We are publishing an interview of Ms. Meeta Gutgutia, Founder, GiftsbyMeeta (a New Delhi based gifting startup & a venture of Ferns N Petals Pvt. Ltd.).
About the founders
Ms. Meeta Gutgutia has completed her education in Fashion Designer. She believes creativity has no boundaries and no competition. Also, we have some creativity in all of us.
Give us a brief background of what founders were doing before starting the venture.
Started from being a florist into events and then into e-commerce, Ms. Meeta has come a long way. Initially ran a gift section on the existing and established portal Ferns n Petals as it was a challenge to start something fresh on an unknown platform. Then, the thought came of moving the gift section on a whole new platform as gifting in itself is a very vast field and fitting it into a flower website would not give it a full scope to grow.
List all the names of the core team members, along with their skill-sets, specific domain expertise & designated roles. How do you see them evolving over time?
At GiftsbyMeeta, the team can be broadly categorized into four departments:
- Digital Marketing Department: Digital marketing departs covers the SEO, Tech support, Contents and corporate marketing like activities. This department is currently being headed by Mr. Ankit Rathi, who is post graduated in Computer Applications and has more than 8 years of experience in the digital marketing.
- Products and Category Management Departments: The product and category management department is being headed by Ms. Komal Srivastava; she is post graduated in products designing. She has served the Flipkart in the past. From the planning, product shooting, editing, artwork designing, to category management and uploading the products are being taken care by this team.
- The Operations and Warehouse Departments: This department is managed and operated by Mr. Shakil Khan, who B.Tech in electronic and communications and has around 6 years of experiences in handling the logistic, operations and warehouse management. In past, he worked at Flipkart.
- Customer Care and Support Team: The team is being headed by the MR. Gaurav Kaushik, who has got MBA Degree and he in the industry over 5 years.
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?
Customers happen to settle with what is available in their vicinity just because their options are limited. Compromising is much of a problem on its own. So, a problem of not finding the finest of gift items in smaller cities is an issue that needed a sure solution. Inaccessibility should certainly not come in the way when they have all the will and desire with a pocket to gift what should be gifted.
What challenges did you face when you were starting out?
The biggest road block was my little knowledge of technology as laptop was a means to go through Pinterest or Facebook. E-commerce with absolutely low technical knowledge or education was a nightmare. Coming from established corporate background where everything was just a shout out, going back to basics of holding a camera to a product description and dimension became my whole day task.
The fear of being seen and judged from my work by the e-commerce industry giants gave me jitters. Once a firm decides to go online with whatever is it that is being offered, it always starts as a risk in terms of acceptance by the target market with all the judgments that gets associated.
How did you get the initial capital? What returns does it have? Tell us about the investors (if any)
It was a hard decision to leave my past baggage behind and start a small company on my own. From the Creative Head and Director of the company to stepping down for a startup was a shocker to my known. As I always say travel the less traveled, I started my own journey.
So, we started with our first product shoot in a store room and a team that was as small as a single person under me at one time.
I had to come up with a viable business plan to put forth the MD of Ferns and Petals in order to convince him for initial investment as they already had an e-commerce portal under the brand. The company is a venture of Ferns and Petals and was initially funded by the parent company. Now in all these years, it has been operating under a bootstrap model.
What is the insight that you have about this market, which no one else has? Uniqueness about your Startup.
Being in the social sector, catering to events and occasions for all my life, understanding the need and emotions was a bonus point. Added to it was my experience of being a part of a company that started from scratch.
Emotions keep me connected to the items and then eventually connects the customers to our products. So, this is a process which is unique to Gifts by Meeta.
What is the revenue model? What is the logic behind it? Explain your thought process.
With India’s growing economic muscles, anything that belongs to the luxury category has great scope and strong business viability in the Indian market. For instance, the luxury cars, fitness care, resorts, hospitality, air travel, premium gifting and so forth are the things, going to gain a great market share in the coming time and will grow further at the exponential rate. So there is tremendous scope in the gifting segment in India. And GiftsbyMeeta is planning, designing, customizing and selling the gifts online; this is exactly our revenue model.
The online shopping portal that we own generates the revenue for us, where the gifting articles from the selected vendors are also listed. We do generate revenue from by selling gifting articles on the marketplaces as well.
Who are the consumers that you are targeting? How is this going to affect them
Young, urban and the professionals are the clients we are catering to who understand the need of e-commerce solution and have faith in the quality and services of the business. Gifts is something where the product is going to the third party so, assurance is a must. The unique combination and handpicked products with a scope of personalization provides solution to their indecisive choices and that is the USP.
The gifts are handpicked that I personally would like someone to have. A lot of thought is put behind picking up each of those available in our collection. Personified, simple and all-time gifts gets added to our inventory. We do the task of putting our emotions while selecting the gifts so, the customer base can easily find a connection and emotion attached to the items.
Gifting is an amalgamation of art and science as involves both aesthetics and practicality. The one that truly appeals to the customer.
How did you get your first customer?
I started with introducing my products on other gifting portal to get a firsthand response before going ahead with all my range.
What is the big picture of your startup? Is this Product leading to something bigger? If so, how?
Gifting is going better and bigger with more and more customers getting connected to this online chain of delivering gifts. We look forward to introduce fine gifting experience to even the less connected cities and globally send gifts that are not available to smaller cities.
We thrive to become a complete social gifting platform with our very fresh idea of ‘gift registry’ where customers will be provided with options to prior register their occasions for the whole year for a better way of gifting.
What is the current turnover? Please explain in details:
The company has total orders till now is more than 80 thousand and during the last financial year, GiftsbyMeeta has secured the revenue of Rs 50 million. Furthermore, with more than one lac of subscribers on the website, GiftsbyMeeta has 50,000+ active users on its website. In addition, it has more than 5000 daily visitors on the website which further grows 10 times more, during the festive occasions.
For Instance, Diwali gifts and Valentine’s Day gifts named two categories single-handedly brings more than 40% of the revenues that of the total generated by other festive occasions.
What would be your goal to accomplish in the next six months?
Further expansion in terms of Demographics and tapping the untouched with escalating ticket values and a 100% growth. We look forward to have all the possible gifting solution with a one stop plan that is into making.
What message do you want to convey to fellow entrepreneurs?
As I have always, travel the untraveled path with believe, patience, passion and sustainability. Be grounded even if you have struggled and come a long way. Always, believe in your vision.
Thanks Meeta. Best wishes.