Q. Please give a brief profile about Qwikcilver and Giftbig.com?
QwikCilver is a leading Gift Card Technology Platform company in India founded by Indian retail and IT Industry professionals having over 50 years of combined experience. The robust QwikCilver Gift Card Platform has launched and manages more than 100 India’s leading brands’ Gift Card Programs. A complete end-to-end technology and service provider for all aspects of the gift cards and prepaid card category in India QwikCilver offers the most robust and versatile gift card technology platform, card design, card procurement, card warehousing, sales and marketing fulfillment services.
The company has launched all variants of gift cards in India – plastic physical gift cards, virtual gift cards, mobile-based gift cards.
GiftBig.com is the e-tailing brand portal launched by QwikCilver as “India’s first fully integrated online gift card mall” It has also grown to become India’s most preferred destination for gift card fans of over100 trusted brands. The portal has now launched “Instagifts”, an instant gifting innovation for anywhere in the country.
For the first time in Asia Pacific, GiftBig.com has also launched “Giftbig Friends Club,” a social to local marketing platform to send gift cards to Facebook friends.
QwikCilver has also won many accolades like “India’s Best Gift Card Service Provider” by the globally respected body, Global Prepaid Exchange.
Q. Which all brands are you in talks with for your services?
We are in talks with around 25 retail brands as of now. Currently, we have long-term agreements to launch and manage unique programs and retail initiatives of India’s leading brands and retailers such as Tata – Trent, Titan, Aditya Birla Nuvo, Reliance Brands, Cafe Coffee Day, Shoppers Stop, HUL-Bru Cafe, Landmark, Lifestyle, Starbazaar, Westside, Flipkart, Makemytrip, Microsoft, Yahoo, Intel, Satya Paul, Peter England, Van Heusen, Allen Solly, Louis Philippe, Arvind Brands, TTK Prestige, Raymond, Celio, Hidesign, Holii, Puma, Calvin Klein, French Connection, Arrow, William Penn, Pavers England, Sapna Book House, Fastrack, PVR Cinemas, Helios, Starmark, Titan Eye Plus, Viveks, YLG, O2Spa, Mast Kalandar, Babyoye, Yepme, and Printo among others.
Q. How do you deal with the giftcards that go unclaimed and thus wasted?
Almost 5-15 percent is the breakage or unredeemed amount for promotional giftcards that goes into the bottomline of the brand. The QwikCilver gift card platform enables brands to have various capabilities to enable the card holders to be informed beforehand for redeeming their gift cards before expiry. Also, gift cards are enabled to have multiple expiry periods depending on the brand’s business guidelines. Some brands have also gone to the extent of providing gift cards with no expiry period, i.e. the consumer can use the card balance forever!
The gift card balances can be enabled to be extended and revalidated based on the approval of the brand owners.
GiftBig.com allows consumers to check their gift card balance for any gift card purchased from anywhere in the country. This convenience makes it easier for the consumer to also be aware of the expiry of their gift cars status.
Q. How many gift vouchers did you sell last fiscal?
Over 25 lakh gift cards were issued across 20 different retail categories in the last fiscal. The average card value issued is Rs. 1,450. Gift card market has shown a 300 percent growth over the last fiscal. The QwikCilver gift card programs have been deployed across more than 300 Indian cities in over 6,000 premium brand outlets and portals.
Q. Who are your targeted customers?
Our consumer is an early adopter; who is in SEC A1/A2/B1 segment in the age group of 25-40. Psychographically, the core consumers are urban-city dwellers who loves gifting the freedom of choice to their near and dear ones.
Q. What are the denominations of your gift cards? Which denomination is most popular among your customers for gifting purpose?
Gift cards are available from Rs 200 going up to Rs 50,000. Depending on the retail category, the gift card values vary in preference. Currently, the average gift card purchase value is Rs 2,400.
Q. What according to you is or will be the next big thing in the Indian gift cards market?
At the consumer level, the gift card market would increasingly see the adoption of social gifting among friends which will in turn add to the rapid adoption of gift cards in organised retail.
At the corporate level, the increased acceptance of virtual gift cards would see the growth of digital gift cards over the next three years.
Q. How does festive season impact the sales of gift cards during festive season?
Over the last three years, the festive season off-take of gift cards has seen a spike ranging from 150 to 200 percent across retail categories. Brands and retailers have also driven the off-take by making their gift cards increasingly available with better merchandising, visibility, and packaging with gifting themes to suit the festive occasions.
Q. What is the average uplift for gift cards in India?
The uplift witnessed by retailers through their respective gift card programs range from 150 percent to as high as uplift of 400 percent. This makes the gift card a key driver and strategic part of the product portfolio.
Q. What has been your year-on-year growth rate?
Currently, our year-on-year growth is 250 percent.
Q. The concept of online gift cards in which the sender is notified and charged only when someone uses the card is gaining ground overseas? What is your take on it for India?
This is happening in India only for promotional gift cards and not paid ones. Moreover, the concept is unlikely to succeed in India. In our country, brands do it for promotions only.
Q. What is the response from tier 2 and 3 cities?
The tier 2 and 3 cities are perfoming much better than anticipated by many retailers in certain categories and brands. In some cases, the tier 2 cities have beaten the larger metro stores when it comes to sales. This has encouraged retailers to enter smaller towns. Our top performing markets include Trichur, Kottayam, Nasik, Patna, Cuttack, Guwahati, and Nagpur.
Currently, across all categories, top Indian cities such as Delhi, Bombay, Madras, Chennai, Kolkata, Pune, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, and Hyderabad clock 60 percent of total gift cards sales.
Q. What is the average amount spent on a gift card in India?
The average value loaded on a gift card ranges from category to category and also on the specific gifting occasion. The department store brands gift cards are clocking Rs 2,600 value while fashion brands gift cards average spent is Rs 3,200. The F&B brands gift cards are valued at Rs 1,200.
Q. Which brands or retailers are benefiting the most through gift cards in India?
Currently, gift cards are popular for brands in department stores and supermarkets. Along with electronics retailers. In the fashion segment gift cards are rapidly growing in importance over the last three quarters.
Q. What is your marketing strategy?
Roundtables are held periodically to enable the retailers and brand owners to learn from the best practices and developments of the prepaid and gift card category in India.
A QwikCilver monthly newsletter provides insights, survey updates on categories for retailers and brand owners.
GiftBig.com has driven the visibility and growth of the gift card category by impactful presence in the online digital media. Social media plays a key role in the marketing mix for the brands – with the GiftBig Friends Club enabling gift cards to be gifted to Facebook friends across the globe. Brands can thus drive and convert their social media fans into direct footfalls.
Q. Kindly explain your business and revenue model.
QwikCilver functions as a long-term strategic partner with the brands and retailers. The revenue model is based on setup fee, monthly program management fee, and distribution margins for sales to consumers and corporates by GiftBig.com. This includes taking care of all the requirements for hosting the hardware infrastructure, maintenance of the gift card technology across all the stores, helpdesk services across the week during the store working hours, and managing the entire program and transactions.
Q. How much are brands or retail chains required to invest on an average to avail your giftcard technology?
The uniqueness of the QwikCilver business proposition is that we work on an Operating Expenses Model than Capital Expenditure model. The investments are largely for the long term – and retailers need to invest mainly on the business growth aspects.
There is no investment on technology products and upgrades. The investments are mainly based on sales values generated by the brands. Per card cost is Rs 15 while per store charges vary between Rs 1,000 and Rs 2,000.
Q. What is your targeted turnover for this fiscal?
For the current year we expect a 300 percent growth to a total turnover throughput of Rs 400 crore across the country.