The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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The moolah’s stashed away in hampers
- Corporate gift-buying to set cash registers ringing

New Delhi, Sept. 21: With the festive season round the corner, the annual corporate gift-giving rite is about to begin all over again.

Every year, companies get ready to dole out gifts to their closest business partners, vendors and loyal customers.

After two years of depressed demand that hurt corporate bottomlines and forced a period of austerity in the corporate gift-giving ritual, companies are getting ready to splurge once again.

So, what are the hot corporate gift items this year' A random survey reveals that companies have homed in on mobile phones, exotic flowers, colour televisions, audio sets and microwave ovens besides the usual favourites — dry fruit packs, sweets, and chocolates.

Says R. Zutshi, director of Samsung India Electronics: “Our corporate sales on a full-year basis are expected to double this year. Festival-linked corporate buying normally accounts for 40 per cent of a year’s corporate sales.”

Zutshi, however, says, the contribution of festival-linked corporate buying (October-December) to full year corporate sales is likely to be the same as last year, even though overall corporate sales in volume and value terms will rise.

For Samsung, colour televisions, audio sets and microwave oven form part of corporate gifts during festive seasons.

Most high-end consumer appliance makers say institutional sales and corporate gifts are an almost a round-the-year ritual, though sales usually surge during the pujas and Diwali season.

Shiva Ramakrishnan, head, corporate brand management, at National Panasonic India says: “These days, mobile phones, cordless phones, portable audio sets and even televisions form a part of exotic gift items for the corporate world. People have started trusting and realising the value of quality consumer durable items from branded companies. So, besides the consumer offtake of such items, firms also purchase them to keep their most favoured customers happy.

Ramakrishnan says overall sales during festival season — which stretches all the way till the New Year —jump almost 30-40 per cent.

An official from Ferns and Petals, a well-known floral shop, says: “While our daily earnings are close to Rs 8,000-Rs 10,000, it is during the festival time that we end up selling flowers worth Rs 25,000-Rs 30,000 each day.”

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