Snazzy cellphones replace diaries, calenders as corporate gifts

Written by Sajan C Kumar | Chennai | Updated: Dec 30 2009, 05:50am hrs
The days seem to have numbered for the calenders and the once ubiquitous diaries which the corporates loved to gift to their clients this time of that year. Despite the slowdown, now the trend, according to industry sources, is the most modern gadgets including sleek mobile phone handsets and even laptops.

"There has been shift in corporate gifting module with many opting for innovative and costly items ranging from holiday trips to rare books, besides gadgets like mobile phones and laptops," says BN Kumar, CEO, Concept Public Relations.

Though the abeting slowdown has not been favourable to the practice of corporate gifting in a big way, many industrial houses are still dolling out freebies to their clients without much fanfare. "Compared to last year, this year would see a reasonably good outgo in corporate gifts, signalling an emerging upturn in economic activities," he said. While Diwali has been the most happening time for the corporate gifting in Mumbai, many companies are offering gifts and incentives to their clients and employees during the New Year season, stirring up the festive mood yet again.

"Calenders and diaries are out of fashion now because with the advent of modern gadgets like mobile phones and laptops which enable multi-tasking, nobody would want to carry physical diaries and calenders to plan and execute thier schemes," says a senior official a Mumbai-based company who did not wish to be named. Even if you want a look at your stars, calenders are available on the net and even the most-colourful Kingshifer calender cannot be displayed publicly in your living room, he adds. Part of the story is that calenders and diaries have been reduced to mere toy-pieces for kids to play with. While diaries have become rough note books for the school-going children to scribble home work, glossy calenders are forced to sport a colourful outlook on the broken window pans of the middle-class' rented flats.

Sharekhan manager (corporate) Yatin Padia said, "Technology-driven gadgets have knocked off the significance of dairies and calenders. As gift articles, these have lost prominence. Last Diwali season, we did give out gifts to our clients in the form of books and chocolate boxes."

He agrees that in terms of spending this year-end will see much higher outgo on corporate gifts.

Obviously, diary makers and printers have been hit by the change in mindset of the people. They are in the process of altering their business pattern to suit the customer needs. N Chandramouli, CEO, Blue Lotus Communication said, "The change in trend in corporate gifting signifies the need for utility-oriented articles, instead of giving away things like diaries and calenders, which would be of no use for many. Needless to say the diary makers and printers have been impacted by this and, I believe, they are now offering customised products to suit the needs of people."

As corporate gift companies come up with fresh ideas each season, industry houses are increasngly going in for novel articles which also fit into the clients' requirements. "Now that the entire scenario has been changed, everyone wants to gift something which exactly required by the clients", Chandramouli said. With the reversal of downturn already in the economy, corporate houses are adopting to the principle of 'better value' for their giftings, he adds.