Present Perfect: How to create a wish list that counts Anesha George
At Aditi Mehta’s wedding five years ago, she received 30 casserole dishes and 40 framed images of Ganesha. “I either re-gifted them or just gave them away,” says the 35-year-old.
For a country that loves gifting — weddings, Diwali, Eid, Christmas, birthdays, friend’s engagement, housewarmings, cousin’s engagement — we’re very late to the gift registry party. But we’ve finally arrived. Mehta, for instance, now runs a digital gift registry called Wishtry, launched in October, where people can list what they want, and not just for a wedding. You can create a registry for a birthday party, baby shower, or housewarming.
In addition to Wishtry in Mumbai, you can now sign up on websites like Zibonga (Chennai), MyThofa (Bangalore), and create lists of items that you would like to receive. The list can draw from online shopping portals like Flipkart, Amazon, Myntra, Nykaa, First Cry, Shoppers’ Stop, and Ikea.
Once your wish list is ready, you can share it with friends and family when you send out your invitations, and friends can visit your page on the website and select items.
Some companies help you track the gift, and have it delivered; and some also let the recipient send personalised thank-you notes. “The idea is to let people contribute to your life in a way that matters,” says Mehta.
The other popular gifting pattern is creating cash funds online that can then be used for an item or experience. Mumbai’s cash-fund gifting website Lifafa, for example, lets you list an event like a housewarming or a farewell, add photographs and links to videos, and mention the gift you plan to buy with the collected cash. People can then decide how much to contribute.
The cash collected can be used to purchase a voucher from a brand partner on the website, or it can be transferred to your bank account. Wishtry and Zibonga let you create custom cash funds towards a goal like building a nursery for your baby, or going on a honeymoon.
“It’s definitely catching on. Recently, someone created a cash fund for her boyfriend because he really needed a drum kit, and shared the link with friends and family who all pitched in funds,” says Sajan Abraham, founder of Zibonga, which was launched in 2017.
“There’s a big cultural sensitivity, though, because using a registry means that you turn up at the event empty-handed, and in our culture, the very least is considered to be the gift of an envelope with cash.”
Fund my travel
Creating a gift registry for an experience is now an option too. Meenu Singhal is founder of India Santa, a Mumbai-based digital experiential gifting forum set up in 2016. “What with #wanderlust and #travelgoals trending on social media, more people want gifts that involve doing something new and unusual,” she says. “So on this website you can gift someone a food walk, a vineyard tour, send them kayaking, sailing, or for cooking classes. It’s popular with kids who want to gift their parents unique experiences like a helicopter ride or an afternoon on a yacht.”