Four professionals concoct inventive thoughts to fathom gifting enigma

GiftxoxoIdea for a perfect gift is tricky! Giving someone a gift is a way to show affection and an opportunity to communicate a message. Finding a gift that you know the recipient will love the moment he/she sees it, is a wonderful feeling and a way of telling someone that you value them.

Giftxoxo is a unique gifting company which solves two fundamental problems in the gifting industry. First is the problem of the gifter, who continues to grapple with the issue of finding the perfect gift as per budget, location, interest, age, occasion, etc. Second is the problem of the receiver, who is generally unhappy with the gift received either because he/she already has it or because it’s of less/no use.

Giftxoxo brings novel and effective solution to these problems through its discovery and choice of gifting products. The best gifting products are aggregated from over 100 different retailers to suggest the best gifting options to a customer. This platform also uses advanced algorithms to suggest gift options according to a user’s social graph, browsing history, interests, age group, occasion, price range, and more.

Based out of Bangalore, Giftxoxo was started by four highly qualified and experienced professionals - Manoj, Sumit, Abhishek, and Kushal.

Sumit holds an MBA degree from TAPMI, Manipal and is responsible for business development, sales, logistics, and finance at Giftxoxo.

A computer science engineer from PEC and an MBA from IIM Kozhikode, Manoj has over 7 years of work experience. An avid traveller and sportsperson, Manoj handles product strategy, marketing, and HR at Giftxoxo.com.

An alumnus of IIT Bombay, Abhishek loves to sketch and play chess when he is not busy coding. He manages engineering and technology at Giftxoxo.

Kushal is an adventure lover, who has travelled across 30 countries. An avid cook, he loves to treat with delicious food. At work, he handles sales and HR functions.

Co-founders Sumit and Manoj come from business families and they have seen business being created from childhood and they always wanted to do something of their own.

Manoj says that it has always been a passion to create fair and innovative business models and execute them. He felt that after good academics and a good work experience, it was the right time to follow his passion.

Explaining how to sustain in the business, Manoj says that you need to be really committed to the idea.

Initial days are most crucial and give lot to learn. First three months went mostly in the product design and going live on website. In the 3rd month we started spreading the word around and got some initial few customers. Initially we built a team through our network. There were few who joined us with great enthusiasm but left seeing the rigour of a start-up in early days. But then there were many others who showed great commitment and ownership and are crucial members of our team today.

He further adds that sometimes we have taken few wrong decisions but also did corrections immediately. We have been very focused and committed to what we do. There are times when we are disappointed when something goes wrong, but then there are many exciting times as well. That would be part of any business in initial days.

GiftxoxoGiftxoxo is a hybrid model of online and offline. The startup capital of Rs.15 Lacs was self-funded by Manoj and Sumit. The gifting company has also been funded by Kshtriya Ventures, an angel fund.

Giftxoxo has clocked a revenue of Rs 3 cr in the first year, Rs 6 cr in 2014, and the projects a revenue of around Rs 9 cr in 2015.

Initially, the biggest expenses for the firm were technology later it was overall employee cost. The young company is investing more into marketing and technology now compared to early days.

Sharing his entrepreneurial journey, Manoj says, “Start-ups are a roller coaster ride. There are various ups and downs in any startup. However as long as you are determined and focused, you will keep finding your ways. Our biggest challenges have been finding the right talent for a start-up, creating a new product category of ‘experiences’ in India, and getting the customers on to website with limited marketing budget.”

Giftxoxo participates in a good number of B2B and B2C events across India as it deals with both B2B and B2C gifting. Although the gifting company doesn’t have direct competitors, it has tough indirect competition from various e-commerce companies, corporate gifting companies, and gift voucher companies. Company has been selling over 500 experience gift boxes every month.

Advising the young enterprenuers, co-founders of Giftxoxo say,”Get into execution and get the business model right. Everything else like funding, long term, media etc will fall in place if your execution and business model is right along with consumers using your services. Keep learning from your peers, fellow entrepreneurs and most importantly, your customers. Pivot when needed.”