Dil Chahta hai: Gift Cards have become an Inherent strategic component of the Portfolio for the Brand & Retailer. How do Brands need to shape up in the new era going ahead?

Panelists from left; Rajeev Krishnan, Suparna Mitra, Shariq Plasticwala, Vinay Bhatia with the moderator Kumar Rajagopalan
This was the first panel discussion of the Qwikcilver Gift Card Conclave 2017. The disucssion began with a witty Q&A session by the moderator Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO Retailer’s Association of India, where he engaged the audience on why they chose to gift. The candid answers paved the way forward for the panel discussion.
Gifting is an emotional activity and emotions are fundamental to the act of gifting. Formalizing the act of gifting reduces it to an obligation and takes away the joy in gifting says Rajeev Krishnan, MD & CEO Spar Hypermarkets. Gifting has also moved away from occasions and is now an act which is not bound by any occasion or dates. Any day can be someone’s special day. This change in customer behaviour is one of the most visible changes today says Suparna Mitra, CMO Titan. Titan, a brand known for making a gift out of a wrist watch in India is now engaging with the “impulse gifting” customer.
From being a sort of gamble and lottery in picking out the right gift, today’s customer and consumer is seeking more and more. Flexibility in the act of gifting is most sought after and consumers want to have a flexible gifting option, opine Shariq Plasticwala who heads the Amazon wallet and gift card program. The Gift Card highlights that flexibility. Similarly, a gift card also promotes brand loyalty whilst introducing the brand to new customers. This has been a learning the Future Group, reveals Vinay Bhatia, CEO-Group Loyalty and Analytics. Wrapping up the engaging panel discussion the moderator Kumar Rajagopalan called upon the brands to make use of the opportunity presented by the Gift Cards in taking the business forward as well as grab a greater share of the pie than what is the current situation.

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