6 point checklist to see if your product is an ideal corporate gift or not!

Want to offer your product as a corporate gift – read this first!

With the corporate gifting market almost doubling every year, there is an increasing hunger among most product makers to enter their product on a corporate gifting catalogue some how. I say some how, because I see blind desperation in their language, their emails and even the way they present themselves. Having been in the corporate gifting industry since 1997, we’ve seen the ups, downs, U-turns, bends and bumps of this journey that is so alluring that even a stationery shop at the end of the road, or housekeeping material supplier is turning into a corporate gifting outfit overnight.

The initial 15 years of the game, we projected ourselves (thegivingtree.in) as a pure environment friendly corporate gift house. Until 2012, when it became difficult to offer more products to my best clients, due to a paucity of enough new options in earth friendly gifts. No matter how much they loved our work, they were tempted to do gadgets, apparel, bags and other such products as gifts. Like any company, that wants to keep its customers happy, we did what was the most logical thing to do – expanded our offering. Since the last 5 years or so we got into all these standard corporate gifting items to keep our clients happy and to also look like a full blown corporate gift house.

That brought us to the point where every other day we are flooded with mails and calls from people wanting to sell baby food, protein bars, maternity gift sets, manicure sets, premium teas and coffees and so on. While it has given us a great opportunity to see what new products are arriving in the market, it is also overwhelming to see products that are best suited for retail also insisting that they be added to our catalog.

Can you create a product that staggers and disrupts the marketplace by the quality of its individuality, its utility and the problem solving it provides?

No matter what product you make and are keen to enter the corporate gift market, here is a quick checklist that will help you see if your product is a right fit for the corporate gift market or not.

  1. Can you deliver orders as low as 50 nos. to begin with?
    This will help you keep your inventory low, and will give the buyer a good taste of your product and service with a small quantity being ordered. Make sure your backend is robust enough to handle larger orders too.
  2. Can you deliver within a week once the order is placed?
    Understand that the corporate world is highly unorganized when it comes to doing their gifting. It’s almost as if they think a night before the event and then scramble the market for gifts.
  3. Have you worked out reseller margins?
    In this business, unless you don’t have a double digit margin to offer, it does not make commercial sense for anyone to publicize you to their customers for wafer thin margins in return.
  4. Does your product fall under the usual category of corporate gifts?
    If yes, what is your USP? Why should a buyer opt for your product as opposed to existing ones in the market? You can use success stories and testimonials for this one.
  5. Is your product a new innovation or a new idea?
    If yes, then are you ready with a story to sell it? Stories are a great way to sell a new product in the market, because remember, as humans we all resonate more with stories. If not a story, do you have your USP ready? And most importantly, why do you think a corporate company would want to buy your product? What is the demand for something like let’s say maternity gift sets? Assess the need before you take the plunge.
  6. Get real – is this the best segment for your product? 
    If your product is better suited for retail sale – it makes sense to stay away from the corporate gifting segment and dive into an online retail presence, or supply to stores that are a good fit for your product. This allows you to test the market before beefing up your production.

Remember, while the corporate gifting segment is very tempting, it comes with its risks and setbacks. Be aware, consult with a mentor, or have a real conversation with a corporate gift house to understand if your product is a good fit. Make sure you invest your time, energy and money in activities that help your product get more eye balls and sales. And this will happen when you know who is your target audience and what places do they visit often!

Leena Munot
The Giving Tree

3 tips to make your tea time count!

With the rainy season here, the heart naturally leaps towards that hot cup of chai every morning to get out of bed with a zing in your step and during breaks at work to help you feel rejuvenated again and get back to that pile of work waiting to get done. While there are many schools of thought around having tea and its benefits and its downsides, today, I would like to share a different benefit of having tea!

Tea time is a chance to slow down, pull back and appreciate our surroundings.

Here are a few of my favourite tips along with do’s and don’ts

Connection – Make the morning cuppa a connection time!

