While Vivek Gupta and Gurlal Algh have been friends since their engineering college days in the early 1990s, the idea of starting a venture in the e-gifting space struck them only in 2014, when they received a few gifting cards. The cards, they realised, were easy to misplace, lose or be totally forgotten about. They were also single brand cards, which meant that the receiver was either forced to buy the product or forgo the gift.
With a huge inventory of unwanted gifts and the difficulty of tracking the distribution of gifts, the corporate gifting scenario was even worse. Gupta and Algh felt it could be a smart move to try and digitise the gifting card space and by giving the receiver multiple brand options to choose from. In April 2017 they launched Storecheq, India’s first gift-tech start-up that allows users to create, customise and present gift cards that can be redeemed by the receiver for multiple brands and products.
“As the name suggests, it is a cheque that can be used at multiple stores,” says Gupta. Storecheq allows individuals as well as corporates to present virtual gift cards which the receiver can redeem using a unique code. Users can create an account with Storecheq, fill in the details of the recipient and the gift amount and send it online. For corporates, there is an option to create customised gifting cards to help them create brand visibility. Since the whole process is managed online, not only can they track the distribution of gifts easily, they also are spared from maintaining and managing a gift inventory for their employees.
The card can be used for online or offline purchases depending on the brand’s policies. Storecheq currently has around 100 brand partners including Shoppers Stop, Lifestyle, Dominos, Flipkart, Amazon, BookMyShow, Allen Solly, Big Bazaar, Elle and Fabindia. The start-up doesn’t charge users but draws a commission ranging between 3-18% from its brand partners for each transaction. Storecheq currently has 25 corporate clients to whom it has sold around 1,000 gifting cards with an average value of around Rs.1,500.
Storecheq, which started with an initial investment of around Rs.60 lakh is targeting 150 corporate clients by March 2018. Alongwith building its sales team, the start-up is looking at partnering with companies that provide HR services to corporates. Apart from bigger brands, the team is also planning to rope in local brands with significant influence in certain localities, and expanding the gifting options beyond brands to experiences and services.