Interview with Gregory Imbert, co-Founder, UniQgift
What is your background?
I graduated from ESSCA business school and started my career in the hospitality industry. I had the great opportunity to work on the FIFA World Cup and the Olympic Games. After this experience I spent two years at one of the main players on the experience gift market.
What reasons brought you to set up your company?
I co-founded uniQgift in 2009 with Christian Hauville, at that time we were both working in the experience gifting industry. The European market was saturated; hence we decided to bring the concept of experience gift boxes to Singapore.
A few words about your business
We trade under three brands in Singapore and Hong Kong:
uniQgift specialises in putting experiences together in a form of a gift. We offer a selection of 17 experience gift boxes, ranging from dining to hotels, spas and outdoor activities.
uniQrewards is an online rewards platform used by companies for loyalty, incentive and recognition programmes.
John Paul is the expert in premium client relationship, at the heart of our offering is a full-fledged concierge service. It is available 24/7, in multiple languages, including English, Mandarin and Cantonese.
Our main clients are financial institutions, telcos, government bodies and companies from the automotive sector.
How do you promote your offer?
As we are mainly focusing on corporate clients we have a business development team that is in charge of prospecting new clients. We also benefit from internal and external referrals and participate to selected trade fairs and events.
What are the specificities of uniQgift?
We are able to develop fully customised gift packs according to our clients’ budget and target audience. We take care of the design, the sourcing of the vendors, the printing and the fulfilment of the programme.
We give our clients the opportunity to offer the choice with one single voucher.
Why do you consider Singapore as a favourable place for the implementation of your project?
It is an English speaking country, it offers a business friendly environment and it is ideally located to expand in the region.
What was the most difficult challenge to overcome on your entrepreneurial journey?
The most difficult challenge is to attract talents and to retain them.
And do you have any tips to share regarding the attraction and retention of talents?
It remains a challenge for us, I guess there is no magic formula. We try to hire via our network and we encourage referrals from our team members. We organise regular bonding activities to create a good team spirit and we do not retain anyone that would have a negative influence over the team.
What are the next steps for your company?
To position our three brands uniQgift, uniQrewards and John Paul as leaders on their respective markets and to expand regionally.
Tips for success for new entrepreneurs
Listen to your clients and be able to adapt your offering to their requirements.
Your motto in life
Never give up.
Your business motto
The views and opinions expressed in these columns do not necessarily reflect those of the FCCS members and management.