It’s Summertime Again, Folks! Time To Reward The Kids!

Let’s face it – our kids have put in a long hard year. They’ve slogged for their exams day and night, and the results are pouring in. While they’re wiping the sweat off their brows in relief, it’s time for us parents, uncles, aunts, grandparents and friend to think of rewarding them for their hard labor. Let us show them that with great effort, comes great rewards!

What Will Your Kid Like?

Idea 1: Books!

Think about gifts that’ll keep them occupied; the long summer hols are ahead of them. How about a gift card from a brand such as Landmark, Sapna Book House or Starmark? Books are ideal for kids who love to read – they like nothing better than burying those noses in a book all day.  Kiddie book-lovers like nothing better than to browse a huge collection of books all day long. Your chosen gift card will enable them to do just that, which is a gift in itself!

Idea 2: Special Summer Clothes

Though clothes won’t keep your kids occupied all through the hols, they make an excellent reward gift. Summer means birthday parties, picnics, family outings, weddings, summer camps – so many occasions to get dressed up for! How about getting your kids a gift card from Westside, Izod, Energie, Gini & Jony or Celio? All these brands offer an incredible range of special summer clothes and party wear that your kids will love. Hand your kids your chosen gift card and let them have fun pulling out ensembles and trying them on at the store. What fun!

Idea 3: Toys

Kids love toys of all kinds. The young ones love kiddie toys while older ones like video games and remote-operated toys. So go ahead and gift them what they love! Try gift cards and gift vouchers from Babyoye, Flipkart and Appleofmyi for your little ones. Let them pick the toys they want, all on their own! For your older kids, how about gift cards from Croma, the Mobile Store, Landmark and Flipkart? Let them go wild browsing the latest smartphones, video gaming consoles, video games and all the digital thrills they can stand!

Don’t Forget!
Don’t forget to include a sweet message of congrats and love to your kids along with your gift card, e-gift card or gift voucher. Your kids will love to read your words of encouragement. After all, every child wants to be rewarded with more love each day.

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Build Up from a Sound Core, the ‘Angels’ Are Interested

As appeared in The Hindu Business Line on 5 May 2014, by Jessu John, when QwikCilver managed 500 crore transactions on gift cards across all retailers and partners in last fiscal.

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Well-thought-out ideas offer investors the incentive to fund at the seed stage. It is widely perceived that seed capital is hard to come by for entrepreneurs in India.

We’ve also discussed here previously how product development and manufacturing receiving support and investment are going to be good for this economy.

A good number of reports and books published on early-stage funding as well as conversations with various stakeholders reveal relatively mature ecosystems have more seed capital available than entrepreneurs here enjoy.

In early February, we looked at how BrizzTV attracted interest and commitment from Ojas Venture Partners. The start-up had displayed deep thinking and had a sound plan for leveraging the power of the television platform in India.

The core & beyond
QwikCilver Solutions, a technology product platform company, is another enlightening case. The company is in the business of providing end-to-end stored-value-card solutions to its retail and corporate customers.

What QwikCilver seems to have addressed early on is the question of how it will go beyond developing a solution and actually grow its connect with end-consumers. According to Chief Marketing Officer Pratap TP, QwikCilver now services nearly 90 per cent of the retail sector, especially department stores such as Shoppers Stop, Lifestyle and Westside and also brands such as Flipkart, Yahoo! and PVR Cinemas.

“The DNA of the organisation is technology, but we also took on the mantle of category creation and distribution for our clients. Our clients are actually our partner brands. From design, procurement and warehousing of cards to enabling digital gift cards, we’ve thought around all of it,” shares Pratap.

Since kicking off operations in early 2009, QwikCilver has received three rounds of funding from Helion Venture Partners and Accel Partners.

Prashant Prakash, Partner at Accel Partners, says: “What we like about QwikCilver is that their value-proposition was razor-sharp. They saw the large opportunity in gifting very early and over the last five years have grown to be the largest provider of gifting solutions in the retail and corporate space. QwikCilver is now a technology-cum-consumer business because they’ve built direct touch points with customers.”

Keeping investors hooked
QwikCilver’s Pratap admits that in spite of retail being perceived as a sunrise sector, the first two years were difficult just because of natural sales cycles in the beginning. The company has seen 300 per cent growth year-on-year for the gift card category.

Although the department stores give QwikCilver large returns, the growth in the e-commerce sector with Myntra, Flipkart and others has been sizeable.

QwikCilver managed 500 crore transactions on gift cards across all retailers and partners in the last financial year.

Four million cards across 300 cities and points of sale even in non-metros is the company’s latest count. As a next step, QwikCilver is keenly looking at the mobile platform. “With mobile platforms becoming open to gift cardholders and access to a variety of gifting instruments becoming possible, the gifting market will grow.

“As investors, we tend to get in at the seed stage. So, with most of our investments, we go in early and stay for about 10 years,” says Accel India’s Prakash, indicating the firm is in no rush to exit QwikCilver. If anything, these stories show investors are not averse to seed investments.

Some of them are even seen to be displaying commitment for the longer haul.

It’s important that entrepreneurs think deeper about the strength of their ideas.

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