[Interview] Gifting Is A Large $30bn Market In India: Tarun Joshi, CEO, IGP.com & Interflora.in

Q. Tell us about your venture & it’s eureka moment?

Tarun Joshi: IGP.com has become India’s largest multi-category gifting company and one of the top ten gifting websites in the world within the last 5 years. Flowers is the largest category within gifting and we were looking at partnering a global leader in the floral gifting space. Someone who can help us set the entire supply chain from buying from growers to setting up flower factories and bring that truly International experience to our customers. Interflora, the world’s largest floral Company was looking for a partner in India for the last few years. Globally flowers are mostly gifted online and IGP because of its leadership position in online gifting space was the perfect fit for Interflora. After two years of effort into product development and setting up the cold chain network, IGP launched Interflora in Mumbai in October 2017 and will soon be launching in the top ten cities in India.

Q. What problem does it solve & the USP?

Tarun Joshi: Interflora.in has completely changed the dynamics of gifting flowers in India. They bring over 100 years of experience in creating unique aesthetically curated bouquets for every occasion which can be ordered online for delivery in over 140 countries. The website has an assortment of flower bouquets as per occasions, colors, collections, and types. The flowers are available in hand-tied, vase, and basket style.

Portal URL www.igp.comwww.interflora.in
In Business  Since 2012
Product  Multi-category online gifting portal
Headquarter  Mumbai
Founders Tarun Joshi, Manan Sharma
Annual Revenue Over $10 million
Site Visitors  Over 6 million per year

Q. Current traction on your portal?

Tarun Joshi: IGP and Interflora sell gifts and flowers through both online and offline channels to B2C and B2B customers. We are a profitable company and customers pay for the unique products and services. We have over 6 million visitors every year and growing at over 50% p.a. Conversion rates are 5-6% and annual repeat rates are over 60%. Our customers database is over 1 million spread across India, US, UK, Australia, Canada, UAE and 90+ countries. Currently doing annual revenue run rate of over $10 million.

Q. Challenges & opportunities in your industry?

Tarun Joshi: Solving the flower supply chain and lack of branded high quality flowers in a large and fast growing Indian market. A very small proportion of Gifting consumers in India buy online but we are seeing online Gifting emerge as one of the fastest growing verticals in E commerce.

Q. What are your futures plans for expansion? (Team, products, market, geo etc.)

Tarun Joshi: We plan to expand the Interflora offering to top 10 cities in India within the next one year. The offering is not only limited to online channel but covers events, physical stores and modern retail as well. We also plan to replicate the success of IGP.com in overseas markets where there is no such Gifting solution available.

Q. How are you funded?

Tarun Joshi: We have raised two rounds of investments in the last two years totalling $5 million. The unit economics of our business model are quite strong and investments are only needed to build new products and enhancing the supply chain infrastructure. Funds were raised through the VC and angel network.

Q. What are the three takeaways a customer can expect from your portal?

Tarun Joshi:

  1. Premium International branded flowers
  2. Guaranteed 5 days shelf life and
  3. Same day delivery service to over 140 countries

Q. How big is the Market for Gifting in India?

Tarun Joshi: Gifting is a large $30bn market in India divided into

  1. Personal Gifting ($10bn) for occasions like Birthdays, Anniversaries etc.
  2. Festival Gifting ($8bn) for Rakhi, Diwali, Valentine’s Day, Mothers Day, Christmas etc.
  3. Corporate Gifting ($2bn)

Online penetration currently stands at $500mn and growing at over 50% p.a. Flowers is the largest category within gifting and online flower ordering is growing at an even faster pace. We are also seeing a strong shift towards branded flowers in all channels.

Q. Your advice to budding online start-ups?

Tarun Joshi: India presents very strong and scalable business opportunities but what differentiates successful companies is persistence, execution capabilities and constant focus on getting the business model right. You have to be agile and clear in your thought process to continue scaling the business without actually needing too much external capital.

About the founders 

Tarun Joshi: Co-Founder & CEO:

MBA from ISB, Hyderabad and Aeronautical Engineer from PEC, Chandigarh. Tarun designed the world’s first biometric ATM and played a key role in designing the flight control systems for India’s first supersonic fighter aircraft – Tejas. Tarun is also a state champion and 11 times national level player in Badminton. Prior to IGP and Interflora, Tarun spent over 12 years at two of the world’s leading private equity firms (3i and CVCI) where he successfully led & managed over 10 private equity deals in India with total investment of over $500 million.

Manan Sharma: Co-Founder & COO:

MBA from Amity Business School, Noida. Manan started his career as the founding team member of Indiamart.com, India’s largest B2B E commerce company where he was heading strategic sales & marketing. Prior to IGP, Manan has been instrumental in growing the online handicraft industry in India through various online ventures.


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