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





Gift Vouchers vs Hand Picked Gifts

With the advent of modern gifting ideas that range from simple pens to notebooks, from electronic gadgets to apparel and from snazzy branded stationery to premium corporate gifts, the gifting market has never been so over crowded. This is turning out to be a boon and a bane. Too much choice can also leave you confused. And then come the gift vouchers that are meant for the lazy, forgetful and shortcut bunch of people, who are last minute shoppers, don’t know what their recipient may like and honestly they don’t care too much about it.

Can you remember the best gift you ever got in your life? It was either an experience – like a holiday getaway, a surprise party or something that was a product like a watch from your favourite brand, a pen gifted by a special colleague or teammate and no matter how many years pass by, you continue to hold on to these things for the memory of the relationship you share with the person. Do you think you’d have the same feeling if these people gifted you a gift voucher instead? I can bet hands down….definitely NOT!

One cannot take away the joy of receiving a well wrapped gift. It wakes up the child inside,  as your eyes gleam and heart squeals with excitement when you unwrap the gift.

Here are 3 reasons why a voucher cannot replace a gift

Not personal – A gift voucher is a super impersonal and transactional way to gift something to someone. It’s almost like saying, I don’t know what you like and I don’t care, I don’t have the time…so here, take the voucher!

Defeats the purpose – A voucher gets spent on things like necessities, or pools into other general purchases the recipient makes. For eg., if it is an Amazon voucher, chances are people will use it to buy books, clothes, footwear, medicines or even home utilities – anything that is there in their cart, this voucher will be used to pay for the same. This dilutes the purpose of your gift in the first place and won’t necessarily remind the recipient you gave it to them.

Sizes you up– A gift voucher has a money amount mentioned on it. Like $20 or $50 – it gives the recipient an opportunity to raise his eyebrows and size up your giving capacity. Whereas a gift is more about how much you value the person and the relationship not what value you are spending on the gift.

Whenever you buy a gift, remember it has to satisfy these top 2 things.

It’s all about how you make them feel – It should make the recipient feel special because people don’t remember what you say, they remember how you make them feel. A well wrapped gift box with a sensible gift inside it will earn you a lot of brownie points! Add a dash of a personal note of appreciation and there goes the cherry on the cake!

Return on Investment – This becomes negative with a voucher! No memory, no recall, hence no impact. A hand picked gift is the perfect way to make your ad spend bring in recall and therefore nurture long term relationships.

The next time you think of gifting a voucher and getting away…think again! It’s not a good idea – financially and personally and will certainly not help you in building and fostering long term relationships.

Leena Munot

The Giving Tree

For gifts that make people feel special, significant and cared for, visit thegivingtree.in – your most innovative corporate gift house. Meet us or call us today for ideas that will never grow old.







Going green – whose job is it anyway!

With the growing awareness and media attention to global warming, days such as Earth Day and Environment day are soon picking up momentum and helping spread awareness about going green. Much is being said as most companies are indulging in research to reduce their carbon footprint. As individuals there are simple things we can do to make a start and build a lifestyle that is green!

Four simple ideas that can help you go green this year!

1. Replace paper cups with ceramic mugs – Paper cups come coated with wax which melts when you pour hot liquid in it. Ingesting this day in and day out can be hazardous to health. Also it adds to the landfills – even if it is paper – it is still trash!
Make a switch – Carry your own mug – ceramic, steel, glass, any of these are a good option.

2. While plastic bans come and go with the changing governments, what’s here to stay are people, you, me, our families and future generation.
Make a pledge – To carry your own cloth bag for shopping – whether it is to a swanky mall or to the local supermarket. Be the change our world deserves!

3. Nothing adds more beauty than nature. Artificial plants look good, require no maintenance and provide no value – bad return on investment!
Shift to nature – Get a real plant for your home and office today. Not only does it up the energetic vibration of a place, it also pumps in more oxygen in your space and the green adds to the joy and freshness each day!

4. Say NO to shopping for things you don’t need with money you don’t have! With retailers enticing us with better and newer products each day, it is becoming increasingly difficult to cut down on our spends. Credit cards offering EMIs and cash backs worsen this situation further.
Rewire to minimalist living – When you think before you shop, becoming aware of your real needs, you’ll swipe the card lesser, own fewer things, have more space at home and in your wardrobes, more free time – cause you don’t have to maintain and manage all the material anymore!

The Giving Tree has been in the space of green gifting for over two decades. Our love for all things green has been at the centre of our design and gifting philosophy over the years. It is this love for the planet that has helped us win the hearts of over 1000 corporate companies and 15 lac users globally! Our mission to contribute to a clean and green planet drives us each day to make sure we bring you gifts that make mother earth and you…happy happy!

