Firsttogift: Now meet your celebrities through this startup

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We all have someone or other whom we like in Cricket, Football, Swimming etc. based on your interest. We wish that it will be really awesome if I can get an autograph from my idol or can take a selfie with him/ her. But, unfortunately there was no way to do that unless you are son/ daughter of some famous business man or celebrity itself.

The days of “Misfortune” are about to turn “Fortunate” with Firsttogift.com. FirstTogift is a platform aimed to help the luminaries/Celebrity from all field to get noticed/admired for their contribution to country or society or keeping the heritage. This is also place where we will allow interaction to happen between admirers directly with Stars. We not only help our celebrities to raise fund for the benefit of sport/art/culture we, also create interest in some admirers to take sport/art as career or find new talent in them.

FirstTogift is a first of its kind initiative in Asian subcontinent to identify such talents and support them by selling the merchandises or by providing interactive session.

Techaloo got an opportunity to have a chit-chat with Mr. Mukund K., Managing Partner @Firsttogift. Let see what does he want to share with us?

Techaloo: What made you motivated to join the entrepreneurship community?
Mukund: I always wanted to meet and get to know straight from the player or artist who have achieved highest in their life about what it takes to be in their shoes OR how can we meet luminaries if anyone who is interested to pursue his passion but lacks the support/guidance/mentorship
In quest to meet & get guidance from luminaries we thought to provide platform where one can meet talents who can really shape our life with their struggle story and achievement can provide motivation for all.
This is the foundation for us to begin with entrepreneurial journey.

Techaloo: When did you start your journey?
Mukund: The journey has begun during our Diwali vacations in 2014 by meeting few athletes. We did now know how to approach and what are their inputs on the idea, how they will receive it and many more questions…Initial few meetings and the energy they exuberated gave us much needed comfort with the idea and in no time we started our first beta site launch.

Techaloo: How did this Idea come to your mind?
Mukund: I always felt my friend or family member lucky who met the celebrity, took their autograph and spent some personal time to get to know them more closely. When I had desired to meet them the path to it looks difficult or almost impossible. Someone suggested that you need to be lucky to be in the same time & place as they are like in airports, mall or vacation place etc… Other said you need to know their ad agency member/manager/friend of them.
So, this triggered thought that why can’t we have platform wherein we can engage such talents from all professions and also bring the audience who can derive valuable inputs from them by talking (personally or virtually) or even invite them to inspire many in their school/colleges/corporates etc.

ftt_!Techaloo: What was your vision/mission while starting FirstToGift?
Mukund: We have set following clear objective for core teams,
• On board talent which needs our support to continue & succeed in their passion
• Build platform accessible to all to reach the luminaries in most easiest way
• Educate & awareness to all on talents which are neglected

Techaloo: What hurdles did you face while starting?
Mukund: The so called ‘’Autograph, Collectibles and Experience’’ industry is very nascent in Indian subcontinent. Many of us are not aware of such platform being available and even if it exists it is mostly offline.
Some of the hurdles are,
• Identifying the talents who actually need our support
• Building brand of these talents so, as commoner can know much more about them
• Easy way for individual or groups to meet them
We still have many challenges and on daily basis trying to find out best way to do it.

Techaloo: Which fields (e.g., music, sport etc.) are you focusing currently?
Mukund: We have begun our journey by involving international medal winning para-sports personalities and we wish to expand this patronage to budding talents who can be tomorrow’s heroes bringing lot of accolades to country.
For now, we aim to concentrate on sports personalities and especially from the one who are not much supported by brand endorsements, other media coverages.
We will involve and support talents from Sports, Music, Art, Literature etc…in the future.

