarily price comparison portals. We found a clear gap in product recommendations space. We intend to make Giveter the starting point for gifting. For the real personal reason please refer to ‘the Giveter way’ – an autobiography by Monsieur Giveter
What is your business model? What are your products/services?
We collaborate with top websites under different product categories, cherry pick products; categorize using a semi-automated algorithm which incorporates user behaviour. Givers can search gift ideas based on recipient’s age, relationship, personality, occasion and his/ her own mood. When a user selects a gift, he or she is redirected to our partners’ websites for transaction.
Giveter is soon going to enable gift-giving, receiving and sharing on social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, etc. We call this ‘Zip-gift’. A successful pilot was done on Friendship day where more than 10,000 gifts were given on Facebook.
Apart from using social websites as a giving platform, we are also trying to link social activities to products. We intend to bring a gift-giver closer to those products which a gift-receiver may like/ approve more.
What has been your strategy for customer acquisition?
It is just been a few months since we went live. We are working on all channels to reach out to new customers, i.e. word of mouth, engagement on social platforms, ads on search engines, etc. We are seeing visitors’ double week on week. Our campaigns on Friendship day (where we introduced Zip-gift i.e. gifting on Facebook) and thanking Indian Olympians 2012 (in association with Healthkart) have further added to the visitors’ flow. We are expecting our tight integration with social platforms and visibility from gifts given on them to become our biggest source of new users.
What has been/will be the key to your business’s success?
We started with a very good mix of people – technological and those who are in touch with the trends; we call ourselves the beauty and the geeks. That apart we have a very open mind set, and are very collaborative in the B2B space. We recently launched a platform where any person can come and contribute to crowd sourced T-shirt gifts for India’s Olympic squad of 2012. People can add their photos to the mosaic of different players using our app integrated with Facebook. For this we collaborated with Healthkart.com. We implemented a great idea and they helped us to reach out to more sports fans.
What are the major challenges in your line of business and how did/do you overcome them?
Like any e-space start-up we wish we had more fingers. And then the other challenge is to reach out to more people. We started by being more innovative with marketing and constantly making our product more attractive. We automatically saw an increase in number of people expressing interest to work with us. We are far from having solved all the challenges in front of us, but the passion to make it right has helped us fight the initial start-up challenges.
Have you benefitted from the use of any specific technology for your regular operations?
Having a good tech team from the start has helped us build up a scalable and relevant platform. Instead of using popular LAMP stack, we went with the new JAVA based Play framework – which is more suitable for our own needs. Since we have developed everything internally we are able to introduce new features quickly. Plus a strong integration with social platforms not only gives users the desired level of comfort, it also enhances our visibility naturally.
What strategy do you follow for Customer Satisfaction & Expansion?
Firstly creating a very easy and intuitive interface, secondly by being up to date and relevant while recommending gifts, and finally by incorporating user behaviour in our recommendation algorithm.
What, according to you, are the top 3 skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Entrepreneurship requires a set of skilled hands and minds to be able to be successful and visible.
• Courage to dream
• Ability to deliver
• Persistence to overcome never-ending hurdles
This is our hypothesis; we are trying to prove it right!
Visit them at www.giveter.com
Market Research is the process of obtaining information about markets, products or competitors. All business strategies, whether for new ventures or existing operations, should be backed by a well-done market research. It is also a very effective tool to deal with competition.