Ahmedabad, Oct 25 : With the festival of lights 'Diwali' just round the corner, companies caught up in the global financial crisis have cut down on corporate gifts.
Every year during this festive season, the demand for corporate gifts is on an all time high, especially in Gujarat.
But with the US meltdown trickling down to India as well, many companies have resorted to cost cutting and are refraining from purchasing expensive gifts or token gifts usually presented to employees on Diwali.
Shopkeepers and traders say that their business has gone down by more than 30 per cent.
"This time, the market has gone down. By 30-40 per cent, the orders that are being placed have gone down. The market is for sure down," said Neha Raiththa, an owner of a sweets and gifts shop.
The shopkeepers are trying to attract the customers with festive offers to cope up with their affected business this year, but even that has not given the required boost to their business.
And with Bombay Stock Exchange's (BSE) sensitive index crashing below 9000, the money allocated to gifts might have been slashed down further.
The corporates present gifts to their employees and the clients as a goodwill gesture. But it seems few will take big gift packets back home this year.
Apart from being a goodwill gesture, it also serves an opportunity to build on one's network by gifting those in the business circuit.
But Jigish Shah, who is in the advertising and public relations profession, feels that when it is known that there is going to be less of business due to the global recessionary trends, corporates have realized that gifting will not help them.
"I have received only four to five gifts this time and other people are sending only chocolates or dry fruits. We do understand that this is due to this recession," said Shah.
According to a report of Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry ofndia (ASSOCHAM), Indian corporates shelled out around 20 billion Indian rupees on gifts in 2007 as compared the 13 billion figure of 2006.
Industry sources say that the figure is expected to come down by at least around five to six billion rupees.
Reports also suggest that cheap decorative items have replaced the expensive electronic gifts and people are once again returning to gifting sweets and dry fruits considered traditional and conventional till last year. By Ami Sharma