Excerpts from the Interview – What made you start your venture?
Experience gifting is a new concept in India with very few players in the market. We saw an opportunity and decided to utilize my business development skills with my husband’s digital marketing skills to create a user-friendly portal.
What sets us apart is our concierge services- we assist customers in the purchase and booking of the experience. A year ago, if you wanted to send your parents, staying in another city, to a nice dinner and have beautiful flowers waiting for them at the restaurant, it was not possible – today it is, with our service.
What has been the key to your business’s success?
We are a young venture with a youthful and charged up team. The key will be our service levels and execution for our customers both from the B2C and B2B channels. Execution has to be undertaken with perfection or we don’t add any value to the gifting/rewarding process. Apart from the hundreds of experiential gifts and flexibility for the customers, we go the extra mile to ensure the sender and recipient are both very happy.
What are the major challenges in your line of business and how did/do you overcome them?
One the major challenges was to convince people to choose experiences over material gifts. We overcame it by educating the customer on the benefits of experience gifting,emphasizing that people always remember experiences versus material gifts.
Research in the US has shown that giving a person a bottle of wine has a much lower impact than sending them on a wine tasting experience. Another challenge has been hiring the right kind of people. We look for those who have the passion, commitment and strength to give each task their 120%. We believe that people make the business.
Do you have a mentor who guides/advices you on matters of the business?
My husband, Siddharth Lal, ran a successful online business in Australia and today heads one of India’s best digital marketing agencies, namely Bruce Clay India. So, Siddharth is my guide in matters of the business and is involved in day to day management.
My father, Arvind Chaddha has over three decades of corporate experience and has been the CFO of companies such as Britannia in India and other large businesses in the Middle East.He continues to be my mentor. All our strategic decisions are taken after consulting my father.
Have you benefitted from the use of any specific technology for your regular operations?
Yes our ecommerce portal is backed by Magento which is our back-end shopping cart, order tracking system and database management tool. We also communicate with our customers through Magento.
What strategy do you follow for Customer Satisfaction & Expansion?
Customer satisfaction is the key to our operations. We go the extra mile on all orders. Our value addition is ensuring the customer has had a wonderful experience whether they are purchasing or booking the experience; our Gift Concierge service is world class. We work with one of the best companies for customer service and operations. Our expansion plans are already in the pipeline in terms of building the team and continuing to follow the SOPs already created.
What, according to you, are the top 3 skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Vision – Without vision and a plan,your business will be a non-starter. Entrepreneurshave to be able to lead a team with enthusiasm and belief in the success of the business.
Thick Skin – Come what may, you need to go on and do what it takes to reach milestones. It is not a 9 to 5 job where you can pass the buck. The buck stops with you so you need to have a thick skin to deal with all kinds of issues and move forward.
Jack of all Trades – You need to have knowledge across fields of marketing, operations, customer service, finance, administration, strategy etc. You need to be able to question with authority, colleagues managing these functions.
You need to be able to get into details and exercise control in the beginning to ensure the highest levels are maintained even 10 years later. If you feel like gifting an experiencing to your near and dear, check out www.delightgifts.in and www.facebook.com/delightgifts