Yoshita Gupta is the associate founder & head-customer communications of You And Gifts, an e-commerce platform for gifting products, especially for kids. She is a blogger and a creative writer specializing in writing blogs about political issues, parenting, and relationships. Today we got a chance to interview her, let’s know more about & learn from her experiences.
We hope this can inspire you to become a successful person too! It is worth listening to a successful entrepreneur or to people who share their success stories. We can significantly learn many things from the experiences of them, by listening to their story.
Excerpts from our exclusive interview with her:
Q1) Tell us a little bit about your start-up and your journey, please;
Hi, I am Yoshita Gupta working as the Associate Founder and Head – Customer relations with You and Gifts. You and Gifts is an e-Commerce platform providing gifting solutions for kids. The company started its operations in 2018. It is a bootstrapped startup catering to a wide range of product categories. The company started with a listing of about fifty products on the website, now has over 1500 products listed, and the number keeps on increasing month on month.
Providing excellent customer support is in the DNA of the company. ‘You and Gifts’ has a vision of being the biggest online platform to provide a complete range of goods for kids. With the tagline “We Bring Smiles”, the company’s focus is to bring smiles to the little ones in a pocket-friendly manner.
Q2) How did the idea for your business/ startup come about?
I always wanted to do something of my own, but frankly speaking, I had no idea about what I wanted to do. It was my son’s birthday, and I wished to have a grand celebration. It took me almost a week, and many visits to the market to get the gifts for him, return gifts for other kids, and the theme party decorations.
I thought that there would be a lot many parents like me who would be facing the same difficulty that I did. So, why not create a platform that could help the parents find all these things in one place. I discussed the idea with my ex-boss, and now one of the founders of ‘You and Gifts’, and he immediately got ready to work with me on the startup.
Q3) What was your key driving force to become an entrepreneur?
I would say that the idea of having a startup of my own in itself was the key driving force for me. I love taking on new challenges, and a startup in itself is a fresh challenge every day. It’s fascinating how you build something from scratch to build an empire around it and believe me, not everyone dares to do it. Leaving a secured job for a startup takes a lot of courage, planning, perseverance, hard work, teamwork, combined with good strategy & execution skills.
Q4) How did you come up with the name for your business/ Start-up?
Being a new online platform, we wanted to keep the name simple, relatable, and easily recallable. So out of the many ideas we had, ‘You and Gifts’ seemed the best-suited one.
Q5) What service(s) or product(s) do you offer/manufacture?
You and Gifts is a platform where you will find unique and pocket-friendly products for kids. The various categories include Toys, Cute and unique School supplies, Kids’ room decors, Accessories, Theme birthday party supplies, and a lot more.
Q6) Why should people choose your product/services?
When we talk about the products that we are selling, other giant players are prevailing in the market who are also selling similar products. But, other than selling our products, we also believe in building relations with every customer of ours. We can vouch for our customer service. Being profitable is the goal of every company, but being profitable and having every customer of ours talking good about us is our Vision.
We are very much considerate about the most impatient segment we are dealing with, i.e., Kids. We keep a close track that all the orders placed are timely delivered and that timely delivery definitely helps to keep our tagline apt.
Q7) How do you market your business, and which tactics have been most successful?
Our strategy of marketing is always trying to have an emotional connection with our customers. Customer satisfaction is a big challenge. We communicate regularly with our customers. We do not mind going the ‘extra mile’ and provide the support that exceeds initial expectations. Taking feedbacks and complaints as an opportunity to improve our services is one of the things that we always do.
Word of mouth is working most effectively for us. We always try to give a human touch to our chat process. We do not have any automated response system, where the customer feels that they are talking to a robot. I believe these are certain things that are working great for us.
Q8) What risks are you facing?
Business in itself is a risk. Every day is a new challenge, and it all depends on you, how you work towards these challenges. Customer loyalty, customer satisfaction, price competency, return and refund policies, and changing as per customer needs, are some of the challenges that most eCommerce startups are facing.
Q9) Did pandemic (COVID 19) affect your business? if yes how?
The website went live on November 19. When the business started picking up, a complete lockdown was announced in the country. We saw a big challenge coming in the way of our business growth. The order deliveries could not take place, as the only movement of essentials was allowed. But, as they say, “There is a silver lining in the dark cloud,” we started looking for that silver lining.
When most of the e-commerce platforms reduced their advertisements during that time, we thought of taking it as an opportunity to increase our reach. We managed to amplify our reach drastically during that period at a very low cost. When the lockdown was lifted, we saw the effect of our advertisements in the form of increased sales volume.
Q10) What are your responsibilities as a business owner?
When you are a part of a startup, your responsibilities are not defined. You become a part of everything that is happening in the company. From the pickup issues to customer complaints, you become answerable to everything happening around you. As the business owner at You and Gifts, I am currently heading the customer-relations department of the company.
Q11) How many hours a day do you work on average & can you describe/outline your typical day?
Initially, when the business started, I used to work for 18-20 hours a day. My husband, and my parents, provided huge support to me then. My family taking care of my kid back at home, when I was busy, helped me work for the startup dedicatedly. But, now, things are much more settled. I work for about 8-12 hours at a stretch and try to be with my kid after 8 pm. Sundays, I try to keep myself hundred percent free for my family.
Q12) What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?
Fear of being wrong, I would say. I don’t like people to see my work as less than perfect. There is something ingrained inside me that I want to do everything perfectly. I am working on the same and trying to understand that mistakes do happen and are a part of life. I am trying to understand that things may not come out as perfectly as you wish, but important is that you worked for it. A mistake done today is giving me an experience for life.
Q13) Tell us about your early life & How has been an entrepreneur affected your family life?
I was born and bought up in a service-class family. The term called ‘entrepreneur’ for my family means nothing, and it is used by those people who do not get a proper job.
So, you can imagine their reaction when I told them that I am planning to leave my job and start working for my startup. My husband, on the other hand, being born and bought up in a business family, was very happy with the idea.
But all said and done, all of them stood by my decision, and supported me in every possible way.
Q14) What piece of advice would you give to college graduates who want to become entrepreneurs??
Fail, fall, but don’t stop. It might seem difficult, but when you have the spark in you, the sky is all yours. Believe in yourself, and keep yourself going.
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