PS: I also became the HR manager then and made the entire HR Policy and my own appointment letter! 🙂
Over the years we learnt mDeals & TheYaYaTree were not great business ideas then or we were not right on time and we decided to move on.
From mDeals ( a discount coupon website), we naturally pivoted to vouchersmate (a gift cards company). Gift cards back in early 2012 or so were an idea before their time.
We had a product, about 150+ brands on board, but little to no market demand then.
Shoppers Stop was our first brand to sign up, and I still clearly remember our meeting with them and we were too happy to have them on board! 🙂
Sadly, vouchersmate was before its time, B2B customers wanted gift items instead of gift cards despite their ease of use and B2C market was still very naive unlike current times when prepaid gift cards have become a widely preferred gift idea.
Nevertheless, We were running out of cash and the sales were not coming in.
Who is a Customer?
The one who pays, not the one who promises to pay.
There is a difference.
We were losing heart, were fearful of failure. But it’s ok. Everyone does. Don’t lose heart. It’s a part of the journey.
BUT as a silver lining… we could see a demand for other gift items like personalised gifts and there was a huge market gap for unique gift ideas in India in online shopping back then. Custom ones. Flowers & Cakes were the most sought after gifts to be sent online then.
So though we did have an idea on what to do, but we were still running very low on cash.
We eventually had to let the entire team go, and there was a time when we were reduced to just 2 of us in the team. With no money.