Don’t – Read the newspaper with your chai! It feeds your fresh mind with news about how the world is getting scammed, crime and the ugly side of politics – let’s face it, newspapers don’t focus on what good is going on in the world – on the front page!

Do – switch the newspaper-chai combo to chai-and-you or chai-and-your spouse combo. In our fast paced life, these few moments  of quiet with self or quality time with your spouse is a great way to begin the day on a positive and reflective note. If you must read at this time, then pick a book that your mind can feed off and feel inspired in the morning!

Reflect – During chai time break at work

Don’t – Have your chai at your desk and continue to work. Or even worse, meet colleagues at chai and gossip or discuss the news (interesting and uplifting conversations are welcome!)

Do – Step away from your desk, get your chai and go out for a walk in nature for a few minutes and reflect on the day gone by, enjoy the warm liquid and feel it refreshing your senses. (try tea without sugar and milk, to feel even more refreshed!). If you don’t have the luxury of green, worry not – you can still take that small stroll around the office, in the corridor, play some music on your head phones and disconnect from work for a few minutes.

Relax – The evening cuppa with your children

Don’t – Carry work or thoughts of work to your home. Park them outside and disconnect from them once you are home. Don’t use your mobile as soon you get home. (easier said than done – but so worth it, it’ll amaze you!)

Do – Connect with your children and ask them how their day has been, listen to their stories and engage in meaningful conversations to understand how they are doing and what they are thinking (listen to them while they are still excited to share, soon, they will grow up and then may not share as much)

There are a million things you could choose to do with your cuppa chai! These are my favourites, do share yours too in the comments below. You never know who may get inspired by your comment and will take it on board and feel happier! And you can indulge in a range of some great teas by clicking here! 

Leena Munot
The Giving Tree





3 tips to get prepared for Monsoon!!!

Come monsoon and you want to have your coffee or chai with an added dash of pakodas while enjoying the rain and some great monsoon music too. It also brings along the hassle of sudden downpours, longer traffic jams and power cuts. Here are 3 quick tips to ensure you experience the fun side of monsoon, by being well prepared.

Stay hydrated
Soon after summer, where your water intake is high, the rainy season can get you dehydrated if you suddenly cut down on your fluid intake. So ensure you continue with you 2 to 3 litres water intake daily. Avoid drinking outside water. Instead opt for your own bottle or sipper. It’s good for the environment and good for you.

Carry your rain gear
Carry a raincoat or an umbrella wherever you go and a good quality water proof backpack that ensures your laptop, phone and other important things are well protected. A bonus tip would be to carry a pair of eye wear to keep you safe while driving (if you are riding a two wheeler)

Remember the power bank!!!
The rains can put you on hold in traffic or at your workplace for longer than usual. Additionally you may also face power cuts. Get monsoon smart and carry a charged power bank on you at all times. This will help you stay connected with family with enough charge on your phone at these times.

Prep up well this monsoon, so whenever the rains hit you, you find yourself enjoying the monsoon, instead of running for cover! Before I end this blog, a quick reminder – sippers, rain coats, umbrellas, waterproof backpacks and powerbanks are all available in various sizes and with varied quality. A cheap backpack will let the rains in, a weak umbrella will fly way with the rain and a bad quality power bank may not retain enough charge to help you. Don’t be penny wise pound foolish – find a good brand that comes with quality guarantee and promised performance. If you need help finding one, you can write to us 🙂 or check out www.thegivingtree.in

Leena Munot
The Giving Tree

5 reasons why you must use a notebook

We live in a digital world and increasingly are doing away with the need to keep notebooks handy. However, sometimes, it is a good idea to do away with the digital wave and clasp a notebook in your hands. Here are a few reasons why

1. Distraction free time

Working on your phone or computer is great, but is also a great distraction when you switch tabs almost involuntarily and before you know it, you have forgotten the report you were writing and instead are browsing through your mail or social media. Losing yourself in the pages of your notebook gives you focused time to do the job at hand and this naturally increase your productivity too. The mind feels calmer as you are doing only one thing at a time. 

