Bhavna is the founder of Scift, Scift is a Bangalore based startup which is an online gifting store and they help to provide innovative solutions to its clients.
When I gave gifts to my friends and family I would spend hours trying to figure out what they would like that they don’t already have and even after all that effort I never found out if the recipient truly wanted it or not. So I decided to remove the stress and ambiguity from it and bring back the happiness in gifting. Through Scift, a Gifter can see a list of what the recipient would love and get them exactly what they want!, says Bhavna.
We got an opportunity to talk with Bhavna, the founder of Scift. Read her story to know more about her journey as an entrepreneur.
Give a brief info about your startup?
Scift is one of India’s first online gift registries, helping people get what they want or need instead of what the Gifter thinks they want! With people also not having time on their hands to spend hours searching for ‘the perfect gift’, Scift provides a practical and innovative solution to young Indians who believe that smart gifting makes happy people.
What made you start your startup and what problem does it solve?
When I got married and later when I had my baby, seeing my cupboard overflowing with gifts that I would / could never use made me question the gifting culture in India and what we, and specifically I, could do to change it. When I gave gifts to my friends and family I would spend hours trying to figure out what they would like that they don’t already have and even after all that effort I never found out if the recipient truly wanted it or not. So I decided to remove the stress and ambiguity from it and bring back the happiness in gifting. Through Scift, a Gifter can see a list of what the recipient would love and get them exactly what they want!
Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before this startup?
An interior designer by profession, I worked in Bombay with design firms and thoroughly enjoyed the pace and demand of the industry. But by the time to Bangalore, I began to question if there was something I could do to make a meaningful change in society – the idea of a gift registry came to me and I decided to explore it.
Where is your startup based out of? Why do you think that is the best place for you?
My company is based out of Bangalore, and in my opinion it’s the best place in the country for us right now, with a combination of the best technical minds, a relaxed vibe and an accepting culture. For a new concept such as mine, having people who are open to trying something new is always a good place to start.
As a startup founder, what are you paranoid about? What keeps you awake at night?
I worry that we might never be able to bring out the basic change in culture that is required for a society steeped in the traditional way of gift-giving to accept the broad-mindedness of a gift registry. I do see a slow change happening, but I worry sometimes that this practical trend might evade us forever.
Who are your competitions and how are you better than them?
There are quite a few gift registries that have surfaced in the last couple of years and whats makes Scift better than the rest is the work we put in behind the scenes to continually improve the user experience for the customer and make it as easy and stress-free for them to make a registry as possible. We curate our products and showcase organic, handcrafted, and eco-friendly products along with the option to add products from over 30 websites around India giving the customer a wide range to choose from.
How hard is it to have a work-life balance as a startup founder and how do you manage it?
As a startup founder and a mother (I started conceptualising the company when my duaghter was born, as mentioned earlier), it has been challenging enough to do both. The one thing that helps me manage it is the immense support around me through my family, and having a mindset to keep going whatever else is happening. I believe work can do be done from anywhere, and that’s what gets me through some insanely busy days.
Have you raised funding? If yes, then we would like to know the details. If no then please tell us if you are looking to raise.
No, we are self-funded for now and have no immediate plans of raising funding.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about you? Why do they have that? What’s the reality?
The first thing that people think of when they hear of a gift registry is how other people will react to them making a registry, that they will be branded as “greedy” if they send one out. And this to me is the biggest misconception. The reality infact is that people who are buying the gifts would love to have a list to choose from sitting at home! This way their money is spent on something they know the recipient doesn’t have and will love.
What gets you excited about this company?
What gets me excited about Scift is seeing the joy on people’s faces when they unwrap a gift they would love to use! And removing the stress and anxiety from the entire process of gifting and making it simple and happy again.
Tell us how a day in your life looks like? Your schedule for a day right from the time you get up till you hit the bed at night.
I am at work before 9 am, having dropped my daughter off to school enroute. After a busy half day of work, lunch and school pick-up, the afternoon and evening is dedicated to being with her at home, doing whatever she’s excited to do that day. Most days this time is also spent multitasking, getting some extra work done which was not done in the morning. After 7:30 pm, after she eats and sleeps, is when I get my time to relax, think, and plan for the days ahead.
Tell us about your team and how did you meet each other?
My team is 3 people strong right now.
Raghu, who manages our Order Processing & Backend was recommended to me by someone who had seen his work at another startup and saw his potential.
Suhasini Singla, our Vendor Management Executive, also was recommended to me by someone I knew.
In a startup space personal recommendations sometimes are the best way to slowly build a team that adds value to each other and to the business.
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