Had you ever thought that gifting can become a business idea that could lead to a start-up? As much as the idea is intriguing, Giftxoxo not only translated this into a grand success but also have been moving forward to conquer the next level of experience gifting. Here is an interesting interview with the founders. Read on:
SoS: Share a little bit about your organization and how did the business idea of an online R&R, incentive management occur?
Sumit: Giftxoxo started when Manoj and I discussed some ideas which were shaping well in early 2012. Manoj was working for Flipkart and found some good ideas working well in the gifting industry globally. We made observations on gifting trends and the two of us iterated on a couple of these ideas and finally started Giftxoxo. We worked on these as per market needs and started building an experience gifting company. Abhishek and Kushal joined along in our journey within a month.
We started as a gifting company. However, over the last 4 years, we have moved beyond gifting. We are into three major business verticals and each is strategically linked. We work with a lot of corporates globally to handle their rewards, recognition, channel incentives and alike through a robust SaaS platform. We sell curated experiences and activities through our mobile app Frogo. This mobile app is a geo-based application that helps a consumer discover and book amazing experiences around. These experiences are also sold to corporates and individuals as gifts for various occasions. We are the only company in India who handle curated experiential gifting.
Giftxoxo today has a collection of 5000+ extraordinary Experiences across 6 categories – Adventure, Fine Dining, Wellness, Getaways, Hobbies and Philanthropy. Some examples are Flying a Microlight Plane, Bollywood Film Tour, Horse Riding Session, Dinner on a Yacht, Para Sailing, Tree Plantation and more. Each Experience is hand-picked from the best and most trusted brands. For gifting, we provide an elegant personalized gift box where one Experience can be chosen from the collection of Experience catalog in the box. This box is used for various occasions like Monthly/Quarterly Awards, Birthday/Anniversary Gifts, Client Gifts, Team Awards, Long Service Award, Sales Team incentives and more. The box can be customized as per requirement and its price ranges from ₹3000 to ₹5 lacs.
Giftxoxo Rewards Platform is a point based system where one can allocate points to other to show their appreciation. These points can be accumulated and redeemed against world’s biggest portfolio of options having 5000+ amazing Experiences and 300+ brand Gift Vouchers like Amazon, Tanishq, Shopper’s Stop, Bookmyshow, and more. We handle end-to-end fulfillment of these options. This automates the Reward and Recognition functions in an organization. This social media like platform also has a feature of Social Recognition like Good Job, Well Done, All the best badges, and so on. It is customized according to the requirement of organizations and gets implemented in 90 minutes. It saves a lot of money, time and efforts for the HR and increases the overall efficiency and productivity of organization as a happy employee is what makes a company successful. Currently, this platform is used by organizations like LnT infotech, Infosys BPO, India Bulls, Snapdeal, First American and more.
SoS: What have been the key milestones of your business? Kindly share some hiccups as well.
Sumit: We have come a long way since our inception. We have grown immensely as a company and as a service provider. Our services and products have been well appreciated and our feedback has always been positive. We have received prominent awards such as the best Mobile App Award at GMASA 2016, CNBC Young Turks, Future of India Award 2016 and our Rewards Technology platform has won the People Matters HR Spotlight Award 2016. Giftxoxo has also been regularly covered by renowned publications such as Business Standard, Hindustan Times, Times of India, Economic Times, Entrepreneur, IIFL etc. Along with this, our client base has increased to over 700 corporates, we are also steadily spreading our base across the world. We have a host of curated experiences of over 5000 experiences and we’ve given out 50,000 experience boxes till date and the number is only increasing as we speak.
SoS: If you could offer a first-time entrepreneur only one piece of advice, what would it be?
Sumit: Well, my advice would be to start early, don’t fear or run away from taking risks, be focused and flexible and know that business is just an outcome.
SoS: How was the entire experience of getting the funding for your organization?
Sumit: We, from the beginning, believed in being a sustainable and profitable business. We also believe that this is the only reason why start-ups either do well or they fail. When we pitched our idea to our investors and proved to them that our business would not only be successful but a sustainable one at that, that’s when they agreed to get on board.
SoS: How are investors adding value to your growth?
Sumit: Our investors are veterans in their industry. They come with long years of industry experience and one needs to understand that investors not just invest their money, but also their time, expertise and thoughts. They add value to our growth by guiding us through acquisitions, funding, and other important decisions that are involved in growing a business they are also our constant mentors who guide and help us.
SoS: How did you pitch your start-up / idea to the investor?
Sumit: Once we had an idea in place, it took us quite some time to convince the investors because of the novelty of the product but once they understood what our product was and how it was set to make a difference in the market they were more than willing to make an investment.
SoS: Now that you have got the funding, how do you aim to make the most of it?
Sumit: Giftxoxo is working towards becoming one of the largest curated experiences and activities company globally. We have good number of clients in India and they have given us great feedback for our products. We are planning to expand to other continents as well in the months to come. We will continue to add exclusive experiences and newer incentives. The corporate channel engages various stakeholders of companies including employees and customers. The consumer channel would serve to the requirements of people who want to explore something unique, make their day special with handpicked experiences around them. We want to become a one-stop destination for curated experiences across geographies.
SoS: What specific goals have you set for your business in the coming years in terms of adding services or categories?
Sumit: We are constantly working on increasing the experiences that we offer. We will be expanding our base to international geographies and we will be adding a lot of capabilities to our technology and core services.
SoS: What is your target audience? The tech savvy users or average internet user who wants to save more?
Sumit: Our target audience for Giftxoxo are decision makers such as CXOs HR heads, brand managers etc. For Frogo, our target audience consists of 18-40 year olds who are UG and PG Students, IT Professional, MNC employee, New age Moms and New age families.
SoS: What differentiates Giftxoxo from the rest?
Sumit: Product gifting has been all around for some time now, however, we are into a unique position of experiential gifting. While we do have direct competitors, we have been around for the past four years and our growth during this time has been good and we’ve been able to get a clientele of over 700 corporates in our kitty. We are experts in what we do and everything we offer is hand-picked, personalised and curated to cater to everyone’s taste and choices. We make special occasions like Birthdays, Anniversaries, Weddings and retirement unique and unforgettable. Giftxoxo is a company that believes in creating memories and moments through unique experiences that users can cherish for a lifetime. We believe in making it exclusive that provides curated WOW experiences across India in various categories including Gourmet Food, Adventure, Tours and Getaways, Health and Wellness, Arts and Learning and Philanthropy. Its simple platform, standardized pricing and high quality offering ensures that customers are delighted each and every time.
SoS: Best incentive that you ever had?
Sumit: I think the best incentive is when people have good things to say about Giftxoxo, when our customers give us a good feedback and share it on their social media handles. Employees able to achieve milestones like when someone gets promoted, or buys a car. It’s also an incentive when a vendor says that their business is growing because of us. These are the smaller things that prove as incentives to us.
— With best wishes,