2. Get away from the addiction 

Overusing your phone can lead to sleep issues, anxiety and decreased productivity. Put away your phone periodically during the day to break the cycle of checking and rechecking your notifications every few minutes. This saves a few hours of your time – daily! Committing to using a notebook for certain aspects of your life—say, your to-do list and ideas —can help wean you from your smartphone addiction.

3. You can use a notebook for many things! 

Notebooks beat most apps when it comes to versatility. They aren’t just for journaling but can be a repository for all the odds and ends you want to remember, from your monthly budget to your grocery list to sketches, doodles, and diagrams. And you can organize your notebook in a manner that works for you. There are some really good options available when it comes to notebooks! You may want to check them out. 

4. Good for the brain

Writing by hand has numerous advantages compared to typing, and keeping a notebook on hand is a great way to keep your script skills sharp. Studies find that writing by hand helps you process information better, remember more, and think faster compared to typing. Plus, it improves your spelling. Occasionally jotting down thoughts in a notebook is a handy way to reinvigorate the parts of your brain (and hand) that don’t get a workout when you type on a computer or a smartphone.

5. Your memory is unreliable

The faintest ink is more powerful than the strongest memory. A notebook is the perfect place to jot down a quick thought before you forget it. While you may think in the moment that the memory will stick with you, chances are, it won’t. You never know, which idea you jot down could be a game changer for you! 

Coming from a notebook lover like me, this list could go on and on. Truth be told, some of my smartest product ideas, concepts and content are a result of having a notebook that I can doodle, scribble and make notes in. In 2015, I authored my first book Goals Mantra, which is a simple and effective system to reach your life goals. The seeds of this book came from notes I made in my idea book in 2013 about having a group of people who would love to come together and find ways to achieve their goals. 

Among the plenty of reasons why a notebook can be your best friend, this one is the coolest – A NOTEBOOK WILL NEVER RUN OUT OF BATTERIES! (lol)

Leena Munot
The Giving Tree

3 tips to keep yourself hydrated this summer!

With the mercury levels in the country rising each day, summers are getting harsher every year. This trend is expected to continue until and unless something is done on a large scale to cut down global warming. So what can you do at an individual level to contribute to a greener and cooler planet, and keep ourselves hydrated at the same time this summer?

Here are 3 really simple tips for you to stay hydrated this

Carry your own bottle of water – With the amount of commuting and travel that has become a part of our daily routine, having a bottle of water close to you is a great way to keep sipping on small amounts throughout the day – to keep your body well hydrated. This also avoids the purchase of bottled water – which costs a lot and adds to the landfills (Did you know, bottled water is not as safe as it looks!)

Infuse lime or mint in the water – Adding a citrus slice or some mint leaves to water is a simple way to jazz up the water flavor and also naturally alkalizes the water making it a healthier option! When it tastes good, it feels good too. Invest in a good infuser bottle to help you with this option.

Drink 3 litres of water per day – Make sure you have atleast 3 litres of water per day (Juices and other liquids do not count). This will ensure replacement of the water lost through sweat and the dehydration caused by an air conditioned environment.  As a bonus tip – bring down your caffeine consumption during the summers to keep yourself feeling lighter and brighter!

If you like what you read, remember to like, comment or
share and let’s create a healthier and happier version of ourselves!

Leena Munot
The Giving Tree

Every desk says a story!

Your desk is your give away!

What goes on your desk, tells us a lot about what kind of a person you are. How do you think, how do you work, what excites you, what you dislike and also how you maybe showing up in  the other areas of your life. After all, there is much truth in these lines – How you do one thing is how you do everything.

