Firms such as Qwikcilver and Itz Cash Card look to tap growing Rs 9,000-crore gift cards business
BANGALORE: As Indian consumers reach out for the convenience of gift cards, it is creating opportunity for a number of new ventures with services that link retailers with those looking to expedite their search for the perfect gift. These companies offer gift cards in a variety of formats — from digital cards with codes that can be presented at a merchant store to those that can be used at multiple retail locations. “Last minute gifting is always a headache for people. With solutions such as digital gift cards and Facebook gift cards, customers can send out gifts to friends and family instantaneously,” said TP Pratap, chief marketing officer at QwikCilver Solutions. The venture set up in 2008 by engineers from the Birla Institute of Technology including Pratap, Bhaskar Vasudevan and Kumar Sudarsan began with a seed investment of Rs 30 lakh. “We sell about 19,000 gift cards a year, which contribute to about 4 per cent of our overall revenue. The gift card business for us has been growing at a rate of up to 40 per cent every year,” said Sanjay Bhattacharjee, retail head at Titan IndustriesBSE -1.53 %. QwikCilver, backed by venture funds Helion Ventures and Accel Partners supplied gift cards worth over Rs 100 crore in fiscal 2013 and expects the number to go upto Rs 500 crore this year. The company receives a commission of anywhere between 1 to 2 per cent of the total gift card value.