At 21, when most people are either starting their first jobs or getting into post graduate courses, Varun Todi was busy founding his first company in Hyderabad with a vision to make money that would fund his eventual business idea! He and his cousin Harshvardhan Khemani literally had entrepreneurship in their blood – learning the tricks of the trade in their Marwari household. Thinker Varun and doer Harsh made a formidable team when it came to business and with seed capital that they earned from their first venture – an advertising agency – in 2014, they decided to venture into the business of gifting happiness and thus was born Oye Happy!
India – A growing market
The online gifting segment currently contributes only about $400 Mn to a $30 Bn gifting industry in the country. Away from flowers, chocolates and regular photo-based gifts, Oye Happy believes in creating unforgettable, one-of-a-kind experiences for its consumers.
“While most companies are investing in technology or retail outlets, there is barely any innovation on the gifts or experiences themselves. We are the only company in India to both curate and ‘create’ its own range of unique gifts and experiences which are cost-effective, scalable and customisable. Over 80% of the gifts you see on the website are created in-house. It’s the only reason why you won’t see Oye Happy’s products in any other gifting site in the country and that provides us with a very big competitive edge”, says Varun.
An idea can create a moment!
When you begin to think creatively, there really is no end to the kind of novel experiences you can create for a loved one. From gifting a dog lover an hour’s time with a hundred dogs at a kennel to secretly installing a personalized app on a tech addict’s phone, to chartering a private jet for a loved one or gifting a video card with a message – anything and everything is made possible by Oye Happy. Most surprises by Oye Happy are best described as larger than life!
“We had once tied up with a Sports Management Company to flash messages and pictures on the giant screen in the stadium during a live cricket match between India and Sri Lanka. It was one of the most unique surprises we’ve ever pulled off!”
Going Viral on social media
In this day and age when every success is measured by likes, retweets and followers, businesses are leveraging digital media in a big way and adopting low cost promotional measures. Some of Oye Happy’s amateurishly shot videos of surprises have already garnered over 3 million views, led to a Facebook community of over 6.5 lakh followers and over 30,000 real customers in just 3 years.
Creating surprises for every kind of budget (from INR 300 to INR 9 Lakhs!) there is nobody who is not a target customer for Oye Happy! Keeping the focus clearly on two pillars – product and marketing – the 25 member team of Oye Happy is working towards becoming the single biggest gifting solution provider in the country.
Varun’s tip for aspiring entrepreneurs
“Whichever business you choose to get into, can you see yourself doing this for at least 5 years without an investor paying your salary? Can you build a company that can run and grow on profits? Don’t do something just because a newspaper article says it’s the hottest thing to do. Do it if you believe that you can make it the hottest thing to do!”
Oye Happy was founded by Varun and Harsh using their personal savings of INR 30 Lakhs and achieved a turnover of INR 2 Cr last year. Keeping an eye on unit economics, this year they aim to achieve 3X in terms of revenue!