Chennai-based East Village Trading Pvt Ltd wants to make gifting more convenient. The startup has launched Clusiv.in, a premium gift registry site that allows its users to create/update/modify gift registries for the special events of their lives ranging from birthdays and anniversaries to weddings.
"We chose this category because we noticed that friends these days make an effort to ask one another what they should buy them as gifts. The gift registry is a convenient way for friends to buy the right gift for someone and also to get the gifts delivered to them," said Antony Kattukaran, founder and MD, Clusiv.in.
The startup was founded in September 2011 by Kattukaran, an MS in Industrial Engineering from the University of Wisconsin who has worked with firms like Deloitte Consulting, Johnson Controls and GE Healthcare, along with a silent partner.
The concept of gift registry is fairly simple, if you have an important upcoming event, you can sign-up/log-in to Clusiv.in and create a gift registry that will have a wish list of all the things (products selected from Clusiv's catalog) you would want to receive as a gift. This registry can be shared with friends/family, who can then purchase those products and gift them to you.
Users can also pool in for costly gifts, which are then packaged and delivered to the creator of the registry. The gift registry can be private (only people with whom it is shared can see it) or public.
Products offered on the site include home and lifestyle, fashion, accessories and floral gifts (recently started for Chennai and Bangalore). As of now, the site offers a little over 1,000 products and it has tied up with TNT India Pvt Ltd for handling logistics.
Clusiv.in went live in May 2012 and claims to be getting little over 3,000 visitors per month (without any paid marketing). Most orders come from Tier I cities in India, though the company has also received orders from New York and New Zealand. The company's target audience is tech savvy Indians aged 22-45 years.
The company, which plans to break even by the end of 2014, generates revenues from commissions that it receives on products sold through its site. As of now, the monthly burn rate is a little under Rs 1 lakh with its three member team and its outsourced IT operations. The company is looking to raise around $3 million in funding, which will be used to increase the size of its marketing team. It is also planning to bring in the IT team as full time employees.'
Most e-com companies burn money to bring in customers, which is then recovered when the customer comes back to transact on the site 'X' times (determined according to the amount of money burnt). The same may not be applicable for Clusiv since it is a gift registry and not a general e-com site.
The catalog has to be very large for people to create a registry to find value in it, which means product portfolio has to be drastically ramped up.
While the concept of a gift registry is popular in western countries, it is still fairly nascent in India, where it is considered inappropriate to publicise a wish list of gifts. Even now, most of the transactions on the site have been purchases for personal use rather than gifting.
Kattukaran says he has a plan, "For the success of this concept in India, friends will either have to convince the person who is hosting the event to create a registry, or they will have to create a registry on behalf of that person."
What are your views on Clusiv, are you open to the idea of creating a gift registry for yourself? Do share your comments below.(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)