Wishpicker: The New Age Gift Recommendation Engine

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wishpickerFounded by two alumni of IIT Delhi- Apurv Bansal and Prateek Rathore, Wishpicker is a new player in e-commerce market. Below is an excerpt of our chit chat with the founders of Wishpicker:

People who do not know what Wishpicker really does, here is  Apurv answer, “Whenever a special occasion (e.g. Birthday, Anniversary, and Valentine’s Day etc.) comes up, we all are looking to gift our loved ones, but are unable to decide WHAT to gift. This is exactly the problem that we are solving – we help people decide what to gift.

We have built a recommendation engine that provides gift recommendations based on the occasion, age of the recipient, relationship with recipient, personality, budget, along with other parameters.

Also, you can choose a friend on Facebook, and we provide gift ideas based on their likes and interests – a very real reflection of their personality.”

“So this happened back when I was pursuing my management studies in Spain last year. It was my parents’ anniversary and I was clueless about what to gift them. I looked around on the web and got even more confused since there were no good recommendations! Interestingly, Apurv faced the same problem when he was working in Mumbai and had to gift his girlfriend in Delhi on her birthday. In fact, this is a problem that so many of us face, but there was no solution, so we decided to build it!” Replied Prateek when asked how they came up with the idea. Apurv complemented “This idea was a genuine problem that we faced, and hence we had to build a solution to this that everyone could use!”

In response of our question who all are your target customers, Prateek says “People like us! People who cannot decide what to gift and cannot find the right gift for their loved ones, and end up regretting the gifts they chose to give! Also, we plan to make the whole gifting experience very social, wherein users can see what other people are gifting – essentially, we plan to crowdsource gifting!”

They had been thinking about this venture since January of this year but only began working on it towards the end of Feb 2013; after finishing their previous work commitments. Prateek said “We did a closed beta launch (within our friends and family) to get some feedback on 26th May, and opened it to the public on June 13th. In fact, we came up with the name ‘Wishpicker‘ with the help of our network. We ran a poll and surprisingly got about 500 responses. Wishpicker was the clear winner. I guess we believe in the power of the masses a lot! Apurv added “So we launched on Thursday (June 13th, 2013), and the response has been phenomenal!
Our Alexa rank has shot up to 18000 within 3 days of launch, we have gotten some very rave reviews from absolute strangers – people who we did not reach out to, but got to know about us just via viral marketing!”

Wishpicker revenue generating model is quite simple. It operates on affiliate commissions, whenever a user selects a product; he/she is redirected to partner’s website where the product is actually sold. After the transaction is complete, it gets a commission from the partner website.

When asked where they see Wishpicker in next 2 years, Prateek said “Ours is a completely cloud-based model, which gives us very high scalability. We plan to go global since this is a universal problem that we are solving. We aim to be present in at least 10 countries within 2 years. Of course, for that, we need to crack the India market first, and replicate the model in other geographies!”

So, what their experiences of being entrepreneurs are like? An elated Prateek said “It feels amazing! Entrepreneurship is all about building something to help people by solving their problems- and having the passion to work for it day in and day out! We’re loving it more and more with each passing day!” Apurv commented “It feels nice to be appreciated by people, and get great feedback. We have big plans for Wishpicker – the work is so exciting, we don’t even need an alarm clock to wake up at 10am, after having slept at 5 in the morning!” They found their entrepreneurial journey so far a learning opportunity as well. “We’ll say there are 3 very important things we’ve learnt until now. Firstly, you should love what you are doing and have an innate passion to do so, because if you don’t, sooner or later you’ll lose all the interest. Secondly, hiring the right people is very important. You need to have smart and talented people around you in the office! Finally, we would say that for a startup speed is everything! Be fast and be lean, you can recover from the mistakes you make.” concluded Prateek.

It is not hard to figure out their love, dedication and enthusiasm for Wishpicker. We, the Techaloo team, hope Wishpicker will make a different place for itself in market and wish them very best!

 

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