The manner of giving is worth more than the gift

A surge in economic growth, rising disposable income, enhanced aspirations and an increased exposure to global trends has conceived and nurtured a transfigured gifting industry for India Inc.

Updated: Nov 01, 2016, 16:51 PM IST

By Bhavik Vasa (Chief Growth Officer -ItzCash)

Which is the best gift one can imagine to receive? As aptly phrased, ‘the manner of giving is worth more than the gift’. And with a gift of ‘choice’ the occasion of receiving gets just that extra special, capturing the true essence of the gifting theme.

A surge in economic growth, rising disposable income, enhanced aspirations and an increased exposure to global trends has conceived and nurtured a transfigured gifting industry for India Inc.

The MOOD of a country:

India is fast becoming a Digital Country and will soon be the world’s 2nd largest market with 650 million Internet users and 520 million Smart phone users by 2020 as per a recent Google - BGC Digital Payments report. With increased penetration of connected mobile devices, customers are increasingly migrating to e-channels like web and mobile.

Also with a ‘Less Cash’ society on the back of a ‘Digital India’ mandate pegged as the government’s key mantra also tops the regulators task list, which subtly yet interestingly poses a question as to whether the society needs to retrospect its cash in-envelope culture? Emerging markets and especially India tends to leapfrog technologies; similarly the industry is experiencing a steep adoption curve of Digital & eGift from Paper Vouchers / Certificates almost skipping growth across Plastic gift cards.

Digital PRECURSORS in place:

In sync with the digital spirit of the nation, a growing digitally native population and an explosion in digital commerce, the time is now ripe for India to embrace ‘Digital Gifting’.

Especially with the world’s largest working youth population coupled with a robust economic growth, Indian consumer spending and its share of global consumption is all set to expand more than twice to 5.8 per cent by 2020 with the retail and e-commerce industries contributing mammoth share.

Corporate INCENTIVES; paves the path:

Corporate gifting has been a well renowned traditional practice for companies across the globe. But with current product innovations and the constant need to imbibe loyalty among employees and customers, corporates across sectors have embraced gifting as an ongoing reward & recognition practice rather than a sporadic trend featured during festivities and other special occasions.

Just a day prior to Diwali, employees at a large MNC, open their respective inboxes and boom they receive a Rs. 2500 worth virtual / e-gift voucher (all 750 employees) at the same time followed by a huge uproar expressing excitement, cheer and gratitude! That is the panorama one can expect at most corporate houses this festive season, all thanks to e-gifting – the latest trend taking the industry by swirl.

Besides doing away with logistical hassles like distribution, storage and delivery in case of physical gift vouchers / cards, e-gift cards help corporate to establish and reinforce customer engagements at mature levels which in turn has led the industry to stock up a huge opportunity in ‘reloadable’ or ‘prepaid gift cards’.

While offering the ‘freedom to spend’ for the recipient, a branded gift card complimented with an open-loop network, is all poised to far surpass all other alternatives in both the traditional and contemporary gifting schemes. The Indian gifting market currently pegged at US$ 30 billion, the gift card segment accounts for less than 5% and hence draws up a large untapped potential market.

In the current scenario, e-Gifts can be easily delivered through an e-mail, a mobile application or to the recipient’s mobile via a text message and pegged on a mobile based platform, they can be easily stored, bought, sent and redeemed electronically in a matter of seconds. This further fuels its preference among retail brands, HR managers across sectors, people who are time starved and end up gifting at the last moment or those who want to gift a friend or a relative residing in a different city or country.

A host of emerging online merchants and the ecommerce boom has further fuelled the e-gifts surge. Tech and POS upgrades have equipped brick-n-motor retailers to now issue and accept a digital format of the gift card and also Network Branded (Visa/Mastercard) Gift. Nationally more than 100 Retailers have upgraded their Gift Card programs to support the acceptance of e-gift cards at their store. Broadly braced under the four categories of Festival Gifting, Occasion-based Gifting, Personal Gifting and Corporate Gifting, the gifting market in India is currently estimated at $30 million is expected to grow 30% YOY, hitting $1 billion in next 3-4 years.