"Qwikcilver’s commitment is continuous innovation and futuristic solutions ", says Pratap TP, Co-founder, and Director

Pratap TP, Co-founder, and Director of Qwikcilver shared on how an increasing number of corporates are embracing gift cards and Qwikcilver’s offering to corporates


The corporate gifting market in India is estimated to be worth INR 12,000 crores and is rapidly growing at over 200 percent per annum, says leading management consultants Technopak. Corporate gifting contributes to 20% of the INR 33,500 crore India’s gifting market. Corporate gifting in India has come a long way from giving cash bonuses, dry fruits, chocolates, and paper vouchers to gift cards. Each company is developing their own reward recognition programmes through the convenience of technology. Corporates are among the fastest adopters of new age gift cards technology platforms using it as tools to motivate and retain their employees/ channel partners. It is no wonder that gift cards are gaining popularity as ultimately they give the power of choice to employees. 

Pratap TP, Co-founder, and Director of Qwikcilver shared on how an increasing number of corporates are embracing gift cards and Qwikcilver’s offering to corporates. 

How was your journey from an idea to getting your first customer in the area of corporate gifting?

We had an exciting and a long journey right from venturing into corporate gifting to getting our first customer. This entailed changing status quo of traditional modes of gifting standard products and showcasing the advantages of a technology-based mode of gifting. .. 

How does India see the concept of digital gift cards? 

Nowadays, gift cards are gaining popularity as cash is considered old-fashioned. We have seen 4x growth in gift cards, with a spurt in purchases during festivities and occasions like anniversaries and birthdays. Our research shows that digital gift cards have gained popularity over physical gift cards and have grown from 0.60% to 62% in the last 5 years. 

We have also observed that 75% of gift purchases take place in the last 3 days before any occasion. People do not know what to gift or do not have enough time to purchase a gift. Digital gifting provides a convenient, hassle-free experience to last-minute shoppers. Through digital gifting, the recipient can receive their gift card immediately. Along with instant gratification, gift cards also give the freedom of choice to the recipient. Gift cards can now be personalized with an audio message and pictures, making the concept of giving and receiving digital gift cards a cherished experience. 

We advocate the use of digital gifting through our B2C platform, Woohoo - a gift card superstore that allows consumers to choose gift cards of more than 150 brands across India. Consumers can shop for gift cards of brands ranging from Shoppers Stop, Myntra, Amazon, Flipkart and Future Group to Taj Hotels. Users can also enjoy the convenience of sending gift cards via email, SMS or Whatsapp.  

 Woohoo has clocked 600% growth since its inception in 2015. We have witnessed demand in metro cities as well as in Tier 2, Tier 3 and Tier 4 cities. 

During demonetisation did Qwikcilver witness any surge or dip in the corporate gifting business?

Demonetisation adversely affected the culture of gifting cash on special occasions and we were among the many beneficiaries of the initiative. We witnessed 250% daily growth in prepaid cards sold through Woohoo. There was also a huge demand in Tier 2 and 3 towns. We also saw an increase in the purchase of prepaid grocery cards through Woohoo. 

The prepaid segment witnessed increased visibility in stores and portals—wherein, grocery, electronics, fashion, and travel and hospitality category related merchants had seen a 75-300% rise in daily transactions via prepaid cards. 

With the government making a push for digital transactions, we envision a four or five-fold growth in the coming years for prepaid cards like gift cards. 

How are you helping corporates across the country?

Corporates are among the fastest adopters of gift cards. They use them as tools to motivate and retain their employees/channel partners. As per our recent survey, more than 65% of corporate employees have chosen rewards in the form of personalised gift cards during festivities and occasions like birthdays, marriages, anniversaries, service tenure milestones & performance-linked rewards. These occasions account for 40-70% of the gifting across corporates, enterprises & institutions.   

We partner with 1000+ corporate clients in their gifting initiatives, with our robust & versatile rewards platform which enables them to directly procure gift cards of more than 150+ leading brands seamlessly in real time mode.Additionally, Woohoo enables corporates to have a wide range of gift cards from more than 25 retail categories. We also deliver physical cards and e-gift cards to them on behalf of the brands. 

Corporates and brand owners have leveraged gift cards for driving innovations to their trade promotions, channel incentives, consumer promotions and employee incentive programs. Our corporate solutions enable HR managers to customise and manage reward programmes, schedule rewards in advance, and offer flexible denomination for gift cards.  

How are you different from your other competitors in corporate gifting?

Gifting among corporate functions is a uniquely relevant behavior, which is the confluence of “Social” and “Commerce”. Qwikcilver has leveraged its robust and versatile technology suite of Multi-tenanted, cloud-hosted products and solutions to enable corporates in engaging innovatively with their customers, employees, and partners. We have been fortunate to be able to showcase insights and our learnings as functional domain experts in this category – so as to become the leading choice for corporates, enterprises, and financial institutions across India and overseas. We have paved the way for trends and enabled cutting-edge solutions for this growing segment of corporate gifting. 

What are the challenges faced by Qwikcilver when venturing into corporate gifting industry?

The opportunities far outweigh the challenges faced. The challenges involved changing status quo, changing the current ways of gifting from cash-based or specific product based gifting towards a more efficient and smart Gift Card category. These were overcome with our teams clocking the benefits and savings via operational convenience, logistical savings, time savings and recipient delight.  

What kind of product innovation is your organisation developing for the corporate gifting market?

Our product innovations include working closely with corporate partners to develop novel programs that would enable their customers to avail their eligible rewards and gifts in a seamless manner with significant savings on their time – even instantly from their storefront. 

Innovations include enabling our consumers to avail the best of global innovations such as:

•Instant delivery across multiple geographies

•Scheduled delivery for specific occasions

•Innovative packaging options

•New ways of delivering gift cards through WhatsApp

•Bundled gifts with voice messages and personalised templates

•Co-branded promotional incentives

•Gifting channels across trade promotions, channel partners, bank rewards catalogs 

and consumer promotions 

•Multiple currencies have driven gifting options in various geographies

•Ability to avail gifting options via single log-in on bank platforms, mobile banking 

platforms, third-party Payment networks, and popular marketplaces. 

What are your plans ahead?

Continue on our avowed journey to make a paradigm shift in digital gifting, through timely innovations. 

Any advice for new start-ups of today?

Focus singularly on passionately building a sustainable long-term business. Stay grounded. Learn and adapt from each success and every failed experiment.Build a team that also believes in your vision. 


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