Times to times, I hear that the business model of companies specialized in gift vouchers takes into account the fact that people won't use their vouchers. DelightGifts, an indian startup specialized in gift vouchers online retailing want to help people to use their gift cards. Maybe the invention of the masochistic business model ?

DelightGifts.in, hardship.out

SPSL Infotech Pvt launches what it calls the "India's 1st Experience Gifting Website". The business is simple. You want to offer something for a birthday, Christmas, Chinese New Year, करवा चौथ... whatever. You go to DelightGifts.in, and you choose a gift within 5 brands and 500 offers in categories like "gourmet, spa and salon, hotel getaways, art and craft, entertainment, sports and adventure".

The worst gift for me could be : one hour in a Porsche or a lunch with a tarentula. You pay for it. Then DelightGifts.in packages the voucher in a beautiful box with your personal message and send it via courier to the gift recipient. OK. In France and even in China, it is common to hear - an urban legend? - that a significant percentage of voucher recipients are not experiencing their... "experience".

Because thay don't have the time, because they hate Porsche, because they forget they have a voucher, or because it's to difficult to join the call center. SPSL seems to chose to hurt themselves : they are offering a Gift Concierge Services. This includes "gift purchase assistance, gift tracking, gift experience booking services, date reminders, wedding and birthday wish list services".  It's why I wonder if it could'nt be the first apparition of a masochistic business model. Or a schizophrenic one.

By Renaud Edouard-Baraud
CEO of L'Atelier BNP Paribas Asia