On 18th November 2018, he put down his papers and after serving a notice period of one-month, left HDFC to move in a direction that his heart felt was right.
This is the story of Praveen Singh, a man of grit, determination and impregnable will power, who left his well-paying and the comfortable job of an investment banker and decided to embark on an entrepreneurial journey which was much more tough, rigorous and demanding but also something that he always wanted to do.
He hails from a small village named Parvezpur near Prayagraj district, but always dreamt of creating something which will make a big difference in people’s life, and he found that something in his first year of MBA, when he founded FRINZA: World’s 1st AI & ML oriented Annual-recurring-Subscription-model-based one-stop-Gifting- Solution E-commerce company.
He did his schooling from Hindi medium and had little exposure to English till his graduation days, but he never let that become an excuse and worked extra hard to score 99.95 percentile in Symbiosis National Aptitude Test (SNAP) and 99.01 in Common Admission Test (CAT), not only this, he also stood amongst the toppers in various other MBA entrance exams.
Praveen who was one of the most influential student leader of Allahabad university is also one of the youngest Penguin India author of the book titled “Locha 20+”
Praveen has a mission to make FRINZA the next disrupting Indian Global Consumer Brand, and change the way people perceive the word ‘gift’.
When Praveen decided to pursue his MBA from SIBM, Bengaluru, he was excited and elated, but little did he know about the challenges lying ahead. MBA life was not only new but completely different for him. His day would start at 8 in the morning and there was no fixed time when it would end.
A rigorous schedule, the vast syllabus of 16 plus subjects in a semester, orientation, back to back lectures, then guest lectures, followed by townhall meets, group assignments, live projects, presentations, multiple simultaneous deadlines, case studies, competitions, corporate inductions, various events of the college, corporate social responsibility activities, internal tests, external test and many other things. “An MBA life is akin to a Roller Coaster Ride, with every individual engrossed in himself to capture the most of the unforgettable experiences that come with frightening and unexpected twists and turns”, says Praveen.
Praveen was also a member of the Entrepreneurship cell in his college, where he was responsible for conducting various entrepreneurship events along with managing the above mentioned. All this left Praveen with hardly any time for himself.
Weekends were burdened with more assignments, simulations, preparations of quizzes, washing and ironing clothes, organizing a few other things and preparing for the week ahead. And if there was any time left, it was to catch some sleep, which Praveen recalls you hardly get in an MBA life.
But these were not the only challenges Praveen faced. Having come from a Hindi medium background, he found the MBA lectures, which are predominantly in English, too overwhelming. “I would literally understand nothing in the initial days, and had a very hard time”, recalls Praveen.
One such day, being completely engrossed in finishing his statistics assignment, Praveen forgot to wish his girl-friend on her birthday. To cover up for his mistake, he decided to send her a personalized gift but due to the lack of availability of customized gifting options, it took him more than 3 hours to select the gift, which was just right for the occasion and would go with his girlfriend’s personality.
But as they say, when it’s not your day, it’s not your day. The gift which was supposed to be delivered on the same day got delivered 2 days later, and it only added fuel to fire. Praveen got an earful from his girlfriend for almost 2 hours that day, he promised her that it won’t happen again.
But it did happen again, and this time he forgot to wish his mother on Mother’s Day, and then another close friend from his graduation days of Allahabad university on his birthday. “There was a time when almost every second person taunted me with – ‘Why would you remember me, you have now become a Big Man.’ These harsh words used to prick my heart”, recalls Praveen. He realized he had to stop this. In the quest of excelling in his professional life, his personal life had gone for a toss. He had a problem in front of him and he decided to solve it.
He spoke with his colleagues, friends and the people around, and realized this was a very common real-life problem which almost everyone faced, whether a college student like him who had a busy college life, a mid-level working professional who is chasing deadlines every day, or even a highly paid top-level manager. People from all age groups and income categories faced this problem.
But he found out that being busy at work was not the only reason why people missed out on wishing their loved ones, there were other reasons too. Even if people remember the occasion they don’t want to take the pain of spending hours selecting just the right gift which suits the occasion, personality of the person they are sending it to, and also the kind of relationship they hold with them i.e. a perfect personality-occasion-relation specific gift.
Some people who hastily selected the gift to avoid this pain only ended up regretting their decision later. And those who after, spending hours finding out the perfect gift, came to know that the gift is not within their budget, only got more frustrated.
Another major problem was if you wanted to send a perfect gift for your loved ones, you had to do prior planning and research in selecting the perfect gift and then sending it a few days in advance to make sure it reaches on time. And you had to do all this every time you sent a gift, and for occasions like birthdays, Mother’s Day, valentine’s day, festivals, anniversaries etc which occur every year you had to do the whole process every year which only added to the pain. And not many people wanted to go through such a complicated and time-consuming process.
All these problems resulted in more unhappy and unsatisfied people around. People faced dent in their personal and professional life. Personal life had a conflict, trust issues, and priority problems. People were losing chances of networking, and faced huge embarrassments a lot of times, says Praveen.
Now that Praveen found out what exact problems people faced, he started working on the solution.
