So, you always wanted to lick your sweet-ridden fingers and wanted to share with your friends, family members and even colleagues, huh? Did the traffic jams and rainy season hampered your enthusiasm? Did you feel that if there could be someone who could just deliver the sweets like a pizza? Get ready–you are on!
MithaiMate is a first of its kind gifting portal allowing online users to choose from the biggest Mithai Brands across the country and get their Mithai delivered to their loved ones in just one day of placing the order. All the orders at MithaiMate are sourced from big Mithai stores famous in their cities to provide unmatched quality and are hand delivered to ensure that your token of love reaches on time anywhere in India to delight your loved ones. MithaiMate.com is in no way associated with Amul or its product MithaiMate which is a form of condensed milk. Mithaimate.com is an online gifting portal and is a completely independent entity.
Q1. Tell us something about MithaiMate. How you thought of starting it?
MithaiMate came into being in Jan 2009, when we were looking to start something Online which leverages the the scale that internet provides and yet stays true to the Indian customers’ expectations. So we started the idea of aggregating famous offline sweet brands onto a single web platform and MithaiMate was born.
From there-on it has moved to become a 360 degree dessert gifting portal as we added on other categories like cakes, cookies, chocolates etc. to offer a wide variety to the customers.
Q2. How has been the response to the venture? Though this seems to be a very unique idea, how the audience has responded to it?
The response has been encouraging since beginning, the reason being that we addressed the pain-points which people had expressed in our initial research like quality. We addressed it by only providing famous offline brands’ products which people have an inherent trust on. The price and delivery standards too were in line with our customers’ expectations and hence the early adopters soon became regular clients as well as our Word of mouth publicists.
Q3. Who are your customers or targeted audience? Is there a market size that you are targeting?
We haven’t as such done a bifurcation of the audience, because we have clients from California as well as Assam. It’s like a universal need to send in a token of love or appreciation to one’s family/relatives/friends staying away from them and thus we cater to all of them.
However, we have been careful to keep products for all kinds of budgets that our customers may have. So you have gifts for Rs 180 as well as for Rs 3000 and above depending on your budget.
Q4. What is your business strategy?
The strategy has been to offer products which people may rarely find online, for example we have the largest range of Sugarfree Sweets, Chocolates which do really well because people dont find such product easily even in their neighbourhoods. Same for Parsi Sweets & Kashmiri Sweets which the communities cannot find everywhere.
And to top it all, we focus on Service…a 15-hour call-Support, and transparent refunds-cancellation policies etc help us tide over the anxiety Indian consumers have in shopping online.
Q5. What type of services you provide? Like delivering for occasions, parties, celebrations, etc.?
We do standard gifting wherein the customer can choose a product online and get it delivered at any address. And apart from this, we also take up highly customised service requirements like distributing wedding cards with sweets to any location in India or arranging for some highly specialised local delicacies for events. We had flown in 100kgs of a Goan cake for a client’s function in Delhi etc.
Q6. This seems to be a unique concept. Do you feel there is space for competition in it?
We do have competition! It can either be a big flower gifting site or numerous nameless faceless small sites offering such products. What matters to us is the value that we can deliver to the customer, and we are focused to build the company on the same lines. Bringing as big a choice as possible in terms of products and delivery locations is what we are trying to achieve.
Q7. What you feel is the value of innovation in your business?
A lot specially because when it comes to gifting, people want to try new things and may get of older products which they have already bought once, so to achieve repeat sales we need to constantly offer new products. So we keep innovating on our product line-up varying it with seasons, with festivals etc.
Q8. What is the scope of expansion and what is your vision about it?
We are still in the stage where we are trying to build a market for such services, it will be some time before the customers will take it as a natural channel of buying sweets or other such products online.
And we are happy to be ahead of the market in that sense, because we believe it will hold us in good stead when the online market matures and we have a significant brand established by then.
Q9. How you liked the journey till now as an entrepreneur and starting a totally new online concept
It has been really a fun and exciting journey because no two days are the same; everyday is different from the previous one. Also the fact that one meets so many new people doing so many different things is a very fascinating thing about being an entrepreneur.
Q10. Any advice for future entrepreneurs from your personal and professional experience?
Well, all that I can say is if someone really wants to try being an entrepreneur then they should do so without thinking too much about the outcomes or the risks. Just keep at it and things usually turn out well and even if they dont for some reason, you will not regret your decision because of the learnings you can get only by being on your own.