Entrepreneurship is all about finding a need, one that has been overlooked by many an enterprising entrepreneur. One does not always have to enjoy the first-mover advantage. At the end of the day it is just that, an advantage. Monish Yerramsetti, 25, Abhinav Ambati, 26 and Anusha Papani, 23, had their ‘eureka’ moment when they realised the gaping hole in online gifting in the country despite many early entrants in this space. Thus, although they were by no means the first to offer gifting services, they pooled in all the money they had and started Frenchbob.com.
An online gifting portal with a twist, it is expected to go live soon and has a gift recommendation engine which helps you choose the gift. They leave no stone unturned in satisfying its customers, from offering free midnight deliveries and fixed time delivery. Monish and Abhinav met at Gandhi Institute of Technology and Management in Visakhapatnam during their BBA after which the former did his MBA at Liverpool Business School, UK, while the latter did his MBA from Gregorian College, Canada. Monish is also involved with other startups, GetMeFood.in and We Are Alive, an event organising firm. The third co-founder is Anusha Papani who is pursuing her BTech from Institute of Science and Technology, Hyderabad.
Started in July last year, this eight-member team initially took requests through phone calls and Facebook requests. They are a eight-member team. Monish adds, “We are also going to include cooking classes, city round trips, a day’s work at an MNC and scuba diving as gifts. They are also planning to introduce gifts like ‘Ride a Lamborghini/Mercedes for a day’. Their product ranges from `300 to `3,000 (small gifts like bookmarks and cards are also available).
The Hyderabad-based company is also into gift consultancy. Abhinav says, “On the day of our launch, many friends helped spread the word by changing their Facebook cover photos to Frenchbob. Many of them are kind enough to recommend us on popular Facebook groups like Spread the Word, Put Me in Touch, and on the very popular question and answer website Quora.” Frenchbob also sponsors low-cost notebooks with their ad on the inside. When asked the inevitable “When do you plan to break even?” question, Anusha quickly responded, “We are working on raising funds to expand operations and hope to break even soon.” With unique products like Mustache Hangers, Monkey USBs, Minion Fans and quirkier services like ‘Call from a favourite actor’, sailing sessions among others, Frenchbob aims to be a leader in the gifting space. The founders are optimistic about being entrepreneurs in India, “If you can manage the social pressure, there is nothing like it” is what they say.