3 Tips for Leaders to Build a High Energy Workforce

1. Build positivity with appreciation

Do you believe in your people? When I look back over the last 16 years of worklife, I realise I  go the extra-mile each time someone expects me to. One of my managers would say,  “let’s build this project really something world-class”. While neither of us had a clue on what world-class should look like, but yes he trusted me to build something great and I gave it nothing less than
my best shot.

As a leader if you try to discover the strengths of an individual, it automatically becomes easy to assign complementary responsibilities and showcase the great work. Then appreciation tends to act as a great energy booster.

Everyday find a reason to appreciate someone in your team. Remember to tell people that they did a great job, not only in completing the project on time but also the initiative displayed in organising the office party or completing a marathon.

2. Let’s team-up

We organise a lot of events to get people together at Qwikcilver – from Sports day to Qwikcilver’s Got talent show to bake sale, we try to cover various aspects outside of work – all organised by our people teams. One of my best memories at Qwikcilver is building a huge rangoli with people from different teams.  It’s easy to sit back and not participate. But as a leader you gain so much when you get involved truly.

Birthdays may seem like yet another day but it’s a good excuse to have lunch with your team where you duck questions about age. In our team, we celebrate everything from Pluto’s (my dog) birthday to work anniversaries. It’s important to work hard and as a leader never miss an opportunity to party!

3. Solve and not complain – Nip the negativity in the bud and never ignore it!

While there is good and evil in each one of us, we automatically correct behaviours based on responses from leaders. So if it’s OK to pass the buck, such a blame game can become a never ending circle in the entire organisation. It’s true that many times when you ignore a problem it goes away on its own. But with people, the negativity can also become contagious.

Whenever you see any finger pointing, it works to simply ask the person, “What can YOU do to “solve” the problem?”

Sometimes it may even require a one to one discussion with the problem creator to understand what’s causing the negativity.

In all cases, option to do nothing is not applicable for a leader.

So “build”, “team-up” and “solve”. These are 3 names that we have finalised for meeting rooms in our new office.

Here’s hoping that the new office space gives our leaders the energy to energise!

Anu Mathew, Head-Human Resources

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Oorja 2017

Oorja, Qwikcilver’s annual sports event, witnessed a brilliant display of talent, dedication and unparalleled enthusiasm.

Though the main event was a day long there were a series of matches held a few days prior, all of it building-up to the finale.

The desire to not just bring home the trophy but to also put in one’s best was so great that practice sessions were held in full vigour pre / post work and on weekends.

The QCians (yes, that’s what the Qwikcilver / QC folks are called) from across functions were divided into four teams – Red Hawks, Blue Panthers, Flaming Tigers and Green Tornadoes.

Each of the teams participated in various sporting events ranging from football, cricket, badminton, throw-ball, volleyball, chess, table tennis, carom to relay and other medley events.

The day drew to a close with the Red Hawks emerging as the winning team.

But even though the QCians were divided by their teams they were united in spirit. As Shankar Balan, President at Qwikcilver, rightly puts it, “The tempo, the buzz, the sportsmanship, the competitive spirit, the celebration and camaraderie in success and the magnanimity in defeat, came through so very clearly indeed.”

 

 

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Gift card segment to grow 400%

As appeared in The Economic Times on 10 October 2016 by Priyanka Sangani

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Gift Card Survey, gift card segment, qwikcilver, pratap, economic times

The gift card segment in India is likely to get a huge boost this festive season with projected growth of 400% over the last year, according to the Qwikcilver Gift Card Survey.

The survey was carried out across 400 towns across 10,000 points of sale and also factored in the buying behaviour of 4,00,000 shoppers on Woohoo, the company’s ecommerce platform.

Qwikcilver cofounder Pratap said gift cards were becoming the preferred gifting option, with the company averaging almost 3-4million cards a month.

