What kind of gift do you fancy this Diwali? The expensive, the exotic, the offbeat or the downright crazy? A chocolate body scrub, perhaps? Or a cocktail session where you can learn to tell the nuances of a daiquiri or a Napa Valley vintage?
With the economy growing great guns and corporates trying to woo partners and employees alike, things like dry fruits, sweets and pen-holders are hopelessly out-of-date, say those in the business of manufacturing just the right kind of goodwill with gifts.
Excitinglives.com, a British company that started out in India six months ago, tags itself as an “experience” company and offers a choice to match. Companies do not like to talk about this, but select few top performers get experiences that can help employees impress family members.
In Bangalore, where IT employees need to be pampered, will pick up the employee or spouse and give a “luxury spa” experience. In Delhi, there is a “dream date” where a stretch limousine or Mercedes can pick you up for a dainty luxury dinner. If you can handle it, a chocolate body scrub is on offer.
You can get a makeover, and made to look – at least somewhat – like a supermodel, or drive a Formula 1 car on a real race track or fly a fighter aircraft for 30 minutes. If you are rooted, perhaps a visit to an old ‘haveli’ or a hill fort could do the trck.
Okay, if you are not the one for pampering the self, your idea of a great gift might lie in family sentiments. Help is at hand. A potter will arrive to take handprints in clay of your cute little baby and deliver it back as a memento for your drawing room.
Exciting Lives counts leading law firms and business process outsourcing (BPO) companies among its clients.
For the larger mass of employees, cool gadgets often do the trick. According to industry sources, companies like American Express are giving out digital music players like the fancied iPod Shuffle from Apple by the dozens.