Tech Makes Employee Gifting This Festive Season Sweeter Companies with fully digitized solutions will not face any logistical hassle while gifting their employees

By Bhavin Turakhia

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A few over-the-top gifts aside, gifting from organizations to its employees hasn't changed much. Organizations either offer corporate gift cards, or sweets or chocolates and sometimes along with another gift that "can be of use at home'.

While sweets and gifts may be offered by companies, with the best intentions at heart, according to the Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), cash and gift vouchers are the preferred gifts of choice.

The Story so Far

Sadly, cash in not really an option for employers as gifts only in the form of vouchers or physical objects are tax free, albeit up to INR 5,000 in value. The problem with gift cards or vouchers, is that they tend to be tied to a single retail store chain and can be redeemed only at these stores.

In such cases, the employee is forced to buy his gift from this specific store, whether they sell things of his liking or not, and he needs to do so in a stipulated period of time to ensure his gift vouchers do not expire. Moreover employees are required to spend their entire gift voucher credit in one go. Any remaining balance in their gift card is generally lost.

Since these gift cards are mostly in physical form—either paper or card based — companies too have to endure several logistical hassles to ensure their employees receive their vouchers in time. And if there are multiple office locations, this only amplifies the problem. Add to this, these vouchers always face pilferage issues as they can be easily lost or stolen during transit.

The Way Forward

Present-day gift cards and vouchers have several shortcomings for both corporates and employees and take away from the joy of gifting. With most things going digital, even gifting solutions are now upgrading to digital ways.

Companies with fully digitized solutions can gain a lot more.

Since these cards are in the digital form, there is no logistical hassle. Companies can send these vouchers to employees electronically and employees can receive them via an app or a card. Being fully digital they have the added advantage of transparency—no loss and no pilferage in transit.

Companies can also customise the usage of these vouchers to change denominations that usually come fixed in the case of physical store vouchers. They can also specify the validity period of the voucher and where the vouchers can be used.

Digital gifting offers full control to companies on how and where their employees can spend their gift vouchers and at the same time saves considerable effort and costs in procuring and dispatching these vouchers.

For employees, digital vouchers come with several advantages. For one, employees are not restricted to one store but can use them at multiple places giving them the gift of choice.

Also, being digital, the voucher or cards offer flexibility of being used all in one go or be spent across multiple purchases. This ensures employees can make the most of their gift cards and not be forced to spend it all at once. Finally, by being electronic solutions, these gift cards can never be lost digital unlike physical vouchers which once lost can never be replaced.

The act of gifting is meant to be an enjoyable one for both the giver and receiver. It comes as no surprise to find out what the 2016 report, India Prepaid & Gift Cards Market Analysis predicts. According to the report, the convenience offered by digitized gift cards will result in the pre-paid gift card market in India witnessing a CAGR of 35% and being valued at $85 billion by the end of 2020. Seems like happy days ahead.

Bhavin Turakhia

CEO and Founder, Flock & CEO and Co-founder, Zeta

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