The stored-value-cards space is still very new in India. QwikCilver, founded in 2006-2007, began selling cards around mid-2008 – it manages 90 percent of all stored-value-card transactions in India, according to Pratap.
Success Mantra: The company aspires to have a brand recognition similar to what Visa has with credit and debit cards. The key to their success, according to Pratap, is their SAAS technology model – the QwikCilver backend technology solution is deployed at stores, at companies and on their seven-month old e-commerce portal – Giftbig.com.
The skills that the team brings to the business, the India-specific technology platform that was built ground-up at QwikCilver and sound technical support has held the company in good stead, Pratap said.
There are other large firms who have stored-value-cards in the product suit. QwikCilver’s advantage has been its single-minded focus on this space.
The Market: The catergory will only grow, Pratap opined. Projections for organized retail point to huge growth in that space, and as such stored-value-cards would see higher adoption in the future, he said.
On Giftbig.com: The B2C portal adds to their visibility and presence in the marketplace. It gives customers a wide range of gifting options to choose from, Pratap said. Cards get activated once a user makes the payment; and are delivered to users.
On reports of the government permitting 100 percent FDI in this space: It would make the space more interesting, Pratap opined. India as a market can accommodate three to five players, provided they offer a whole bouquet of services, including technology, design, marketing and distribution.
More players will ultimately benefit the end users.
But entrepreneurs should reckon with “all the good, bad and ugly” associated with doing business in India. “One size fits all” does not hold good as far as India is concerned, he added.