From the way I see it, I feel there are four kinds of desks you may come across. Each one indicates a different aspect about a personality and helping you change the way your desk looks could create massive impact in your productivity. Read on to know how.

1.A cluttered desk – This one is represented by an overload of things on the desk – right from stationery, to hanging wires from your computer, coasters, knick knacks like picture frames, layers of dust under your keyboard, a used coffee mug, sipper, a watch, maybe your wallet, a key chain – all left around in that one spot until the owner needs to move it or use it.

What it says about the user – This maybe a person who is high on procrastination, will focus only on what’s urgent, may have a confused mind, erratic thinking patterns and is usually restless, perhaps clumsy too.

2. A clean desk – where everything has a space of its own. You may see pen holders, small boxes to hold little things like pen drives, your visiting cards, a coaster appropriately placed below your coffee mug, picture frame kept straight, dust free table top, wires are neatly bundled to the side, nothing is strewn around for want of a proper place, but there is a lot on the table.

What it says about the user – Here is a person who is organized, stable in his thinking, has his priorities list at hand, is well dressed, carries himself with confidence, relaxes easily and has an overall pleasant personality.

3. A messy desk – things you need and those you don’t are all mixed into a spaghetti of sorts. You don’t have time to give away that which you no longer need, or dispose the unnecessary papers and discard old cables, defective pen drives, empty pens, pencil stubs and so on.

What it says about the user – This is a dangerous breed. You may find this user to be sporadic, short tempered or too lazy to even respond to a message on most days, with too many things on the mind, a confused list of priorities, low sense of time management and constantly rushing against time. Can you imagine some people you know with a messy desk? (lol)

4. A minimal desk – has everything you need, neatly placed in drawers, boxes and files. This is a distraction free desk. You may see only a picture frame with loved ones in it, a coffee mug, and a wire free desktop or laptop, clean table top is a given. The owner of this desk will have stringent acceptance rules for any item to go on the desk until and unless it is important, a must have or is beautifully designed, a gift from a loved one and meaningful.

What it says about the user – This is the kind of person everyone likes to be around. Always on top of things, the mindful and thinking kind, high on productivity, good decision maker, understands that a clean environment is imperative for creative work to happen.

The next time you see any of these desks, think of how you can make it a happy place. Come to us so we can help you with the perfect piece that stands out so beautifully on any desk and motivates the recipient to jump from a cluttered, messy or clean desk to a minimal desk with that one inspiring gift occupying the most prominent corner.

Our gifts help you create signature desks with aesthetically designed meaningful products that make you smile and keep you inspired. Our gifts are a reminder that you are special, significant and cared for.

Leena Munot
The Giving Tree

3 reasons why you MUST plan your gifting…

As we make the New Year a year to count with hard work, deeper commitment and a higher drive to chase our purpose…let’s not forget to spend time nurturing those relationships that matter, spending time with self in introspection and making time to buy meaningful gifts that speak a different language. If a picture speaks a thousand words then a well thought gift speaks of how much that person means to you. 

Every time the occasion is around the corner, teams run helter-skelter to look for vendors who can offer something new, within the budget and also something that is different looking. Lack of time and resources come at a price! You have to settle for less by paying more. You get a not-so-ideal corporate gift, with the wrong branding or no branding (because it is last minute) and it would be asking for too much if you insist on gift wrapping. 

Here are 3 reasons why planning those gifts in advance is a great idea:

1.   Save time – Plan ahead at the beginning of the year so you can look for the right products, right vendors and share with them your list of gifting occasions, so together you can see many options, plan to procure them in the required numbers and give your vendor the delivery schedule. This can be a one-time exercise, which helps you save many man hours and stress during the year when it comes to getting those gifts. Every minute saved, is a minute earned and can be put to more productive use by focusing on your core business. 

2.   Better negotiation – When time is not a constraint, as a buyer you stand a better chance to negotiate and get a good deal, on win-win terms, both for you and the vendor, making it a happy working relationship. It also gives you the free hand to scan the vendor’s services and be assured about the quality of deliverables. 