Techaloo: How do you select celebrities to get engaged with FirstToGift?
Mukund: We follow some basic thumb rule,
• They should be international cadre players
• They have passion for the sport
• They are in need of support to sustain & grow the passion
• They are ready to nurture and identify next talents

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Techaloo: Why should an aficionado choose your platform to get connected with celebrities?
Mukund: Some passionate autograph collectors collect autograph from travelling to huge distance, or establishing long contact route or writing email etc…For collectibles (Autographed Jersey, Cap, photo or of material of special importance) are not easily found in market. This someone needs to acquire through known channels and same goes with Experience of meeting luminary. These are the challenges faced by audience.
Now our platform www.firsttogift.com you can place order for off the shelf experience available or one can reach us @ contactus@firsttogift.com to have custom made offerings. This is one of the unique propositions.
Also, we give our loved ones gazettes, clothes & other expensive gifts but all this could be forgotten or faded away with time when compared to meeting luminary or personally signed message from them. Now, such ‘’Experiences’’ are made possible by FirstToGift.

Techaloo: What personalized merchandize are you selling currently?
Mukund: Currently, we sell New Year Autographed Calendar for corporate orders & also signed photo frames. We wish to extend this to custom made needs to individuals and corporates. Also, offer personal time of the luminaries’ f2f or virtually over Skype.
Techaloo: How is the response till now?
Mukund: In just one quarter of our existence the response has been tremendous. We ventured into the unplanned territory of the ‘’Experience’’ category just because many of our international customer came with such a need. Corporate, booking was another boost for our idea. Our growth over last 6 weeks has infused lot of energy in the team. We have decided to expand team to allow new talents to steer the growth.

Techaloo: What are your plans for next 3 years?
Mukund: The roadmap for next 3 years is filled with lot of ideas from each one of the member. But, priority goes in building the strength of the brand www.firsttogift.com by providing ‘’Experience’’ which is cherish-able by the luminary as well as the audiences. To make this happen we need to build trust with our associated celebrity and engage our audience in more constructive way primarily through social media.
Aim is to recognize and appreciate the talents and on this regard we are open to hear from all on what they define most memorable ‘’Experience’’.

Techaloo: What will be your advice for a new startup?
Mukund: We believe startups are made out of passion first and then rest all things needed to make it big will fall automatically. Simple, in our case what we believed is, if I was customer I would have availed such ‘’Experience’’ offered by any company & then thought there could be many others like me. This passion that it can give opportunity to many like me is driving us day to day to work on it.

‘’Cost of not following your interest is much higher than making an attempt even if it is failure’’

Techaloo: What do you think about techaloo.com?
Mukund: Techaloo.com is perfect platform for company/individual to follow the news/trends in the world of startup. Every morning visit to this site like newspaper gives me start for that day with kind of stories covered giving us much needed motivation.

Meet the team behind the success:
Mukund K: An e-commerce product management person with over 6+ experience in the world of internet. In past has been part of core member of successful launch of Adventure Sports Company. Understand & deeply believe in working out things in Agile way to meet customer need as priority.
Vikas & Satendra: Both of them are active member of the core team are e-commerce technologist helping us to build interactive platform for customer.

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Mohit Bansal(23) is B.Tech in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, India. He has interest in business and entrepreneurship and has published couple of research articles. He is also associated with various NGOs. He is with Techaloo when it was just in concept stage. The Techaloo site was not existing even then. Currently Mohit is working with Mu Sigma as a Business Analyst Profile.

7 Comments

  1. Sumit Badjatia says:

    Idea looks great and brings a way for connecting to celebrities and understand about their life and get inspired.

  2. vikas sn says:

    Big congratulations Mukund for one of the finest and unique ideas, this can bridge the gap between commoners and celebrities.

  3. Prashant says:

    The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
    What a way to support the stars,meet them, and grab a piece of History !! Super Excited to meet some of the Heroes who bought laurels to the country.Great Initiative,MuKund. All the Best !!

  4. Veeresh Vastrad says:

    Great job Mukund.

  5. MRUTUNJAY HIREMATH says:

    Mukund,
    Its a great job as to recognize and appreciate the talents on the basis of which you are selecting the celebrities.

  6. MK Patil says:

    Kudos to FirstToGift team for bringing innovative and inspiring platform to recognize talents, and most importantly add financial aid to needy and recognizing their talents.
    Sportsmen put heart and soul into their dreams, Their contribution and dedication should be appreciated in time Because sports career tenure is really small and I believe we should honour and respect sportsmen the way we respect our real heroes (soldiers).

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