Custom gifting is a huge business opportunity and while most of the startups in this space focus on standard products (cups/tees etc), Mumbai+Ahmedabad based startup Engrave has taken a different approach to custom gifts – i.e. engraving.
Engrave.in enables customers to create personalized photo gift using laser engraving ensuring that etched image/message last a lifetime.
The way engrave.in works is very simple:
- Select your photo gift (from Engrave’s collection) – choice of surface, size, layout and font.
- Upload the photo to be engraved along with the accompanying text message.
- Pay online and you are done (Engrave also supports CoD).
The company has a (limited) range of products Plaques, Crystals, Wall Hangings and is targeted towards lifestyle users who are quite fed up with mass-customization offered by most of the other online (and local) players.
Having said that, the challenge with Engrave’s current operational model is that one is limited to ‘their’ choice/collection of products, while I’d like to say, get my iPad engraved – i.e. engraving of custom gifts which is a huge opportunity.
Here is a quick QnA with Nimish Adani, cofounder of Engrave:
QN: When do you plan to get into custom products + custom engraving services?.
Ans: Currently, our operations are centralized i.e. our products are warehoused and engraved in Ahmedabad. As we scale it will make economic sense to decentralize our operations and that is when it would be feasible for us to offer engraving as a service across different product categories. For example, in our current centralized setup, if a customer in Bangalore wished to get their iPad engraved from us, the cost of pick-up and delivery from Bangalore-Ahmedabad and back may itself be prohibitive. Secondly, there are chances of damage during transit and we’d have to insure the iPad against the same. Once we also have an engraving workshop in cities such as Bangalore, the logistics would be that much simpler.
QN: Future plans.
Ans: In the immediate future, we will be increasing the range of products available through our site – with lifestyle gifts being our focus area. We have already started manufacturing wineboxes, cigarboxes, cards, invites & mementoes; and laptop/iPad cases are being prototyped. In the long term, we would like to move in a direction that allows users to bring “any product” and get a custom design/message engraved on the same.
An interesting niche venture. Do give Engrave.in a spin and share your review/suggestions.
Discount: The startup has given a special 20% discount to Pluggd.in Readers – Use the coupon code: PLUGGD20 (valid till August 15th).