'We want to redefine customer loyalty'

What does your

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What does your

business do?

Swipii is an innovative customer loyalty company that local independent businesses can use for customer relationship building and retention.

Our business uses a single Swipii card or app which customers can use in any of our merchants.

We want to redefine customer loyalty by creating custom and unique loyalty rewards programs which are tailored to individual businesses.

They can be as fun and quirky as they like, for example rewards could start with 'A free high five from our staff on your first visit' to '2 hours of personal baking lessons with the head chef' in a cupcake shop.

Just last month Andy Bruce, a friend from university, joined us as our marketing manager.

Where are you based?

In central Glasgow. The city centre has a wealth of independent traders with high footfall, but many face cost, time and technical constraints to develop anything more complex than a typical 'buy-10-get-one-free' stamp card, so it was the perfect place for us to set up.

How did you get started?

We started with the idea that small businesses were missing opportunities to strengthen their existing customer bases and have instead focused more and more on acquiring new customers through one-off sales.

Companies like Groupon or Livingsocial have convinced businesses that they are the answer, but this results in eye-popping discounts bringing in one time, delusional traffic.

We wanted to help independent businesses build better relationships with their existing customers, earn more sustainable growth and fight back against the big multinational.

We started by developing our business plan and approached an investor.

From there we had our first office, at the DEG Incubator, before moving to the city centre to make it easier to access clients.

What is your background?

Louis was born and raised in Paris before coming to Scotland to study at Stirling University.

Chitresh is from India and both came to Glasgow to study for a masters in business at the University of Strathclyde, where they met.

Louis' background is in technology, working as a video games tester and translator, Chitresh also has a background in tech, running his own business providing online marketing solutions to small businesses.

What is your top tip?

Chitresh: "If you have an idea, you should just go for it. You can spend too much time trying to perfect things.

"The market can move quickly and you need to be prepared to make quick decisions.

Louis: "Never underestimate the importance of connections.

"Getting out to events and meeting people can open up new leads that can help you shape your business and find out who the key influencers in your industry are, it really gives you a head-start. And never give up!

Has anyone helped you get started, and how?

Swipii recently won "Best New Venture for 2014" at the Scottish Institute For Enterprise \awards.

We have also been selected for the Santander Entrepreneurship Award to represent the University of Strathclyde.

l For more information please visit our website Swipiicard.com

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