Marriage proposals, engagements, weddings – there is no doubt that these are the special events in one’s lifetime. Indian weddings are best-known for their elegance and grandeur. Wedding is one of the exciting momentous occasion that everyone would want to celebrate in such a manner so as it can be observed with great joy at any point of time. People usually give gifts to the newly wedded couple on their wedding as a mark of their best wishes and blessings. On many occasions, the couples don’t get the gifts they desire. Every day in India, thousands of married couples receive unnecessary gifts on their nuptials. Most of these gifts join the recycle pile that every Indian home has or lie unused at the back of someone’s closet. To solve this issue of millions, here comes Wedding Wishlist which is bridging the gap between the gifts received and gifts desired by the newly wedded couples.
What is Wedding Wishlist?
Wedding Wishlist offers prospective couples a way to start their married lives with gifts and experiences that they not only need, but also will also treasure for a lifetime. Friends and family will also feel pleasured to know that their gift is functional yet unforgettable.
With Wedding Wishlist, the prospective couples can make a Wishlist and share the gift preferences with their near and dear ones or anyone with whom they are comfortable with including friends, family and colleagues. Gifts chosen to be received by the couple typically range in prices, so the guests can buy any gift from the couple’s wish list that fits their budget. Guests can even give a gift as a group. It is a new way for prospective couples to receive everything they need to start their new home.
The basic instinct behind the venture
The idea was born when a friend of Kanika Subbhiah, the founder of Wedding Wishlist, shared her experience of receiving irrelevant and duplicate gifts at her wedding which is an experience most newlyweds in India will relate to. Considering there has been no attempt in the wedding gifting space in India so far, Kanika says that the concept in itself is the biggest USP and driving force. It is also working towards collaborating with charitable institutions where, couples who do not wish to accept gifts have an opportunity to encourage their guests to donate towards a charitable cause close to their heart. The company also plans to rope in new partners across categories including ‘Products’ and Experiences’ which includes travel getaways and honeymoons tailor-made for the couple by travel experts.
How it works?
Using Wedding Wishlist is as easy as 1-2-3 or rather ‘Create-Share-Receive’ way. Prospective couples need to create a list of things (gifts) they really want by registering on Wedding Wishlist. While creating the wishlist, couples can add the gifts they would like to receive by choosing from products related to kitchen, dining room, and home or they can even opt for experiences. They can even opt for some personalized gifts by uploading their pictures. Once the wishlist is created, the couples can share the same with their guests through Email, Facebook, Twitter, SMS or Whatsapp and receive purchased gifts according to their delivery preferences. While Wedding Wishlist keeps a track of your gifts, gifters, and contributions, the couples can focus on the important part i.e., making the most of their big day of their life, the wedding.
Founder: The gift curator
Kanika Subbiah is a passionate entrepreneur who thrives in bringing new ideas to life. Born and raised in Chandigarh, Kanika graduated with a masters from Dartmouth college and an MBA from university of Chicago. She moved to Chennai after staying sixteen years in the U.S. She was associated with The Gymboree Corporation as the Head of Corporate Strategy in her last position in her corporate ladder.
Funding and the future plans
Launched in February 2016, the concept of Wedding Wishlist, the practicality and thoughtfulness got overwhelming and heartwarming responses from the newly wedded couples and their guests. Wedding Wishlist had raised A seed round of INR 2 crore from CherryTin and Angel investors consisting of Facebook India Managing Director Kirthiga Reddy, Multiples Equity founder Renuka Ramanath. The company has set a target to reach a milestone of 500 wishlists in a year with the recent funding received by creating an awareness as an offering among the prospective wedding lot. It further plans to scale its operations pan–India and launch its mobile app soon.
Revenues and expenditure
Wedding Wishlist is doing its business in online marketplace and has collaborated with the reputed brands globally and is working with their offices located in India. Particularly, the startup is associated with the potential partners who are passionate to provide support and consistently deliver an exceptional experience time and again. Wedding Wishlist charges no fee from the couples who create their wishlist and from their guests who offer them gifts. The revenue of the company comes only from a set commission fee charged to each partner company or brand. While earning the revenue and the reputation, Wedding Wishlist keeps its costs under control.
Market, Competitors, and Challenges
When we see the market, for the kind of business Wedding Wishlist is into, is unorganized and can be estimated in lakhs or crores. This is based on about 10 million weddings per year in India and the average money spent on gifts at a wedding. Particularly, the startup belongs to the online wedding planner sector as it provides gifting solutions to the prospective couples and their guests.
As per the statistics reported “The wedding industry in India is flourishing and statistics corroborate the fact. Currently, the industry is over Rs 100,000 crore and is growing at 25-30% annually. The estimated cost of a wedding with no expenses spared could be between Rs 5 lakh to Rs 5 crore, in India. A person, in India, spends one fifth of the wealth accumulated in a lifetime on a wedding ceremony.”
Wedding Wishlist has no big players in India to compete with unlike the west where a wedding gift registry is an established market and has over 100 big players like Crate & Barrel, Bed Bath & Beyond, Macy’s, and Target amongst others.
Like every startup, Wedding Wishlist also faced the challenges especially in the areas of execution and operation. Finding the right talent pool of individuals and marketing the setup is another big challenge that the startup cannot ignore. Apart for these, the concept itself is a big challenge for the startup as it is not an easy task to chase and change the mindset and perceptions of people that are associated with gifting.
Wedding Wishlist is addressing these challenges by hiring the right staff and fostering a work atmosphere that empowers individuals to think, innovate and be ambassadors of change. Marketing and educating the concept towards the Indian market has so far witnessed a balanced communication approach through creative online and offline efforts. The company intends to continue to break barriers and change perspectives through a dynamic engagement and communication plan focused towards their target market.
Wedding Wishlist serves the needs of the well-defined groups of the society and advises the budding entrepreneurs to concentrate on the same while converting their new business ideas into reality.