BACK in 2013, Kanika Subbiah, the entrepreneur who often makes it to best dressed lists by lifestyle magazines, created a buzz with her online gifting service, Cherry Tin. Everything from dried fruit to home, bath and body accessories was available and the brand earned a reputation for its professional packaging and customer service. Subbiah says that over 25,000 gifts were delivered since then, with almost no gift returned by customers. So it’s perhaps a natural progression to find her expanding to wedding gifts. Yet why a wedding registry now, when debates on retiring the concept are popping up abroad? Indian bridal registry websites like Wishberry have long since moved on to other formats and services. After all, while the concept of prospective brides and grooms sharing their list of preferred gifts with friends and family is practical, most millennials, it seems, prefer cash to gifts. But Subbiah is ready with her answers. “I was in the US for 16 years and we ourselves used the registry service. There is no space these days for what is not contexually relevant to our lives and I find myself still using some of those gifts,” she begins. She admits that many Indians are still reluctant to ask for gifts but would like to share their list with friends and family who request their opinion.
“There are at least 11 million weddings a year, in our country, and only now are people beginning to ask,‘what would you like as a gift?’” she says. Interestingly, the wishes don’t always involve products. And that’s why, in addition to the usual kitchen appliances, home décor and serveware, she has introduced experiences. These range from culinary to travel and adventure ideas. There are salsa classes for couples, photography sessions for a portfolio, spa treatments in the Himalayas, and travel packages like a Tuscany e-bike holiday for approximately Rs.1,12,500.
Our pick would be the royal walks in Mysore and the drives in vintage cars in Bengaluru. It appears Subbiah has found like-minded service providers, be it Classic Chase or Active Holiday, who are popular for their refreshing approach.“We have already got a wishlist from a couple who wanted home décor, kitchen appliances, bedding, art and entertaining accessories, all for about Rs.3,00,000,” says the curator.
You can pay Rs.800 for a cushion or Rs.150 for cutlery.
— Rosella Stephen