We want the gift card penetration to grow 5x in India: Pratap TP, Qwikcilver

The co-founder and CMO of the digital gift card company spoke about the future of this idea in a country like India

e4m by Akshata R Murthy
Updated: Nov 10, 2017 8:35 AM

With digital making such a lot noise during the recent festive season, Pratap TP, co-founder and CMO, Qwikcilver, a digital gift card company, spoke about the burgeoning growth in this market. He shared his plans of growing this space of digital gift cards from about 2 per cent to about 10 per cent within a span of five years in India.


What made your recent product launches stand out during the festive season?

From a business, marketing and communication perspective, it’s apt that all brands fight. We worked on creating relevance of this product for our consumers and make it their requirement. It shouldn’t just be another product or another variant of an existing product that is being launched. It is seen pertinent to the festive season, occasions that have come up. We are focussing on data points since brands are looking at newer ways of engaging with their customers.

That’s where we brought in the concept of ‘Go gifting via Woohoo’ which was launched a few months ago. This festive season we brought the power of technology and the power of gifting together to make it relevant for consumers and brand owners from a social cause perspective. That’s where the ‘Woohoo Gift of Giving’ concept came in, where the consumers could do exactly. We also launched the Woohoo Gifting League, where the consumers, both the givers and the recipients, benefit from participating in it.

Do you think the concept of digital gift cards is too new for a country like India?

Yes, absolutely! As we can see, what’s happening in India is symbolised in the way how businesses have been responding to digital payments and how consumers have become more comfortable with them. I’m not saying that consumers are changing suddenly and the older ways of transacting won’t be there. But this is a segment which is growing significantly. The Indian consumer and market has responded to it far more quickly. We’re actually leapfrogging a few stages of growth compared to the other parts of the world. We at Qwikcilver, are reintroducing the act of gifting with innovative and novel ways at a consume, corporate, social and group level.

Who are your competitors in market where Woohoo is placed?

Gifting is a huge market in India estimated at about $60 bn annually. What we are focussing on is a very small segment which gives us plenty of room for growth. Our competition might not be just another solution provider for gift cards (which is not available currently in India) but there are other providers in the west. We are providing an option to customers, be it an enterprise, corporate or individuals to gift in a new way. Competition can be gifting cash, gifting production merchandise and many other elements. Our Woohoo or Qwikcilver gift card conclave is unmatched as nobody else is showcasing the benefits of gifting via gift cards. That’s why there is a need for one such conclave where multiple stakeholders get involved in this category, be it brand owners, corporates, enterprises or even a regulatory body from an RBI perspective. In the end, regardless of how robust our technology is, the consumer should see its relevance.

What are your plans ahead?

We’ll continue to cater to our Indian and overseas market. This year we forayed into new markets from a geographical expansion point of view. Otherwise, our plans are to make the gift card category relevant to the consumers at every stage of our own future. Just like the recent launches of the ‘Gifting League’ and ‘Gift of Giving,’ there will be other launches.

According to reports, consumers in the west have again said that gift cards are the most preferred option for gifting in the US for Christmas, Thanksgiving and throughout the holiday season. 61 per cent of consumers have reported that they want a gift card during the holiday season from their friends or family. India still has a long way. We are happy that there is tremendous growth of about 300 per cent or 3x growth YoY and a huge upside from a potential opportunity in India. There are far more festivals in our country right from the local level, across religions and various personal occasions. That’s something we believe will continue as we go. The objective is for the gift card penetration to grow to about 5x. We plan to increase the current 2 per cent to scale up to a 10 per cent in India in the next five years.

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