Praveen thought what If he could build an annual-recurring-subscription-model based one-stop-Gifting mechanism that syncs all these occasions and automatically chooses that perfect “personality-occasion-relation specific gift” depending on factors like age, name, gender, personality, profession, location, hobbies, interests, need of recipient, occasion and the relationship with the sender. And all this within the budget of the sender.
WHAT IS FRINZA?
FRINZA™ is the world’s 1st Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Machine learning (ML) oriented annual-recurring-Subscription-model-based one-stop-Gifting-Solution E-commerce company.
FRINZA is a rapidly growing online gifting organization, that provides premium and a wide range of quality gifts. The gifts range from an exquisite collection of souvenirs, cherry-picked flowers, luscious cakes, scrumptious chocolates, tender plants, mesmerizing books, Gift Cards, Handicrafts, a wide array of personalised products and many meaningful gifting categories planned with a befitting sense of elegance for every occasion.
The Company takes utmost pride in being an emerging firm not just in India but also across the Global Markets proving to be the most convenient way of consummate gifting for every occasion by providing shopping assistance round the clock. There is a plethora of gifting options & splendid assortments catering to the requirements of the clientele. Their high-end products and services have trailed in all the continents and over 550+ cities in India.
Consisting of a world-class team of gift experts the company works with a simple vision
– to fetch a warm smile on their customer’s faces and a twinkle of delight in their eyes with every gift they deliver. They’re propelled to be the most unprecedented in every aspect of their business as they curate their merchandise with a sharp eye for trending fashion. Besides artistic decoration and adornment, they follow the express dispatch system.
HOW IT WORKS?
“It is very simple”, remarks Praveen. You just have to log in to the app or web portal, then select an annual recurring package depending on your budget.
After that, enter the details of events like the birthday of your girlfriend, the anniversary of your parents, the birthday of your boss (well, that is important), the birthday of your clients (corporate relations you know) or any other important occasion. The amazing part is you can distribute the budget as per your convenience, so you can decide that 20% will be for your girlfriend’s birthday, 30% for your parents’ anniversary, 35% for your boss’s birthday and so on.
That’s it, now you can sit back and relax. The system powered by Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning will choose the most suitable gift as per the age, name, gender, personality, profession, location, hobbies, interests, the need of the recipient, occasion and the relationship with the sender and will automatically deliver it. And all this within the budget you allocated.
Such is the power of technology nowadays “Artificial intelligence can uncover linkages that humans can’t,” remarks Praveen.
Now coming to the best part, since occasions like birthday, anniversary, Mother’s Day or festivals occur yearly, you don’t have to go through the pain of selecting the right gift every year, FRINZA will do it for you every year on a recurring basis. And if you feel like stopping it, there is always an option available. So, you just have to opt-in for your annual recurring subscription package and leave the rest to FRINZA.
In this fast-paced world where people have become more artificial and machines more intelligent and everyone is busy on their own, when you remember someone on their special occasions, it does make them feel good and brings a smile on their face. “And FRINZA takes great pride in being the harbinger of this happiness for millions and acting as a bridge of emotions to connect people’s hearts,” remarks Praveen.
So, stop googling for hours and FRINZA it just once.
HUMBLE BEGINNINGS TO GIANT LEAPS
“In the initial days, when it was the first valentine week of FRINZA, they were receiving a lot of orders, and there were not enough delivery boys available to meet the demand. So, Praveen despite suffering from a high fever of 102 F, and platelets count below 30,000, delivered a few orders himself using his brother’s bike, because he wanted to make sure that no order goes unprocessed.
“I have a strong conviction – Success comes to those who put their will to succeed above everything. I have given my everything to this start-up, I left a lucrative corporate job and have put my future at stake for this. I really don’t believe in having Plan A or Plan B. This is my only plan. In fact, sometimes plan B is the biggest reason why plan A fails”, says Praveen.
A company that Praveen started from his hostel room now delivers in more than 550+ cities of India and most cities of the USA, UK, UAE, Canada, and Australia, and these numbers are increasing every day. FRINZA aims to add 25+ major gift categories, 1500+ subcategories, more than 10000+ child categories, and nearly 5L+ products by the end of the year 2021.
“The traditional e-commerce model with which FRINZA started initially was laying the launch-pad for the giant AI and ML based annual recurring subscription model which will be rolled out soon. It is going to disrupt the e-commerce gifting industry and redefine the way the world gifts” says Praveen
ONE OF IT’S KIND MODEL & THE UNPARALLEL ADVANTAGE
FRINZA is the world’s first AI and ML oriented Annual-recurring-Subscription-model- based-one-stop-Gifting-Solution E-commerce company. The model is one of its kind and is capable of automatic and predictive gift selection and delivery.
FRINZA has also filed a patent for this invention titled “SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR SCHEDULING GIFTS” with the Indian patent office. They have also filed a patent for this invention with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) which is an administrative body for Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT. PCT is an international treaty with more than 150 Contracting Countries.
“The biggest advantage of PCT is that it gives us 30 months protection from our local filing date to file patents in the other countries of our choice. This puts us in the driving seat in our mission to make FRINZA – the next Indian Global Consumer Brand.”, says the young founder.
