Founders – Pinky Maheshwari and Sharda Daga
Website – Surprise Someone
Only a few words have the power to bring a smile on someone’s face. “SURPRISE!” and “GIFT” are possibly the two most commonly used of those selected few. And, when both the words are combined together, i.e., “Surprise Gift”, chances of joy, tears, shock, and/or astonishment are undeniable, especially when it comes from the near and dear ones.
Talking about the ‘chances’, chances are- you haven’t received/given any surprise gift from/to your loved ones in a while. Major reason for it being the hectic life we all live day in and day out. Interestingly — and this shouldn’t come out as surprise — there is a fast, possible, eco-friendly, and obviously, a digital solution available for this problem, and that’s what we are discussing in this article.
In today’s article, we are going to discuss about a Jaipur-based bootstrapped startup established by a mother-daughter duo in the Gifting Sector. “Surprise Someone” is the startup I am talking about, and the name itself describes it function.
Surprise Someone is a kind-of e-store made specifically to, as it says, “Surprise Someone”. In here, what you pay is some bucks, and what you get is a big-curved smile from the apple of your eyes.
How does it manage to bring that Big old smile, you ask!? By providing some well thought-out gifts!
Surprise Someone offers a wide array of customized artifacts. All these artifacts are gifting products made out of recycled handmade papers, which not-so-surprisingly are eco-friendly. Additionally, not only are they keeping the nature constant with their eco-friendly products, but also they are supporting nature with their concept of “Seed Pencil”, which Pinky mentioned at the StartupIndia Pavilion at IITF 2017 (where they were invited to showcase their product amongst 50 startups). Seed Pencil is a product of Surprise Someone which is a simple biodegradable pencil with a catch at its rear end. At the rear end of the pencil, instead of an eraser, there is a ‘seed capsule’ in which there are seeds of herbs/plants like basil. Once the pencil is of no use, one can plant the capsule in the soil and water it to add yet another plant to this amazing nature. In short, with every smile you add, you add a tree/plant also.
Now, obviously all these nature-friendly things are exciting and all, but let’s get back on the track i.e., SMILE 🙂
When the thing you give is a) A gift., b) A surprise, c) Personalized, and d) eco-friendly, the smile can only be at its peak, especially for nature-lovers like me. Moreover, that’s what the aim of the founders is and was!
Pinky Maheshwari started Surprise Someone back in 2015, along with her mother Sharda Daga.
Before starting this women-based startup in Jaipur, Pinky did her MBA and worked in Ogilvy & Mather, one of the largest digital ad agency of the world. After working for almost six years in Ogilvy & Mather, she served Vodafone for around 2 years up until March 2015.
In Sept. of 2015, she started her own venture, which she was bound to start. And, when I say “bound to”, I mean it; because during & before her corporate life, she loved to give surprises, make ‘best from the waste’, and bring smiles on others faces. This beautiful fact of her makes “Surprise Someone” less of a surprise.
The Present and The Future:
As I already mentioned, it is a bootstrapped startup, and it doesn’t aim to raise any money in the future as well. Whatever the revenue of the company is(25 lakhs estimated previous year), that’s what is used in the future development of the company.
Currently, Surprise Someone serves more than 5000 clients, and that too without any advertising cost. In the future, I assume they will spend on Digital Marketing and see some amazing Growth curve for the company.
From the creativity and product development perspective, here’s their strategy according to their founder, “Our strategy for product development is that we send our new products to people who are absolutely new to us and have no relation with our business and myself. We ask them if had a wow moments within 30 seconds of seeing out product. If they say yes, we launch else we dump it”.
In short, the surprise-factor/wow-factor is a priority for now and future as well, because if it’s not their, the name will lose its meaning.
Now, let me wrap it up with some final thoughts, or in this case, some final quotes.
This little story of a middle-aged woman starting something she loves with her almost-old-aged mother proves that there is no age, gender, or other factor finalizing the destiny, it’s only the Passion, Patience, and Perseverance that matters in the entrepreneurial arena.
From being amongst the 50 startups at StartupIndia IITF-2017, getting graduated in Walmart Women Entrepreneur program, to winning the Digital Women Award, Pinky Maheshwari has been an inspiration for many aspiring female-entrepreneurs out there.
I hope this startup story reaches every aspiring person, and obviously I hope you loved this startup story. If you did, comment below. And, now let me wrap it up real quick with couple of quotes in the context of “Surprising Someone”.
“Feeling Gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”
And, this one is from their site, “Come on, let’s make someone smile today. Whom will you start with? :)”