3.   Impress your clients – A well thought out gift speaks a different language. It reaches you at the right time from the vendor, and you therefore are able to send the gift to the recipient on time. Eg., a new year Diary can reach your client around 25th Dec, so the recipient feels special and appreciates your timely gift, as opposed to sending him a diary around end of January! (it’s a fact!) The value of a gift increases when it reaches on time and depreciates drastically when it reaches late, can you think of a birthday gift you received a week alter? Did you make you as happy? 

Gifting is all about making people feel special. A little care and planning goes a long way in communicating the same to the recipient – be it a client, an associate, a colleague or your boss!  

Call us or meet us today to plan gift options for various occasions through the year, so we can help you make gifting a hassle free and happy experience. We’ve been doing it for over two decades now…it’s time you meet us soon! 

Leena Munot


Why Calendars are a timeless option for doing New Year gifting? 

The corporate gifting market has been expanding exponentially over the last 5 years and new entrants flood the market each day. From a promotional pen that is priced at Rs. 1 to a Royal Enfield bike to an all paid one week vacation in the Bahamas….which runs into hundreds of dollars….the market has never been so overwhelmingly full with options. For an old horse like us who’ve been around for two decades we’ve seen all the cycles of this unorganized market…from pen drive hoarders going down under in one night ..thanks to fall in prices in the electronic chip market to the very basic pressure cooker and mixer sellers being forced out by new and snazzy products.

Clients are demanding more than ever – in terms of product range, high ROI, premium brands and what not. Among all the demands they have, the one item that for sure fulfills the Return On Investment criteria is a CALENDAR! The age old yet timeless and classic desktop product which still is the fastest running item despite the plethora of options.

Here is one reason, why calendars are the most sought after New Year Gifts!

This is the one gift that gives your brand a Continuous Presence for a full 12 months, if not longer. When you break down the cost over that amount of time, the price of each calendar seems nearly next to nothing, but the investment long-lasting.

This year send your calendars out to top-tier prospects in your industry to let them know that you’d love to create a mutually beneficial business relationship, thank a client, impress a new prospect or simply flaunt your brand. If you want to grow your business in an economical and effective manner, calendars are the way to go. With a new year upon us, promo calendars lead the pack all the way from the top!


#business #retail #branding #planning #gifts #promo #calendars #stationery

Leena Munot
The Giving Tree


How to buy a Diwali gift for your teams and clients this year…

Every country awaits the beginning of a festive season. In western countries it is usually around Christmas and you’ll see a buzz of activity in all retail stores, lifestyle stores, both online and offline, around that time of the year. In India, the celebration of Ganesha’s birthday (the famous Elephant head God) marks the beginning of the festive season. It also marks the onset of families and communities coming together to celebrate these festivals through some lip smacking cooking, new clothing and a whole lot of gifts.

The corporate communities have caught up with this very well in the last decade, making the corporate gifting industry go dizzy to feverish levels, by demanding for new and innovative products. Today with over millions of gifting options in the market, how do you know which one is the right one for you? Having been a main stream player in this field for over two decades, I’m excited to share my two cents on simple ways to find the right gift.

Think gift – not product
Start your search by looking for a gift – Remember that little red box gift wrapped with a ribbon, you got as a child? And you were squealing with joy and beaming smiles when you got to open it. Now hold on to that thought…that’s exactly how your recipient needs to feel when he gets your gift. The purpose of a gift is to make the recipient feel special, loved and significant. When go from this perspective, your search gets better and you start thinking more about how the person will feel when you give him / her a Bluetooth speaker, an AI enabled device, a picture frame or a box of chocolates. Try it!