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Qwikcilver – Trending and Buzzing across leading publications and sites

Qwikcilver, Funding, Investment, gift card platform

“..Bangalore-based Qwikcilver, which runs gift card tech site Woohoo has announced a fresh round of funding led by Sistema Asia Fund Advisory, a proprietary fund floated by Sistema JSFC..” –Techinasia.com

“..The company will use the funding to further invest in R&D, scale the Gift Card category, and expand into new geographies..”- Yahoo News Singapore

“..Qwikcilver has established and reinforced the Prepaid & Gift Card network in Indian retail, with close to 90 per cent share of the customer engagements across 150+ leading brands & retailers in 25 consumption categories…” –  e27.co

“…QwikCilver will use the funding to double the value of gift cards it sells to Rs 4,000 crore in the current fiscal year. The company is also eyeing international expansion to markets in Middle East, Southeast Asia and Australia, where it is currently tying up with brands and merchants. ..” – Times of India

“..With Qwikcilver being the first startup in India back in 2014 to be backed by the Amazon India, it is no surprise to note that the existing investors such as Amazon India themselves, Accel India and Helion Venture Partners had also participated in this new round..”- techstory.in

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Woohoo launches its new gifting campaign

As appeared on exchange4media.com on 11 March 2016.

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Woohoo, the go-to platform for gifting by Qwikcilver solutions, recently engaged with consumers to ask them: ‘What would really make them happy?’ in the context of gifting. This was done through a recently launched video: https://youtu.be/-C5Oszqz2fA

The campaign talks about how ‘We think we know everything about our loved ones. But do we really?’

A selection of different people that included siblings, mother-daughter and married couples were put through a small test. As part of the test, they were asked a simple question on what they would gift their loved ones to make them truly happy. An interesting observation that was noted at the end of the video was that the majority of people did not know what their loved ones actually wanted as a gift.

Woohoo presented the solution to this problem in the form of a small gift box in front of the participants, which comprised a mobile phone with the Woohoo app downloaded and a Woohoo gift card. This is the simplest and the most powerful way to gift someone we love, the freedom of choice from a world of brands, services and experiences.

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Qwikcilver Eyes Rs 2,000-cr Gift Cards by March-end

As appeared in The Economic Times on 6th January 2016 by Madhav Chanchani.

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Riding on the back of the fast growing Indian etailing market, gifting card solutions provider Qwikcilver sees the value of active cards on its platform reach . 2,000 crore by the end of March.` The company, which counts Amazon among its investors, expects to increase this value further five fold in the next three years.

Qwikcilver has over 150 brands on board, of which 30% are online players. Two years ago, online pla yers accounted for 10% of the brands on its platform. With proliferation of online brands, Qwikcilver also sees the share of digital gift cards increasing to 60% in three years from 20% now.

“We have 1.2-crore active gift cards in circulation, which we expect to increase to 2 crore by March,“ said Pratap TP, chief mar keting officer at Qwikcilver. Pratap cofounded the company along with Kumar Sudarshan in 2008.

Pratap said the weighted average value of cards is `. 2,500. Qwikcilver, which is backed by venture capital firms Accel Partners and Helion Venture Partners, charges merchants 1% to 3.5% of the activation value of cards.

While Flipkart was one its first ecommerce clients, the firm also has Cleartrip, Snapdeal, MakeMyTrip, Amazon, Hoopos.com and Yepme among its clients. The firm sells gift cards of Amazon and other brands online.

The gift-cards category has become one of the fastest growing segments for etailers. According to Amazon, the cards retail and corporate businesses has seen a 500% year-on-year growth in India.

For Qwikcilver, growth was not easy in the initial years. “We believe this growth should have happened three years ago,“ said Pratap.

The company raised $10 million in a round led by Amazon in December 2014.

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QwikCilver’s e-gifting store GiftBig is now Woohoo

As appeared in medianama.com on 5th August 2015 by Sneha Johari.

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E-gifting platform QwikCilver has launched e-gift and gift card store Woohoo.in, which it claims will work across 400 cities and over 150 brands, online and offline. The website has basically been consolidated from and will redirect from its previous offering GiftBig, its users will be migrated to Woohoo.in.

