Sunday , 21 January 2018

25K Happy Customers Without Spending a Rupee – This Gurgaon Based Startup Tells You How to Bootstrap and Succeed

We are publishing an interview of Ms. Rupal Bansal, Founder and Chief Idea Officer, Indiagift.

Please tell us about the founders 
Indiagift is founded by couplepreneurs Rupal and Mohit Bansal. While the former is a business grad from TNTU, Mohit is an IIM-Ahmedabad alumnus. Rupal is a digital marketing professional and a writer at heart while Mohit is a serial entrepreneur with many successful ventures to boast of. Indiagift was the solution to a problem that the couple faced to connect with their relatives on their birthdays in a small town of Punjab. The couple decided to take the challenge head on and connect the smallest of towns and cities with their relatives and friends across the world. Indiagift now delivers cakes/flowers/gifts to more than 1000 towns of India including Tier 3 and 4 sectors. Rupal is now at the helm of the youthful team of Indiagift while Mohit stays as a mentor and is busy launching his next startup.

Give us a brief background of what founders were doing before starting the venture. 

  • Mohit Bansal is an IIM-A alumnus and has previously worked with ITC, IBM and Ebookers, before starting his own Online Education business in 2006. In 2007, his Education venture was bought by Educomp Solutions, India’s largest education company. Mohit then became a  a part of India’s first online card game company. After having lead the company to become the leading player in its domain, he continued his tryst to forming other successful companies with Indiagift. He is now working on an online test prep mobile application called iChamp.
  • Rupal has 8 years of experience as a content marketeer and other realms of digital marketing. She has been an entrepreneur with her content marketing company called Wasanis before and then worked with Adda52, India’s largest poker site in various senior roles, before quitting to start Indiagift.
Rupal Bansal and Mohit Bansal, Founders, Indiagift

Rupal Bansal and Mohit Bansal, Founders, Indiagift

List all the names of the core team members, along with their skill-sets, specific domain expertise & designated roles. 
  • Rupal Bansal- Founder and Chief Idea Officer
  • Mohit Bansal, Mentor
  • Prashant Pandey- Head, Technology
  • Prasanjit Sen, Manager, Operations
  • Govind Mishra, Sr Designer
  • Gagan Gaba, SEO Expert
  • Rajat Thakur, Manager, Customer Service
What is the problem you are trying to solve? Can you share with us any insights that led you to believe that this is a big enough problem? 
Indiagift was the solution to a problem that the couple faced to connect with their relatives on their birthdays in a small town of Punjab. The couple decided to take the challenge head on and connect the smallest of towns and cities with their relatives and friends across the world. Indiagift now delivers cakes/flowers/gifts to more than 1000 towns of India including Tier 3 and 4 sectors.
What challenges did you face when you were starting out? 
Indiagift has been self funded from the start. Thus managing within the means was one problem. A second problem was dealing with the very saturated e-commerce space which had big players out selling each other with their big marketing spends. Finding a vendor base in small towns and ensuring they deliver quality gifts has been another huge challenge.
How did you get the initial capital? Tell us about the investors (if any) 
Indiagift is self funded and was a cash positive company within the first year of operations. We’ve used the money that the company is making to fund it over the years now.
Please tell us about the Product / Solution. Explain how you went about the Product-Market Fit Process. 
Indiagift has created a niche in the quite saturated market of e-gifting. we’ve created our space by organic SEO and omni channel marketing. We’ve innovated our product catalogue and relied on all types of organic techniques to acquire new customers.
What were your assumptions when you entered the market, learning that you have? 
We knew the market was hard so we didn’t assume anything and went all in with a focus to succeed.
What is the insight that you have about this market, which no one else has? Uniqueness about your Startup. 
We deliver to the smallest of towns in India. Our USP remains delivery birthday/anniversary greetings to the villages and towns that no one else is able to touch so far.
What is the strength of the startup and the scale of operations? Who do You Perceive as Your Competition? 
We believe the market leaders in the e-gifting space like fnp.com, floweraura.com and igp.com are our competition. Our promise to deliver quality and excellent customer care service(both pre and post sales) has been our strength in retaining our customers.

25K Happy Customers Without Spending a Rupee - This Gurgaon Based Startup Tells You How to Bootstrap and Succeed

What is the revenue model?
We work on the marketplace model.

Who are the consumers that you are targeting? How is this going to affect them?
Our target audience is Indians all across the world. Our service helps them connect to their friends and family in India.

How did you get your first customer?
Organic SEO and Google rankings

What is the big picture of your startup? Is this Product leading to something bigger? If so, how?
Yes, we are in the race to become the largest e-gifting startup of the country.

Since inception, give us a sense of the value of business done by your venture?
In 2017, we acquired 25K customers. Each of which was acquired through organic growth without heavy spends on marketing. Our google rankings and SEO growth have ensured that we stay amongst the top 10 in e-gifting in India. And we wish to double that base in 2018 through SEO and omni channel marketing techniques.

What would be your goal to accomplish in the next six months?
Delivering maximum smiles- Emotional Goal
100% growth- Actual Goal

What message do you want to convey to fellow entrepreneurs?
Patience and Perseverance ensures the survival of the fittest.
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Thanks Rupal. Best of luck!

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