Big Idea

Wish upon a site

Wishberry began as an online gift registry for NGOs

Priyanka Agarwal started her first business while still an undergraduate engineering student at Wharton. That compnay invented a way to embed beneficial materials like antibacterials into plastics. on returning to India, Agarwal started another company, but, this time, at the other end of the spectrum. Wishberry began as an online gift registry for weddings and other occasions. After eight months of website development and partnering with big brands such as Noritake, Good Earth, Moet Hennessey and Guess to source their products, though, Agarwal realised that "India is not ready to ask for gifts but asking friends to give to a noble cause was okay". So, Wishberry introduced yet another gift option — giving to NGOs.

How does it work? Visitors to the site create a gift registry or a fund-raising page by filling an online form; the page is then shared over social media and e-mail. Friends and guests visit the online link to make their e-contributions. Wishberry retains a portion of that fund (between 2% and 20%) as operating margin and also charges an up-front fee from marathon organisers and NGOs for creating customised pages for runners. Awarded the most promising start-up at the 2012 Wharton India Economic Forum. Agarwal is now busy scaling up. "We want to create a giving culture in India, particularly among young people and through micro donations".