The company plans to add 1,000 new brands across categories in the next year and currently has gift cards from Shoppers Stop, Lifestyle, Tata Trent, Titan, Madura Garments, Croma, Cafe Coffee Day, Pizza Hut, Makemytrip, Cleartrip, Thomas Cook, Flipkart, Amazon, Myntra, PVR Cinemas among others. The platform will let users customise plastic and e-cards for multiple occasions and can be redeemed across online and offline stores, also using the mobile app.

QwikCilver claims to have around 90% of the prepaid and gift card market share, with over 100 brands across 20 categories like apparel, jewellery, dining, spa and travel among others. It claims to process over 50 million transactions annually across physical and digital cards across desktop and mobile in over 300 towns and cities.

Woohoo app: In April this year, after receiving a $10 million injection of funds from Amazon Asia Pacific, Accel Partners and Helion Venture Partners, Quikcilver launched a loyalty rewards points, gift card and virtual wallet app. The Woohoo app lets users pay through mobile online and offline and has partners in brands like Levi’s, Cafe Coffee Day, Cleartrip, Myntra, Payback and MobiKwik among others.

RBI wallet license: QwikCilver had secured a five-year prepaid mobile wallet license from RBI in August 2013 along with Mobikwik and Paytm. Amazon’s investment gave it access to QwikCilver’s semi closed wallet system, which would allow them to offer customers a digital wallet service for purchases from the site.

In March, Sanjay Tambwekar joined QwikCilver Solutions as its CTO. QwikCilver said that Tambwekar’s experience across technology practices would help QwikCilver to scale up their product platform suite and grow their enterprise architecture, e-commerce and m-commerce.

Set up in 2007, QwikCilver provides stored value card solutions to retail and corporate customers. It claims brands like Van Heusen, Shopper’s Stop, Peter England, Yahoo India, Nike, CCD, Levi’s, Microsoft among others as customers. QwikCilver provides gift, loyalty, discount, frequency, corporate campus and credit cards through its SaaS platform enabling a minimal upfront investment.

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Amazon-backed QwikCilver merges GiftBig with newly launched online gift store Woohoo.in for mobile first play

As appeared in techcircle.vccircle.com on 4 August 2015, by Binu Paul.

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GiftBig.com, run by Bangalore-based QwikCilver Solutions Pvt Ltd, has been re-branded to Woohoo.in, as it seeks to morph into a mobile-first online gifting superstore for consumers.

“The (new) platform offers a mobile gifting experience with a wide range of gifting options, instant gifting delivery and multiple modes of gratification. Giftbig.com, the e-commerce site for gift cards will seamlessly migrate into Woohoo.in. The consumer base of Giftbig.com would be redirected to our new Woohoo.in site,” said Pratap TP, co-founder and CMO of QwikCilver.

The company will continue to provide the back-end technology for B2B transactions related to plastic gift cards, loyalty cards, code programmes and social media gifting of various brands, said Pratap. Moreover, the desktop version of woohoo.in will also lend itself to gifting transactions.

Pratap further stated that Woohoo is looking to add more than 1,000 new brands across categories in the next one year.

Woohoo.in provides consumers with gift cards of reputable brands that can be redeemed at online and offline stores. These can also be used to shop on Woohoo mobile app, which was launched in May this year to enable aggregation of payment options and to pay retail outlets through mobile. The app allows retailers to accept multiple currencies. Similarly, it would allow currency partners like Oxigen wallet and loyalty rewards programme points under Payback to be accepted across thousands of retailers.

Qwikcilver was founded in 2008 by the duo of Pratap and Kumar Sudarshan. It works on a Software-as-a-Service model (SaaS), enabling customers to launch the stored value card program with minimal upfront investment and provides suite of services to create, deploy and manage the programme.

