KOCHI: The apartment is filled with soft toys, explosion gift boxes, greeting cards and more gift items. Amid these sits Vijay Srinivas, (34), founder, Tiny Surprise, a Chennai-based online gifting company, which started operations in 2013. His team includes Shiva, operational manager, Sai, website and app designer, and online marketer and Karthick, app and website developer. “When I was in Singapore, my friends and I used to send a lot of gifts but it never used to reach on time. That’s why I started Tiny Surprise with ` 7.5 lakh invested by GSF Angels,” he shares.
They deliver orders through Speed Post to all cities. In Chennai, Bengaluru and Kochi they operate independently with executives and 25 part-time delivery people. Sixty percent of his customer base is outside Chennai mainly from Australia, USA and other countries. “We even had a customer who wanted to send her husband, an army man, gift in Kashmir,” he smiles.
Tiny Surprise started as small unit that shipped soft toys, hand-made accessories, mother’s day cards and bags. But now they are known for their midnight deliveries. “We wanted to stand out when compared to other e-commerce companies in terms of service. Hence we took up midnight deliveries. The next step is to go live through video delivery. Our clients will get to see the look on the receiver’s face when they get the gift. This will be through our app Tiny Surprise,” he shares.
Vijay feels that the customers not just look at the value of the product, but they need something more. And that’s surprise. “We have had some fun orders too. We had rented a BMW car for an hour to gift a ride to a car lover and even made one of our customers drive tractor on Bengaluru streets,” he laughs. He has also tied up with 25 home bakers in Chennai, Bengaluru and other cities. “When it comes to home baking a customer can tell what they want,” he adds.
The team is yet to release ‘Oho. Cards’, augmented reality cards. It’s an app where customers can send videos of wishing their loved ones and a photo that they want to be printed in the back of the greeting card. The video will be converted and printed as dots ,that after being scanned using the app will show the video. “I got the inspiration from Shifu app which I got to know through a website when I ordered a few of their products for my daughter,” he says.
His Website and app brings 500-600 customers but word of mouth receives more attention. That’s why he is in the process of approaching Chennai Angels for `3 Crore investment for Oho.Cards and other services. “Hyundai has offered a deal for running their exclusive gifting store of 600sqft office in Sriperumbudur and now we are negotiating terms with them,” he shares.
On- time delivery, finding unique products and recruiting talents in this niche market.
Personalised section of handmade products like
7ft teddy bear.
Fishbowl with blue aqua stones, fish food, fish net and two gold fish (complimentary gift) Demands: Decorating an entire place with helium balloons.