This Diwali push those accessories and personalized mugs aside and go instead for 'experience gifts' that will undoubtedly remain a cherished memory for a long time to come. Experience gifts, as the name suggests, means gifting an experience instead of a product. The increase in seeking to gift someone (or yourself) something to do, or an experience, rather than something to have, or a product, has paved the way for various companies to design such gift services.
Given the present-day time-starved schedules that we all have, planning an 'experience' requires time and research. This is where various start-ups that specialize in such experience box gifts come in.
‘Experience gifts means gifting an experience instead of a product. The concept, which has been popular in Europe, is now catching on in India. 'Pool Pay' options are also available, wherein a group of people can pool in to buy an e-travel gift card.’
WittyGift is one of the first companies in India to specialize in experiential gifting concept. Started in 2010, it has different categories to choose from - wellness, adventure, gourmet, culture - and with different price brackets to suite one's budget.
Manvinder Kohli of WittyGift said, "The concept of WittyGift basically stemmed from the idea of how people are more interested in gathering experiences rather than hoarding objects. Each gift box offers a wide variety of experiences (under a selected theme) to choose one they like best from."
Kohli further added, "The concept of experiential gifting, which has been popular in Europe, is now catching on in India - and it's not just restricted to the metros. For the most part, gifting experiences have seen the biggest growth in Mumbai, Bangalore, and Delhi, primarily because it was marketed to corporate in these cities. But the trend has changed in the past four years. Today you will find racing zip-lines in Indore and Bhopal, premium spas in Ahmedabad, paintballing in Jaipur, and scuba diving in Tarkarli, Maharashtra. This has broadened our scope and helped us provide best experiences to our customers in more areas than ever before."
Thomas Cook India has introduced the travel gift card, a means by which you can gift someone a vacation - complete with all the frills. An official said, "The Indian gifting market is growing at an exponential rate and is expected to touch over $2 billion by 2016. With increasing growth, people are also exploring new gifting options."
Likewise, travel portal makemytrip.com has also introduced travel gift cards that give one the freedom to choose where to travel and when. Available in different denominations, and to suit different occasions, be it an anniversary, birthday, wedding, business relationships, or festivals, these gift cards are an ideal way to gift a priceless memory.
There is also a 'Pool Pay' option, wherein a group of people can pool in to buy an e-travel gift card too.
Saswati Sharma, a Delhi-based entrepreneur, for instance, gifted her parents a vacation - complete with the air tickets, accommodation, prepaid meals, and sight-seeing - to Jammu and Kashmir in September 2014, on the occasion of their wedding anniversary. She said, "My parents had taken their honeymoon in Kashmir 30 years back, and had always wanted to visit again, but because of various reasons and family commitments had not been able to make that trip. So I decided to gift them this cherished trip, and what better occasion than their anniversary?"
Gunjan Shah, based in Ahmedabad, wanted to gift her elder sister - who just became a mother - something special for her birthday. She said, "After much thought, I realized that what she really needed was some pampering and a little alone time. So I decided to book her a spa session. Taking care of my niece for three hours was a pleasure for me, and she could let her hair down."