Wrapping corporate incentive experiences in virtual gift boxes

Xoxoday's co-founder Sumit Khandelwal shares how corporate gifting has evolved to feature more strongly unique destination experiences.

How did the inspiration for Xoxoday come about?
Back in 2012, myself and three friends – Manoj Agarwal, Kushal Agarwal and Abhishek Kumar – decided to start a company with the idea of innovating in the gifting space.

Xoxoday started off as Giftxoxo. Back then, it was more about providing innovative gifting solutions to consumers. However, a few months into the business, we realised that we needed to look beyond consumers and innovate further for corporates if we really wanted to disrupt the gifting space.

How did you come up with the concept of corporate gift boxes?
The whole concept of gifting in organisations was inclined towards either cash or (material) things. Most people also expected their gifts in a tangible physical form. For this, Xoxoday created personalised gift boxes with the recipient’s names engraved on it.

The box holds a host of experiences that they can choose from, such as learning to fly an airplane, driving a vintage car, milking a cow, getting a naturopathy session, or adventure sports such as scuba diving.

Experiential travel and activities are a strong differentiator in our catalogue (and these) catch the attention of organisations. (They have) opened up to the concept, (as) they realise that gifting experiences makes a difference to employees’ lives and they actually come back to work rejuvenated.

Who are your key clients?
Xoxoday serves both retail consumers and enterprise clients; we have more than 800 global clients. Our business portfolio comprises Experiences & Activities, Enterprise SaaS Rewards Platform, and Gift Vouchers. (Besides Singapore), we have offices in Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, the UAE, the US and Australia.

What potential do you see in Singapore?
Singapore’s well-developed enterprise ecosystem is what attracted Xoxoday. We are looking for opportunities to partner with top corporates for their RnR and loyalty programmes. It’s quite motivating to see how large multinational companies collaborate with small local companies to generate a competitive edge and create value through innovation in Singapore.

Singapore’s ideal geographic location, connectivity with world’s fastest growing markets, and contribution towards the growth of the Asia region make it an ideal launch pad for companies pursuing opportunities in Asia.

How are you reaching out to corporates in Singapore?
We reach out to HR or marketing heads via e-mails, events and referrals. This is followed up with meetings and discussions where we brief them about our products and how gifting experiences can make a difference to employees’ lives.

Once the contract is signed, we sell Xoxoday’s platforms for rewards, recognition, engagement and communication.

How is it like working with clients in Singapore?
The RnR and customer loyalty solutions on our employee engagement platform are becoming popular among our international clients. The platform generates a happiness score, which can be used to align your team around the objective that matters most. This helps HRs identify and fix issues, increase employee retention and save on constant recruitment.

Also, the corporates here are very particular about automated products (that are also) simplified.

What are some differences you’ve seen between the India market and the Singapore market?
The Singapore market tends to be more responsive to new concepts and innovative solutions, (so) decision-making is much faster here. We have also noticed that the market is not quite open to new ideas unless there is a need.

How does Singapore as a travel destination compare to others you have in your catalogue?
Singapore has a huge potential to become a hub for curated experiences. People look for activities that are divided into categories such as adventure (scuba diving, trekking), tours (photography, food), outdoors (biking, horse riding), indoor (mystery games, pottery workshops) and wellness (spa treatments). High-quality experiences such as these can be found in Singapore.

What are your future plans for the Singapore market?
Our prime objective would be to become established as a leading tech company for HR, marketing, RnR, engagement, and customer loyalty with our catalogue of curated experiences. This would also add value to the travel and tourism industry in Singapore. Also we would like to set up a base in Singapore to handle our business in South-east Asian countries.

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