Memories… experiences… and gifts to ‘Delight’!
In my previous post I talked about the ‘motivator’ behind the ecommerce business; I talked about VC funding and Hrithik Roshan. My father pointed out that this is not the sole motivator. He is correct; my motivations are several and I only focussed on one in my post. My biggest motivation is that I create a solid, sustainable, fulfilling and successful business which not only provides a livelihood to all involved but also gives me the satisfaction that I have produced a service in this world which is making millions (hopefully one day) of people happy. The mission is to delight people every day. People have enough worries in a day, why not give them something to enjoy, something to smile about, something which delights them. This is the greatest motivation for me.
Thanks Dad. My Dad always helps me pointing out my errors and brings me back on track. My Dad is my mentor, my friend, my confidant, my hero and most importantly the person I’ve being looking up to (literally also) since I was born. My father has always been there for me, through all my troubles, through all my sorrows and difficult times, not only as a ‘father’ but as an unbiased, sensitive, sensible and mature influence in my life. The most amazing thing about my father is that he speaks many languages and by that I don’t mean French, Spanish etc. (although you must listen to his Punjabi one day; now there’s something that brings a smile!); I mean he can converse with anyone, any age group, any nationality, any gender. He can bring himself to that person’s level and talk through things, give the BEST ADVICE and be a friend. I obviously would not be anywhere without my Papa, but I definitely would not be the person I am today without his love, guidance and blessings. Like they say, ‘who’s got your back?’ I say ‘My Papa’s got my back’.
There’s never a dull moment with my father or my mother for that matter! They are a fun bunch and if you’ve met them you will acknowledge that they are always the life of the party. Partially retired, they now spend most of their time travelling to new places, experiencing new things and meeting new people. Most importantly, they love each other’s company as much as I love theirs. Last month they had a very interesting experience in Kerala, at one of the Ayurveda Spas. Apart from the deep tissue (and sometimes deep nostril) foul smelling oil massages and the bland boiled food; they especially ‘enjoyed’ the 5am wake-up call of muddy nauseating medicinal concoctions which was apparently supposed to cure them of all their respective ailments. I’m sure these are experiences they will never forget and most probably choose to never remember!
Experiences are always remembered with fondness and in every minute detail. Every family has memories they can’t forget, whether it’s a holiday they went on or a wedding or something from one’s childhood. There are innumerable experiences in one’s life and it would be difficult to remember each one, but the ones that we do remember are cherished forever. Photographs are a great way of keeping these memories alive (something my Mom is great at!). Memories are created every day, every minute in fact and so we don’t think of ‘buying’ these memories because we are creating them ourselves.
When I thought of the gifting business (having established in my previous post that there is a huge gifting market), I contemplated offering gift products on my site. But what would people want to gift each other? What gift product would make an impact? What would ‘delight’ the gift receiver? When I thought about the gifts I had received, the most memorable gift that came to mind was when my family was with me when I was having my baby in Sydney. We were all together to welcome the youngest member of our family and I was the happiest. Other gifts that come to mind include my school trip that my parents agreed to send me on or any holiday we had as a family (Vegas holiday gifted by my beautiful sister comes to mind!); i.e. all these are ‘experiences’. If I was to think hard of the material gifts I received through my life the ones that come to mind are the really special ones like my engagement ring, my Pandora bracelet which my husband gave me when Simran was born, a laughing Buddha I got from my parents when I was in school (which I have till date in my office), a Winnie the Pooh bear I got from my childhood sweetheart, a Tiffany pen I received from my ex-employer for long service etc… On the other hand, the gifts that we receive every now and then for various occasions or functions don’t stick in our minds. Yes we appreciate the gifts, but these don’t create long lasting memories. How many of us have a closet filled with unwanted gifts? Gift re-cycling is very common nowadays too. The other very common gift is the ‘shagun’ envelope which has Rs. 1100 or Rs. 2100 or Rs. 5100. It is a traditional way of gifting, however unlikely the new generation will adopt this method in a big way. We’re all looking for the ‘wow’ factor.
So, with my new business I set out to offer a concept which would give people a platform to create memories. We aren’t selling the memories; we’re only offering the opportunity to create your own. Hence the concept of ‘gift experiences’ or ‘experience gifts’. An extremely popular website in Australia (www.redballoondays.com.au) offers a fantastic selection of ‘experiences’. So does one in the US (www.excitations.com) and several across Asia under the brand ‘LiveIt’ and in Dubai (www.dreamdays.ae). The original I believe was in the UK (www.redletterdays.co.uk). This concept is quite popular and common across other countries. I am bringing this concept to India, a new way of gifting. So whether it’s a lovely dinner in a five star restaurant or a river rafting holiday, I am sure the memories created during these experiences will be ones that last forever; what better gift could you give someone?