Last year, the company had raised $10 million in a funding round led by e-commerce giant Amazon. The firm’s existing investors Helion Venture Partners and Accel Partners also participated in the round.

The company claims that the Qwikcilver network has grown by 300 per cent year-on-year in the last four years and that it currently processes over 50 million transactions across physical cards, digital cards and mobile-based engagements.

At present the gift-card market in India is estimated at $500 million (over Rs 3,000 crore) and projected to treble over the next two years.

Recently, Mumbai-based GCI Network Pvt Ltd, the company behind the online gifting platform GiftCardsIndia, had raised an undisclosed amount in funding from Blume Ventures and Google India head Rajan Anandan in December last year. It also acquired social gifting venture Giftery for an undisclosed amount.

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QwikCilver to Launch Prepaid Gift Cards for Multiple Brands

As appeared in retail.economictimes.indiatimes.com on 23rd June 2014 by Radhika P Nair.

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Gift card technology startup QwikCilver Solutions is set to launch a prepaid gift card that can be used across multiple brands. The company is also piloting a mobile wallet that can be used to pay for products at offline stores.

QwikCilver provides the backend technology that powers the gift card business of retailers and brands like Shoppers Stop, Lifestyle, Westside, Titan, Croma and others.

The company received a prepaid wallet licence from the Reserve Bank of India last year. But TP Pratap, cofounder and chief marketing officer at Bangalore-based QwikCilver, said such a licence is not needed by a brand that is issuing a gift card redeemable at its own stores.

“When it (a prepaid card) is to be used at stores of multiple brands the authenticity of the issuer becomes important. Now with the licence we can launch such a card,” said Pratap. Under pilot at the moment, Pratap said the company’s over 90 clients are ready to partner for this service. QwikCilver has already issued a gift card that can be used to buy products from multiple sellers on online marketplace Flipkart.

The gift card industry in India is expected to grow from the current 2,500 crore to about 9,000 crore in three years according to industry estimates.

“There is a good market for gift cards in the country and a product that can be used across multiple retailers will help increase the popularity of this product,” said Arvind Singhal, chairman at retail advisory Technopak. At present banks and plastic money operators like HDFC and American Express offer prepaid instruments that can be used for shopping.

QwikCilver intends to launch this product next quarter. It also plans to launch a mobile wallet that can be used at multiple retail stores.

 

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QwikCilver at IAMAI Digital Payment Conference on 12-09-2012

Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) organized a 2 day Conference on 12th September 2012 at the ITC Grand in Mumbai. QwikCilver was requested to attend as a panelist to throw light on the topic “Innovations in Gift & Incentive Cards”, a hot theme getting increasing attention in digital payment circles. While the panel with QwikCilver focused on the growth of the gift card category in India; interesting details emerged about the issues, challenges and opportunities in driving acceptance of pre-paid gifting instruments.

Mr. T P Pratap who as Co-Founder & CMO at QwikCilver & Woohoo.in, shared his experiences in launching gift cards in India. Since the launch of the category three years ago, over 2.5 million gift cards already have been procured by brands and retailers. The rate of adoption has grown significantly, with approximately 3 million cards expected to be absorbed by the Indian market in the coming 6 months. Mr. Pratap also illuminated the audience on the differing rates of penetration of gift cards across India; with the southern cities like Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai, seeing both a faster growth in sale and redemption of gift cards.

The panel also discussed the enabling role retailers’ play in driving the adoption of gift cards among consumers. While everybody at first glance understands the conveniences of a gift card over cash or physical gifts; consumer adoption can increase if there is all round commitment towards the initiative from the top management to the store executives. Branding, advertising and point-of-sale promotion also plays a key role for spreading greater awareness; as the gift card needs to be marketed as a FMCG product, rather than as a financial instrument. Towards the end, the panel also discussed the emerging gifting instruments like digital & mobile gift vouchers aimed at further simplifying gift giving in India.

Note: Image is from www. IAMAI.in. Copyright vests with respective copyright holders.

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