As appeared in The Economic Times by Payal Ganguly.
Gift card solutions provider Qwikcilver is planning to expand to Russia and Southeast Asia, hoping to leverage its investor network to tap into the new markets. The company had in July last year raised Rs 67 crore from investors led by Sistema Asia Fund, the proprietary fund of Russian conglomerate Sistema. “We are backed by the board now to venture outside of India and have inbound interest from retail players for the Russian market. We are also looking to set up a subsidiary in Singapore for our expansion in Southeast Asia,” said Qwikcilver cofounder TP Pratap. Gift card co Qwikcilver plans expansion to Russia and SE Asia The Singapore subsidiary, to be helmed by Sadiq Ahamed, vice-president at Qwikcilver, will be managed by the Indian team. The company already has a presence in West Asia and has tie-ups with online electronics retailer Sharaf DG, franchisee businesses of Al Futtaim group, Lulu chain of malls and others across Gulf Cooperation Council countries including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait and Qatar. It is headed by Shankar Balan, president for processing business. “Our Europe market strategy will be different as we will be working with IT service partners and offering our software-as-a-service product to retailers as a bundled offering. This includes closed and semi-closed loop wallets and payment platform,” said Pratap. The company has also tied up with a US-based point-of-sale provider, which, it said, has a large client base in retail stores across West Asia. Qwikcilver, which is targetting a gross merchandise value of Rs 4,000 crore for its gift card processing business for 2016-17, pegs contribution from its overseas sales to be 25% of its total business over the next three years. The processing business unit currently contributes 75% of revenue and is used by retail enterprises such as Shoppers Stop. The company, which raised Rs 63 crore in a previous funding round led by Amazon India, powers the Amazon Pay Balance tool on Amazon India’s website and processes the transactions at the back-end as the ecommerce player does not ha ve a prepaid payment or PPI instrument licence from the Reserve Bank of India to run its own wallet. The company has started retailing its gift cards with on-demand grocery delivery company Grofers and claims the lead in prepaid card market.