If Tomorrow Comes: Gift Cards Shall be the most preferred gifting choice for Indian weddings & festivals

Seated from left; Vasanthi Hariprakash -the moderator, Rajshree Bakshi, George K G, Srinivas Rao, Bimalendu Tarafdar and Chetan Kumar
A tricky question, “Do we really know which gift to get for our loved one?” On this note started the 2nd panel discussion where the panelists recounted their own funny and not so funny experiences of gifts that have backfired. From personal gifting experiences to gifting experiences at weddings, this discussion had it all. The panel led by our moderator Vasanthi dove headlong into the opportunities and challenges for gifting presented by the Great Indian Weddings. The panelists opined that in India gifting is wide spread activity in India, yet we hesitate to ask for a gift, as is evident from the absence of the concept of Wedding Registry. Srinivas Rao, CMO, Lifestyle pointed out that we Indians meticulously scratch off the price tag before we gift, and hence there is bound to be a hesitation in gifting a value based gift card. The Indian “gifter” has however started to gift experiential gifts like a spa experience or travel experience especially during weddings is what Rajshree Bakshi, Global VP – Marketing, Taj Hotels has observed. This same point was echoed by Bimalendu Tarafdar, Marketing Head, Wonderla Holidays and Chetan Kumar, VP, Saavn Media. For KG George, Senior VP, TTK Prestige, whose brand category is already a preferred Wedding Gift, the Gift Card program adds a layer of choice for the consumer of the gift and it also drives footfalls to their exclusive stores. The panelists concurred that while there does exists some reluctance on the part of the customer to pick up a gift card to gift, there is definitely a need for brands to push for innovation in the way gift cards are perceived, sold and experienced in the market today.