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India Inc to cut gift budget

Mumbai, Nov 2 (IANS) India Inc is preparing to drastically cut its festive season gifting budget by 45-50 percent this Diwali, according to a survey by industry lobby Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry (Assocham).

The survey carried out last month found that big corporate houses across all industry sectors, grappling with shrinking earnings and profit margins, will cut their Diwali gift budgets.

The survey by Assocham Society Development Foundation (ASDF) covered 150 companies with an employee strength of 500-plus, in pharma, banking, financial services, insurance, automobiles, hospitality, manufacturing energy, infrastructure and FMCG sectors.

Nearly 20 percent of the 150 companies surveyed have decided to do away with the concept of corporate gifting this year and utilize the extra funds made available for other productive purposes.

Similarly, nearly two-thirds of the respondent business houses said they would be spending much less on corporate gifting.

Many of them declared that they were going ahead with corporate gifting half-heartedly since it had become "an annual tradition and unavoidable".

Interestingly, the corporate houses this year are more inclined to presenting digital cameras, expensive watches, writing instruments, wallets, smart phones, affordable tablets, confectionaries or sweets gift hampers vis-a-vis the traditional gifts of gold coins, dry fruit packets and luxury gifts.

This was corroborated during a reality check among the dry fruit market in Delhi’s Khari Baoli, which rued that corporate orders have dipped by more than 75 percent this year while prices of dry fruits have shot up by up to 25 percent.

The ASDF survey revealed that in 2009, India Inc. had splurged over Rs.2000 crore in Diwali corporate gifts, which shot upto Rs.3,200 crore in 2010. But in 2011, corporate gifting budgets were trimmed by 25-30 percent.


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