Do you live outside India but have friends and family in Ahmedabad? Do you miss out on sending them presents for their birthdays? Don’t worry, the Ahmedabad Gift Shop is here to change this situation. Started by Amdavadi entrepreneur Kaushal Shah, www.AhmedabadGiftShop.com is a convenient resource if you are planning to send presents to anyone in Ahmedabad. The website has a wide range of gifts to choose from – flowers, cakes, teddy bears, chocolates, personalized gifts etc.
Here is the exclusive interview with Kaushal Shah to understand the concept of Ahmedabad Gift shop and how it is spreading happiness!
The Ahmedabad Blog: How did the idea of the Ahmedabad Gift Shop come up? What is the concept?
Kaushal Shah: When I was in the UK doing my masters, I had difficult time sending gifts back home. I had to tell my friend to get a gift and deliver it at my place. Luckily I had good friends, who would do that, but not everybody is lucky enough; or sometimes they don’t have anyone whom they can tell to send gifts. So, I started Ahmedabad Gift Shop to resolve this problem. We take gift orders from all over the world, people can pay online on the website and we deliver the selected gift on their desired date and time.
The Ahmedabad Blog: Why did you choose the name Ahmedabad Gift Shop?
Kaushal Shah: As I wanted the exclusive portal for my city, I could not think of a better name than Ahmedabad Gift Shop. We do not deliver gifts outside Ahmedabad, so this name suggests exactly what we do.
The Ahmedabad Blog: When did you launch your business?
Kaushal Shah: It was launched in February, 2012.
The Ahmedabad Blog: What are your specialty products? Which products are most popular on your website?
Kaushal Shah: As you can see on the portal, we mostly sell Cakes, Flowers, Chocolates & Teddy bears. One of our specialty products is Photo Cake. I think no other online portal is doing it online and people like the picture cake very much. We print the photo given by the user and print it on the top of cake. It is totally safe and edible made with certified food colours. Apart from this, some of our personalised gifts are very popular, e.g. Photo Mug and Custom T-shirts. Of course they have to send the high resolution picture, and have to place the order 2 days in advance, but when people receive the gift with their photo on it, they become really happy.
The Ahmedabad Blog: Why did you decide to set up your eCommerce business from Ahmedabad?
Kaushal Shah: As I am basically from Ahmedabad, I didn’t want to move out to some other state or city after coming back from UK. As I did my M.Sc. in E-Business Management, I wanted to start something in the same space. After doing job for few years, finally the dream came true with the help and support of family and friends. I know that Ahmedabad is still not that tech savvy compared to Bangalore or Delhi, but someone has to start something and make people aware of the technology and its advantages.
The Ahmedabad Blog: What type of shopping experience did you want NRIs to have? What makes your concept unique?
Kaushal Shah: I have been in the same situation being away from family and friends, I know their expectations. When you are really attached to someone, you think of sending gift to him/her on their special day. We want our customers to have smooth shopping experience while providing a large variety of gifts available to them. We provide them with a personalised experience. If they want the gift to be delivered at midnight, we make sure that it is delivered right on time and make them surprise. When we deliver the gift, we capture a photo / video of the recipient. We email this special moment of surprise back to the customer, so that they can see what the reaction of the recipient was when they received the gift. This has got so popular amongst our customers, that when they place the order, they specifically send us the instructions to capture the photo and send it back.
The Ahmedabad Blog: What are the challenges you faced? How has your journey been so far?
Kaushal Shah: Any eCommerce portal faces the challenge of establishing trust, so initially we faced a lot of issue of people confirming via calls that the gift will reach for sure, or it will reach on time or not. Getting the word out and letting people know about our services was a bit of a challenge. The journey has been really exciting so far, and very fruitful in terms of learning new things. The Indian eCommerce market is growing leaps & bounds, that’s why I am coming up with a new portal which will deliver gifts across major cities of India. It should be available live soon!
The Ahmedabad Blog: One reason why NRI Amdavadi should visit your website?
Kaushal Shah: We are based at Ahmedabad, compared to other portals, which operate from other cities and only have a connection who delivers gifts in Ahmedabad. So this is a huge advantage for users, as we can deliver same day gifts in 2-3 hours. Even if you realise that it’s too late for the gifts to be delivered, we can do it. With personalised experience we provide, every Amdavadi NRI would be very much interested in our services.
The Ahmedabad Blog: One tip for Amdavadi Entrepreneurs
Kaushal Shah: Just hang in there; entrepreneurship is all about surviving in the initial period. If your product / service is good, you will do well eventually.