As appeared in Times of India.
Digital gift cards, digital meal passes, digital medical and travel vouchers have replaced traditional options with both individuals and corporates taking to these new-age choices with gusto this Deepavali. According to observers, the city stands fourth in the country when it comes to digital gifting, after Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, and the sector is moving ahead at a fast pace.Speaking about the most availed gifting options, experts for Hyderabadis clothing is top priority, followed by personal accessories and electronics. In other major cities, clothing is third or fourth on the list. “While the average cost of a gift is around Rs 2,000 at the individual level, for companies the average hovers around Rs 5,000,” said Ramki Gaddipati, co-founder, Zeta, a business-to-business-only company that has sold nearly 15,000 gift cards this season. “All major players in the market are doing very well, like Sodexo, Udio, Zeta and us. All these vouchers have their own USPs, it is more of a matter of personal choice, which an employee or an employer prefers,” said Ankush Gupta co-founder of Cinqo, a digital payments solution company.
In the twin cities there are more than 500 exclusive brand outlets with at least 150 of them making gift cards available. “The figure is higher when compared to Delhi or Mumbai and is at par with Bangalore,” said Pratap T P, co-founder and CMO, Qwikcilver, an end-to-end gift card and stored-value-card solutions company. While there are gifting options available in categories like sportswear, hospitality, home furnishing, apparel, health and beauty, travel, electronics and baby products, there are also cards which are not brand exclusive and can be used without restrictions. “Currently there are more than 100 companies in Hyderabad which have been availing these facilities from across players.The figure is expected to grow,” said Smeet Modi, co-founder of Cinqo.
Pratap T P said one of the key reasons for digital gifting catching on at such a quick pace in the city is the influx of NRI professionals who have been exposed to the concept of gift cards. “They bring back the concept and hence Hyderabad is adapting at a faster pace than other cities,” he said. Individuals who are opting for the digital vouchers meanwhile say its a comfortable solution. “I wanted to gift something to a fellow colleague as a token of thanks but wasn’t sure what he would prefer. An apparel brand gift card seemed like a perfect option. Its easy to gift and accept,” said P Vaibhav, a pharma company executive.