Bewildering gift options in today’s corporate world

A dead snake, jar of camel milk, stone bead necklace, a coffin, a fossil and even a shrunken head – well, this collection might seem akin to a rather scary catalog drawn out of a numbing horror film. However, you might be surprised to know that these are, in fact, some most unexpected gifts that are being exchanged these days in unconventional corporate corridors around the world, as a most recent survey shows.

A survey done across nearly 90 countries, involving close to 26,000 respondents, suggests that such offbeat and unorthodox items have been gifted frequently as corporate handouts. Sandbag, breathalyzer, antacid medicine, initialled underwear and soil samples are among the other objects, which happen to find place on the bewildering and bizarre gift list released. A TNN news report by Garima Prasher (Dead snake, back-scratcher are popular corporate presents) underlines the following curious aspects of modern gift giving:

  1. If you think such things happen only in faraway lands, Indian choices are no better. How about receiving a dead snake or live frog as corporate gifts? Even if you aren’t a vegan, how would you react to a business associate presenting a jar of camel milk? Other notably weird items included a back-scratcher, gold-plated playing cards and a small auto rickshaw made out of tin cans. More than 450 Indian respondents were polled in the survey.
  2. Weird-to-wonderful gifts presented to Indian businesspeople ranged from a giant jade Buddha and a rubber duck to a hanging bell and money plant. The most common, but perhaps more useful gifts ranged from umbrellas to key rings. Livestock was strangely common, with a fish aquarium featuring among Indian responses. Spirits and chocolate are popular, but are pedestrian options by comparison.
  3. The survey also found that the practice of giving business gifts remains a global phenomenon, with 71% of companies gifting customers and clients. Interestingly, 33% of businesses were reportedly not spending as much on gifts as they did in previous years. Economic recession probably accounted for this.

The survey was done by Regus, which provides 47 flexible workplaces in India. Its wide range of products and services let corporate entities focus on their core business so as to best use their in-house talents for more fruitful and meaningful activities. Be they large global companies or an upcoming entrepreneur with an idea, its helps them become more flexible and more cost-effective, thus more agile.

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