~ Keerthana Mariam and Deepa Soman
Moussumi Dhar, customer sales and loyalty expert created her company Gratefy.com. The platform provides for customised solutions to nurture customer and employee relationships.
Begin at the Beginning
Moussumi Dhar is a part of a community, Women in Entrepreneurship (WiE) of IIT-B. Dr. Aparna Rao Nanduri asked her to speak to Deepa for a mentoring conversation. Moussumi talks passionately about loyalty and what led her to start her six year journey of building her Gratefy.com platform and where she is now. The pandemic has slowed many start-ups and Moussumi has not been able to meet prospects to pitch her idea. Our instinct is to connect her with our clients, but we feel it is important to share her start-up story.
Moussumi talks about her early years as a management trainee in Raymond. She opts for Sales instead of Marketing. Traveling in small towns, she is inspired about seeing the ownership of dealers towards the Raymond brand. ‘Sales is all about valuing relationships’. A few years into her career, she becomes Regional Head of Sales. She works across geographies, and what she finds in common is how relationships are the bedrock of all business.
One Saturday after MBA class, Moussumi is particularly low. Empathy from a teacher is the stuff of transformation stories. Moussumi’s teacher notices her looking lost and sad. Moussumi finds herself opening up to her teacher. Moussumi has lost her mother on a Saturday, and it is the day she always feels low. She shares about the her mother’s passing when she was a little girl. The conversation helps Moussumi realize her father’s enormous efforts to raise her and her younger brother. Overnight he has switched roles, from being Dad to becoming Dad and Mom to his two children. In that instant she was overwhelmed and grateful for her father’s role in raising her.
Banking on Relationships
Moussumi moved to working in financial services and banking made her realize the even greater value of relationships for business. It is not the brand that people buy, but the relationships that they value.
The importance of brand loyalty and word of mouth recommendations of the product was key. Her research and understanding around this topic showed that product recommendations increased the chance of sales. Employee relationship and retention is as important as client relationship. It’s always expensive to replace an experienced employee. What to create Brand Loyalty? Loyal Customers will only recommend their product to a new person.
When her son is growing up, Moussumi feels the need to spend more time with her son. Stepping down from a high pressure career when she travels incessantly, she takes up independent work as a business consultant. She gets opportunities to work in customer loyalty. As she interacts with different people, the theme recurs – importance of showing gratitude to channel partners. And employee loyalty is as important as customer loyalty. Expressing gratitude is key to maintaining good relationships. Giving a gift as the way to express gratitude, to say “thank you” is uncommon. She finds an opportunity to bridge this gap by starting Gratefy.com
The Gratefy.com Journey
“Gratefy” is coined from the emotion “to be grateful”. There is an opportunity to create human bonds using simple acts of gratitude. Gratefy.com is a platform that offers personalised solutions to corporates. The present functionality includes scheduled personalised WhatsApp messages and emails, scheduling of gifting options, 24-hour gift deliveries across India, and annual preset gifting plans. The thrust is to create and nurture strong long-term relationships with existing or potential clients and employees. The purpose is to create loyalty and enable business growth. Gratefy.com helps in executing the process to enabling the user to show gratitude to their employees and clients. We are trying to get Moussumi to reach as many corporates as she can in the absence of meeting them in person to pitch her story.
Growing the Market
“Am totally gratefy’d”, says Moussumi to get a chance to tell her story. Much more than a gift registry, Gratefy.com can simplify life for large and small companies who work with a large sales network ofdealers, distributors. Some clients have become early movers and there’s a large number that will enjoy the power Gratefy puts into their hands in managing the “Gratitude CRM”