All this has created a mighty entry barrier for the competitors, which gives FRINZA the unparallel advantage of creating a monopoly in the industry.
This pandemic is an unfortunate incident but FRINZA is from those rare businesses who have prospered during this time. FRINZA works on the concept of cloud kitchens and hence they did not see much disturbance in their business.
“There is one curve we have to flatten and then there is another that we have to stay ahead of”, says Praveen. FRINZA made sure that in these testing times, all their staff was monetarily compensated and we also got their medical insurance done. This gave our staff the confidence they needed, and we were able to operate our cloud kitchens. As a result of this during this lockdown period (March-April) when most businesses are finding it hard to make their ends meet, FRINZA has observed the month on month growth of 103.5%.
FRINZA also has recorded a year on year growth (YOY) for the year 2019-20 of 136.7%.
Impressed by tractions and FRINZA’s unique value proposition, FRINZA has started receiving acquisition offers. Praveen told us (but did not reveal their names).
FRINZA is a dynamic organization and quickly adapts to the changing environment. Considering the current pandemic situation, FRINZA has decided to diversify its Category & product portfolio. Now it will also explore digital or e-gifting options. Some of the really cool digital products that FRINZA is working on includes personalised Gift cards, personalised poems, kindle books, personalised birthday wishes by Favourite celebrities/ influencers, customized wishes website and they are regularly updating this list as per the latest trend.
HOW PRAVEEN MET TRUPTI (COO and Co-founder FRINZA)
This is an interesting story too. When the gift that Praveen had sent to his girlfriend got delivered late, he was infuriated and launched a complaint with the company. The issue escalated and reached Trupti, who was heading operations of that company at that time.
Trupti has a rich experience of 5+ years in Vendor management, order Processing, Operations and Logistics in the Gifting Industry. She leads operations including order Processing, Vendor management, business development, human resources, and customer support at FRINZA.
When Praveen asked Trupti to join FRINZA, she did have her apprehensions, she was doing well in her corporate job and the thought of quitting her corporate job was a big decision. But eventually, she realized that it was indeed a real-life problem that Praveen was solving. She believed in his leadership skills and the grand vision that Praveen has and eventually joined FRINZA.
THE MARKET AND NUMBERS
According to a report by Zuora Subscription Economy Index, the subscription-based firms (the model on which FRINZA is going to launch) have 5 times faster revenue then S&P 500 company revenues & US retail sales.
As per INDIAN E-COMMERCE INDUSTRY REPORT 2019 by IBEF, Ministry of
Commerce and Industry, Government of India, Indian Internet penetration is projected to grow to 829 million from 560 million by 2021.
There are around 560 million internet users in India and out of this 329.1 million are those who shop onlineFRINZA: 1st AI and ML powered Annual recurring subscription model is all set to disrupt the online gifting space. And when we talk about these numbers on a global scale there are 4.54 billion people who use the internet worldwide and 2.14 billion of these are online shoppers according to Statista as of 2020.
Talking about the market size, based on the numbers from Statista, FRINZA has estimated that the serviceable obtainable market (SOM) is worth $25.03 billion per year and the total addressable market (TAM) stands around $42.6 billion per year for FRINZA’s annual annual-recurring-subscription model.
And when we talk about SOM and TAM for FRINZA’s model globally it stands at
$162.8 billion per year and $345.36 billion per year respectively as per the same estimate by FRINZA
“Subscription-based models are like the blue ocean. And in the gifting industry, it is FRINZA that will define the rules of the game”, remarks Praveen.
“India has received a push in its internet penetration because of three main events, first when Reliance Jio launched, it just changed the game altogether. The second push was demonetization which pushed us to use more of digital platforms, now it has become a norm, more and more people are getting used to the digital mode of payment for example, and unfortunately, the third push is because of this pandemic. Our lives are going to change forever, the effect of Corona is going to last for a long time and it would only mean people moving towards being digital” says the young founder.
THE GRAND VISION
Praveen has a vision of making FRINZA a synonym for gifting and a mission to make gifting subscription as easy, widespread, and familiar as milk and newspaper subscriptions.
FRINZA was incorporated on 12 June 2018 but their website went live and fully functional only in January 2019. In less than 16 months FRINZA has seen exponential growth establishing same-day delivery networks in more than 550 cities of India and most cities of USA, UK, UAE, Canada, and Australia. This is a feat that startups generally take 4 to 5 years to reach.
Praveen aims to expand FRINZA’s reach in more than 15 countries by 2021 and add at least 25+ category-subcategory with 3L+ gift product listing by Onboarding 5k vendors worldwide to provide meaningful gifting options.
As a part of its grand vision, FRINZA has also decided to make its annual subscription completely free for the first year.
“Given the current situation and the way world dynamics has shifted in the recent past, the coming times belong to the Indian CEOs and entrepreneurs”, says Praveen.
FRINZA is here, not only to deliver to gifts, but to dominate and disrupt the industry. We are going to change the way the word ‘gift’ is currently perceived, remarked Praveen, who also aspires to make FRINZA the next Indian Global Consumer Brand with a billion-dollar valuation soon.