Tip – Make sure you wrap the gift well and add a name tag on it! People love to see their name on a gift. Makes them feel special 🙂

Think emotion – only emotion
I know this one always faces a huge resistance. For a moment get into the recipient’s shoes and imagine getting a gift. What would it mean to touch your heart, to surprise you with the unexpected? No matter which corporate company it is and who the receiving teams are – at a basic level, your gift touches a person’s heart or it does not. It is from one person to another when you break it all down.

Tip – Inside the gift box, place a personal hand written note with genuine words of gratitude and appreciation. Happy emotions guaranteed!

Think value – not budget
Buying a gift is never about a budget – it is always about value. Even if you are the most calculative procurement head, I can challenge you to this one. When you think only budget and settle for a cheaper, sub-standard gift, in terms of performance, brand or features, I can assure you that gift is never going to be used by the recipient. It will land up in the hands-me-down list almost instantly and this rips off your chance of Return on Investment. If the recipient does not use it, your brand recall becomes non-existent.

On the other hand when you think of how the gift is going to add value to the recipient, there is a larger chance of the gift being appreciated, used and therefore serves as a great tool to grow your brand.

Tip – say no to Vouchers! Spend some time and look for that gift! Or call an expert!

Helping people and mother earth feel special is what we do, all day long! And that’s why we love what we do.

Leena Munot
Entrepreneur I Blogger


Why T-shirts are a classic promo gift choice!

We live in a day and age of constant struggle to keep our brand in the top of our customer’s mind. Companies across the world spend millions of dollars each year towards this one end. Why? The answer is simple. People are looking for a solution to address a certain need, desire or problem, almost on a daily basis. If your product or service satisfies these, then you ought to be the first person people think of. And how do you achieve that top place in their mind? By regularly indulging in various activities like personal meetings, seminars, exhibitions, networking events, social media and promotional gifts.

While speaking of promotional gifts the markets are flooded with a plethora of options that you can choose from. Gadgets to appliances, stationery to computer accessories and from premium gift hampers to apparel, the list is never ending.

Research shows that the usefulness of a promotional product is the recipient’s number one reason for keeping it.

I fully believe in this, and that’s why every gift we offer goes through this test of being relevant and useful. Speaking of useful gifts – T shirts take the cake! No recipient will find a reason to refuse a well-made T shirt!

Here are a few tips on choosing the right kind to ensure your recipients use these T shirts as a preferred outfit wherever they go, hence increasing your brand recall.

Cheap is Out – Value is In
Gone are the days when cheap sold. Today’s users make a direct correlation between you and the gifts you give. Giving out a cheap T shirt, with quality that does not even last 5 washes, is a sure shot way to wash out any possibility of finding a recall with them. They will have a negative recall about you, and that’s not the purpose of sending out the gifts in the first place. Make sure you indulge in giving out T shirts only when your promo budget can allow that extra spend on a good quality product. At the end of the day, every dime spent on this has to justify a certain Return On Investment (ROI).

Choose the Right Fabric
Pick a fabric that works towards adding extra comfort. Bio wash T shirts are increasingly in trend for this very reason. Bio Wash is a process that makes the fabric smoother, avoids pilling, gives permanent colour and allows your skin to breathe. In addition it is an eco friendly technique and is gentle on your skin, keeping it free from allergies that can be caused by fabrics that are chemically washed.

Keep Boredom at Bay
While you love your brand logo and are even paying for it, remember the end you have in mind – to ensure your brand gets visibility. This is possible only when you keep your logo at a size that is visible yet not overpowering; adding an element of a cool graphic will further align to the user’s preference of your T shirt – not only as work wear, but also as a lifestyle wear, making your brand get more eye balls!

Making some prudent choices can help you ensure that your gifting spends are an investment, not an expense! After all, gifting is about making someone feel special and significant. Do this with much aplomb and class to stand out in the market. I’d go a step ahead and dare you to make a gift that even your competitors want to own.

If you like what you read here and what you see, feel free to share this information and come back for more!

Leena Munot
The Giving Tree