A wedding registry for india

A wedding registry for india

From the entrepreneur

The pitch: 

Clusiv.in aims to become the number one wedding gift registry service in India.  At clusiv.in, we are convinced that the critical success factors to make this business work include the following:

Getting clusiv’s marketing and communication to the right audience

Making them understand that the clusiv.in registry is adapted to the Indian social setting

Adopting an online-offline business model including brand partnerships and go-to-market strategy.

Partnering with non-compete channel partners to drive traffic and educate users on the benefits of the registry

We believe that asking friends what gifts they want is accepted practice today and clusiv.in is just moving this process on to the web. This is also supported by talking with wedding planners who feel the registry will benefit both their clients and guests in the gifting process. Currently, clusiv.in has partnered with over 31 brands as its early-stage product strategy is focused on wedding gifts. The company wants to build a brand around giving and receiving quality gifts rather than offering a deal or a discount.

We also want to popularise the concept of registries in India. This will allow clusiv.in to scale from being just a wedding registry service to a gift registry portal.

The team:

The founder, Antony Kattukaran has a Master’s in Industrial Engineering from University of Wisconsin, Madison and has worked for Deloitte Consulting – advising several Fortune 500 companies on supply chain management. R. Ramaraj, Senior Advisor at Sequoia Capital and founder of Sify Limited advises the company. Clusiv.in is also advised by Mridula Sharma (was executive editor of Living ETC magazine) on its brand strategy.

The Ask:

Clusiv.in is looking at raising Rs. 2 crore in first round of funding.

From investors

Nishant Verman, Associate, Canaan Partners

What do you like in clusiv.in’s offering? 

Wedding registry represents the evolution of ecommerce in India, as users get comfortable not only transacting online but sharing personal preferences to enable others to transact for them. While the Indian culture is not one of explicitly asking for gifts, the entrepreneur appreciates this nuance and is trying to adopt the model to suit Indian consumer preferences.

What are some risks in the business?

In my mind, the biggest risk is adoption risk. Antony needs to figure out how he’s going to acquire customers. Today, people are not searching for a gift registry online. He needs to identify his target market very clearly, and then reach them at touch points this particular target market would go to. Is he looking at a wedding registry for someone who spends Rs. 20 lakh on a wedding? Is he looking at the middle class market? Is he targeting software engineers? These are some questions he needs to answer.

Also, wedding gifting should be a fascinating experience, both for the giver and the receiver. How is the packaging going to be? How is that special message going to be attached to the gift? Antony should conceptualise out a fulfillment process that can generate a great experience. In my mind, in terms of delivery and logistics, there are few risks as well.

One piece of advice for the entrepreneur 

I would suggest that Antony should not to be too wedded to the idea of a wedding gift registry! A wedding happens for a person once in a lifetime (hopefully!). So, you spend all this money on customer acquisition and monetise it only once. He should look at other registries – maybe lend his registry for a social cause, for birthdays, and all kinds of occasions. In short, he should look into serving the customer repeatedly. Also, a point that Antony has already thought about – shared gifting where friends pool together to gift someone – I think there is good potential for this feature. It could become the main product, eventually.

Mohanjit Jolly, Executive Director, DFJ India

What do you like in clusiv.in’s offering?

Given the Indian demographic, and the ritual of gift giving, I think there is a meaningful market for a play like clusive.in.

What are some of the risks in the business and how can the entrepreneur mitigate these risks? 

There are several risks that exist. In no particular order:

Team risk: It is unclear from the founder’s background whether there is any domain expertise vis-a-vis the wedding market or channel partnerships that might be important.

Competitive risk: It is unclear what the competitive advantage is or might be here. With no real barrier to entry, it might attract many me-too’s.

Behavioral risk: While I do not have actual data, my guess is that a majority of gift giving is in cash. As such it may require a mindset shift to move towards a gift registry. Having said that, a concept like this lends itself nicely to online sites where this could be an interesting hook to acquire new customers (unless these same sights become competitive with clusive.in)

Execution and business model risk: Like at so many startups, the success or failure of the startup will depend less on technology or IP and mostly on execution. Fundamental metrics around customer acquisition, monetisation (lead generation or transactional) needs to be thought through in a fragmented market on both demand and supply sides. Whether they become a branded destination or a syndicated white label offering will drive other key business decisions around hiring, fundraising and marketing.

One piece of advice to the entrepreneur 

Surround yourself with absolutely top-notch talent and do thorough market research. Results may vary drastically depending on geography and culture.

Sasha Mirchandani, Founder, Kae Capital

What do you like in clusiv.in’s offering? 

I do believe that the new generation would want to give gifts that a friend wants rather than wasting money on something else. So, at a broad level, a wedding registry does make sense. I also believe that something like this can be built to be pretty easy to use.

What are some of the risks in the business and how can the entrepreneur mitigate these risks? 

The primary risk is that of adoption. After the initial batch of customers, I think the market for something like this is not very large and the business can take time to scale.

One piece of advice to the entrepreneur 

Standard piece of advice here: Get an A+ team to work with you. Be flexible, measure the progress made over 3 to 5 months and be ready to pivot, if needed. Get the first 2000 users on board, measure the size of each order and track all the key metrics.