MUMBAI: If your employer hands over the regular box of chocolates of gift vouchers as gift this festive season you’ve reasons to feel disappointed. That’s because many companies including Snapdeal and SLK Global Solutions, among others, are gifting exciting experiences to their employees, be it a romantic yacht ride with one’s partner, recording one’s own song in a studio, or flying a microlight.
Corporate gifting is going beyond cash award, gift vouchers, conventional certificates, medals and trophies as an increasing representation of millennials in the workforce is prompting companies to think of experiences as gifts.
Giftxoxo, a tech-enabled marketplace for experiences and activities, has a host of leading corporates such as BCG, Flipkart, Procter & Gamble, and BlueJeans Network India using its platform to gift experiences to their people.
BCG and Flipkart did not respond to emails with queries about their gifting plans as of press time on Monday while P&G refused to participate in this story. “Gifting has evolved in recent times. Even a couple of years back acceptance of this was tough,” said Sumit Khandelwal, cofounder at Giftxoxo. “But we have really seen a pickup in the last 6-12 months,” he said.
This festive season on an average Giftxoxo is getting 10-12 leads from corporates a day compared to 10-12 a month a year ago, Khandelwal said.
Ecommerce major Snapdeal gifts experiences to its employees with to make recognition social, its HR director Abhishek Budhraja said. “Giving cash takes away the entire feeling of recognition and we wanted to move away from that,” he said. “Instead of giving a voucher we thought we would engage with a portal that has option for every employee,” Budhraja said.
Some of the experiences popular among Snapdeal employees include parasailing, hot air balloon, Royal Enfield ride around Delhi, and fine dining experience at a five star hotel, he said.
The HR head of a global cloud service provider, said, “The entire idea is to move away from cash related things as we wanted to cater to our younger set of employees. We want them to really remember the recognition given to them and feel a sense of pride.” The average age group of employees in the company is 28 and for somebody like that the experiences that the company brings to the table are exciting.
One of India’s biggest information technology companies has been running experience gifting as a pilot for the last eight months for its long service awards (10-15-20-25 years). Some of the gifts it has given include a romantic dinner on top of the world at a helipad in Bengaluru and exotic spa experience. “This is a novel concept and the company is running it as a pilot as it wants to give these experience to employees to celebrate the milestones,” said an employee.
Process outsourcing company SLK Global Solutions wanted to gift its employees experiences that they keep dreaming of and make them feel special and wanted for their contribution and achievement at work. “Experience gifting has gone down very well with the employees. The new generation welcomes it and it allows us to connect closely with them,” said Taruna Lohmror, programme director for HR at SLK Global Solutions.
Some of the popular experiences being gifted by corporates in the country include a romantic private gourmet session on a helipad, pizza making session at a fivestar hotel, playing RJ or DJ for a day, private island dining with a spa, horse riding session followed by stable management ending with an exotic Italian dinner at the stable, and romantic yacht ride with one’s partner in the Arabian Sea.