An app that caters to reward management process for influencers. Keeping it fair, prompt and cost-effective with a bonus-strategic-twist.


“A trusted referral influences people more than the best broadcast message.” – Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook.

Referral is one of the mainstays of word-by-mouth advertising in any form of a business. It gains even more significance when over 66% of a market worth Rs.150,000 Crores (about US$ 20 Billion) is catered by an unorganized sector. This can’t be any truer for the Indian furniture and furniture refurbishing industry. Especially, when it is poised to grow at a healthy rate despite the black swan event of the global pandemic of 2020, if not at 13% YoY for the next 5 years as forecasted earlier.

In the market of furniture cushioning products, the home furnishing segment contributes to about 65% of the overall furniture business in the country. This segment largely comprises of bedroom and living room furniture like sofas, beds, recliners, sofa-cum-beds, etc., and is largely catered to by carpenters.

Here, consumers mostly gravitate to seeking expert advice and brand referrals from carpenters on the choice of furniture cushioning products concerning quality, durability, and value-for-money, given their wide exposure to products stemming from both organized and unorganized sector. It is pervasive in India as the market splits across urban and rural segments almost equally.

Undoubtedly, carpenters have emerged as trusted influencers, whose referral to a brand or a product-line goes a long way. The market leader in the home comfort segment, understood the significance of the paradigm clearly.


The said company is one of the leading manufacturers of furniture cushioning and foam-based home comfort products, with its presence in India, Australia, and Spain. With a rich legacy of over 50 years, it enjoys more than 23% share in the organized mattress market. It is also a market leader in producing polyurethane foam (PU Foam), used in a wide range of industries.

With stiff competition from the unorganized sector of the Indian furniture and furniture refurbishing industry, the market leading organization decided to establish synergies with the influencing community of carpenters to catalyze their referrals in its favor.

With its concerted efforts, the company registered over 10,000 carpenters as its influencers, titled them as Saathi (friend), who in turn were connected to their dealers. On a sale of their branded furniture cushioning material based on a Saathi’s referral, both the carpenter and the dealer earned reward points. The company was keen to use this opportunity to introduce a more structured, long-term, fulfilling environment of accuracy, prompt-service, simplicity, and affinity to ensure better influencer engagement.

Influencing the influencer

The idea was to use technology to drive voluntary and continued engagement with the brand, develop enhanced visibility across the ecosystem along with training of unorganized players, establish a prompt and fair rewards system for the last-mile, and ultimately enhance influencer experience to strengthen the organized-stronghold of the company.

To address the business need and help the company to closely monitor the footprint and activity of the segment, Staqo developed a rewards management app – a multilingual mobile application for influencers and dealers – enabling four key outcomes:

  1. Calculate reward points with precision and speed,
  2. Instantly transfer the points to the right wallet,
  3. Let the wallet be easily accessible, readable, and cashable, and
  4. Attract, retain, and deepen the influencing carpenter’s involvement with the brand.


While developing the solution Staqo had to appreciate the technology-savviness – or the lack thereof – of the end-users, ensuring simplicity and a gentler learning curve. The process for influencers and dealers begins with a scan and culminates into a quick compensation for the points earned.

Employing QR code was a salient step in the design of this reward management app, where the QR was supplemented with the slew of blockchain and data management technologies.  The company laser-marks each of its foam sheet or a cushion with a unique serial number, which is featured on the MRP label as a QR code. A registered Saathi can use the mobile app to scan the QR code at the time of purchase to get the relevant points credited in the app wallet. The dealer also gets a share of points credited, on selling the foam material to the Saathi. These points can readily be redeemed against items as per a catalog or cashed as a voucher into a payment wallet, such as Paytm.

The reward management app helps carpenters and dealers to maintain a reward points passbook in real-time, with the purchase history. The app notifies its user the next target levels and gifts available correspondingly along with the availability of results-based reward schemes. New furniture designs, fabricating techniques, new foam details, and other relevant updates as ready reckoners are made available to Saathi on the app. The organization has also enabled e-learning modules along with training and educational sessions for its influencer community through the application.

Even if a Saathi struggles to read a language, he has visual cues to tap on a button on the mobile app to know the status of his rewards, without having to call the helpdesk. The app enables a social connect expansion for unorganized players as they get to interact with their peers and other stakeholders. Gamification of the reward ecosystem breeds healthy competition among the influencers where the influencers with most accruals of points are showcased.


Since the entire supply chain has been digitalized with the combination of QR codes and blockchain technologies, frontend-ed with an app, the rewards ecosystem has been made unequivocally transparent and duplication-proof, while ensuring the influencer management to be seamless for the organization. It has resulted in sales taking a notable leap–something that was not seasonal or promotion-led. The growth is consistent and enduring as it stems from the influencers’ referrals.

It’s the perfect example of how technology can change a marketing tool into a sharp saw that cuts away a deep-cutting industry challenge of harnessing unorganized sales. This helps not just the brand but the entire channel downstream, focusing on the most critical connection in the chain: the influencer. After all, only a fruit ripe and well-earned can be cut into large slices for all to enjoy. That cannot happen with just candy!