Generating Revenues & Increasing Profitability In New Streams Is Our Prime Focus: Dhruv Verma, Thriwe

In an interview with BW Disrupt, Dhruv Verma, Founder, Thriwe, talks about business model, funding and more

When did you know you wanted to become an entrepreneur?
Right from my childhood days, I had been fascinated towards that idea of having a business of his own.
Back in those days, I was keen on doing something of my own, my baby entrepreneurial stints would include an architectural consultancy, retail personalised stationery business, so on and so forth.

While I was in UK and trying to play a game, I was flabbergasted to see that he could book a golf game online viz-a-viz no platform like this was actually available in India. Hence, my fascination of booking a game online got me triggered and paved a way for technology driven start-up “Thriwe” (erstwhile GolfLan). 

I thought of giving Indian Golfing space a leap by pioneering the technology aspect and getting it implemented at Indian Golf Courses. The whole idea was to connect the India golfer with the golf courses around the world. It was the innovation that totally revolutionized the golfing scenario and hence, the venture took a wheel of fortune spin. 

Today, Thriwe has diversified and evolved itself to become India’s leading b2b consumer benefits marketplace catering to national and international markets in 130 countries worldwide with 1,00,000+ stakeholder network.

What products/services are you offering, and how are they niche? How are different companies solving different needs?
The act of balancing out between the consumer’s actual needs and their excitement is a key to a phenomenal business plan. Any company that is in consumer strategy space needs to create a harmony between curating an engagement that is cost effectively extravagant for a partner and deliciously delightful for a customer. For years, allegiance has meant giving “up to” 15 per cent to 30 per cent discounts & hoaxing customers with flamboyant offers with “asterix” just to have a cost under control. So, when we thought of catering to this segment, we were clear in our strategy about the kind of offerings that we wish to give across to the end consumer.  We tried putting ourselves in our end consumers’ shoes and figured out that offers need to be exciting, engaging and should be able to retain the user of the services. So, we used our algorithm and studied the usage pattern of high value clients over the past years. We were open to our customers in financial segment that “You give great offers to engage and delight your customer and in return, we will manage the cost”.

It is because of our unique business positioning that today, we work with almost all the premium private banks, Card networks, luxury lifestyle brands in India & middle East,  South east Asia. 

What is your revenue model; how do you make money from the business? 
Discover new engagement offerings that did not exist yesterday, everyday! Is a biblical line we go by. Our business to business offerings start from minimum 30 per cent and enter a free zone of 100 per cent. Our USP has been our exclusive approach towards data analytics which include study of HNI usage patterns, understanding of consumer demographics coupled with curating cost effective offerings. We have a network of over 1,00,000 partners across 130+ countries worldwide and these partners are across service categories such as sports, travel, digital offers, life style, dinning, and wellness. Basis our customer requirements, budgets, consumer demography, objectives, we create unique standout, benefit strategy. Our customer centricity has been the heart of our success. We scaled from golf into multiple categories because our client wanted to work with us across all allegiance categories because of the trust, integrity, constant innovation and high level of customer service that we offer.

Please share your funding and revenue status? Are you planning to raise further rounds in the near future?
We raised our angel round from Gurgaon-based Angel Fund -  YourNest fund in 2015. But, before that we survived due to the trust of lot of our family and friends. A lot of close associates who had seen us work in the past, they trusted and they put in their own money. So friend and family round sustained us, then we raised the angel round through YourNest fund after that we had another round of funding from Africa’s  Ison Networks in 2017

How does your product or service work? Walk us through from a customer’s perspective.
The essence that captures the very fragrance of customer centric business is not that easy and simple. Our plans of straight sweep entry in the consumer market were given a back seat when we realised that our partner associations are reluctant in adopting technology backed interface. Not just the partner associations but the end stakeholders in the retail chain were equally unenthusiastic about it. Primarily, retail customers would come to market place only as long as it is heavily discounted. So, initially to break the clichés, we did run a membership powered by “enormous discounts” which aggregated all the golf courses in India and to our notion, It worked overly well.  Within a year, we had 2000 plus loyal members, I could still reminisce the time once when I was sitting in one of the golf courses & was enjoying a wonderful brunch and I could overhear a few Golfers saying  - “hey have you heard about this new company Thriwe”  (erstwhile Golflan). It is fabulous, their services are top notch and I believe that you can’t play golf without them. 

It was a thrilling experience hearing that about your own baby venture but, you can give great offers to customers, you can fund those offers and acquire customers but it doesn’t sustain for too long and to tackle that we got into the B2B space. Our offers remain the same, they are still as lucrative but we brought in an aspect that let us route those offers through the corporate who also want to give offers to these customers get loyalty in return, get new customer acquisition in return, this way everybody gets something in return.

What cities are you present in? Where do you plan to expand to next? When do you plan to scale internationally —  if at all you do —  and what are some countries you plan to target first?
We wish to expand our business portfolio and build depth in a service network, partner network, expand our South East Asia presence with a dedicated teams. Generating revenues and increasing profitability in new streams is our prime focus. Our high focus further dives deep into automation of backend operations.

What is the vision of the company? 
To be the Amazon of b2b Consumer benefits marketplace and be the leader of consumer strategy solutions / To be the industry leader in b2b consumer strategy consultancy.

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