Leena Munot
The Giving Tree

3 tips to choose the right corporate gift this season!

Did you know? Over 40% of corporate gifts that are distributed among employees of a company are not well received? Either the product quality is not appreciated by the recipient, the choice of gift itself sometimes is the challenge and there are also times when the gift has little or no use for the recipient….like gifting a calculator to a gadget friendly techie and so on.

We’ve been helping corporate companies identify the right gift for every occasion for the last two decades…before you buy any gift, ask us!

3 important tips to keep in mind before you choose the next gift for your teams

1. Float a choice of atleast 3 options that can be used for the occasion and get feedback from them, about which one would they prefer.

2. Match the recipient’s lifestyle with the product you have in mind to get more clarity on what kind of a gift would they prefer to own and show off.

3. Make no compromise on the quality of the product – nothing looks more awful than a good looking gift with bad quality – that makes the product crumble or go dead within a few days of usage.

Follow us to get many such valuable tips on gifting.


Leena Munot
The Giving Tree

​​5 reasons why you should buy gifts ‘Made in India’ this Diwali!

With Ganesh Chaturthi marking the beginning of a trail of festivals in India, it is also the time of the year when companies look for appropriate gifts to thank their teams, clients and associates. It is also that time of the year that all Indian gifting companies wait for. Being a two decade old player in this market, there are quite a few trends we’ve seen. From the time of pressure cookers and other kitchen appliances being given as gifts to the current time of digital products, the Indian corporate gifting business has weathered many seasons.

In the middle of these trends a decade ago, Chinese products started to kill our local industries by bringing in cheaper products and with some good quality thrown in. Corporate buyers were now at a great place to choose from a huge variety of gifts available at throw away prices. This jolt made our Indian manufacturers wake up and push their quality higher to compete with the Chinese products. Today, our products have improved and we even have cases of our corporate gift houses in India exporting their products to China! (strange…but 100% true, ask us!)

This Diwali we urge you to buy Indian gifts for 5 reasons:

Keep the local industries alive – When you buy local, you help keep our industries alive and if you just look enough, you will be surprised with the number of corporate gift manufacturers who are doing avant-garde work in their respective areas. Be it artisan chocolates, handicrafts with great packaging, desktop accessories, office accessories and more.

Understand that ethical profits are fair – An average customer bargains on price and tries to get a bigger portion of the price battle. A good customer understands profit is not a bad word and works towards arriving at a win-win deal knowing that it is fair for the supplier to make ethical profits. Let’s face it, if you are not making a profit, you are not running a business!

Quick turnaround time – Depending on Chinese products to arrive here in time, can be a dicey situation because of the volumes, custom clearances and situation at the ports. Many large clients have burnt their fingers with delayed deliveries, sub standard quality and compromised warranties on these products. And there is little that can be done to stop that. When you buy an Indian product, geographical advantage helps ensure quick turnaround times and it allows a much required personal interaction with the suppliers.

Be proud to gift an Indian product
It is up to each one of us to encourage, support and create an environment where not only do local businesses thrive but also where you carry pride in gifting a product that is Made in India.
Made in India – the label – fills us with pride and joy!

Flaunt Indian art and culture
Gifting Indian products gives you an added advantage of using our rich folk art, craft and design sensibilities to enhance any product and make it look stunningly Indian and very innovative. Now this is an advantage that we have over any other country in the whole world, why wouldn’t you use it?

So this season, before you indulge in the plethora of gifting ideas out there, be conscious about choosing an Indian product for the above reasons and more. Share with us more reasons why you feel we should buy local! Our editors are waiting to hear from you.

Happy shopping!

Leena Munot
The Giving Tree


3 simple ways to find the right gifts

When you pay monkeys you get peanuts – this the perfect expression to get the most imperfect gift this season. If you are part of an organization where Diwali, New year, mid year promotions, incentives are all brought in with a touch of gifting then you may resonate with what I am writing here.

Creating the right gift is an art and most often than not this job of sourcing the right gift turns out to be a herculean task for procurement and admin heads. This just adds to their existing work load. So whenever a gifting requirement comes up all they want to do is get the monkey off their back. Impressing their bosses by bringing in gifts at the cheapest price seems to be the only way. The truth is – it is not the only way. There can be more to gifting than sourcing at cheap prices.

Here are 3 simple ways to get the job done the right way
Quality over price – Understand that great quality cannot come at a cheap price – a vendor who is cutting his margins to get the order from you may not have enough profitability to service you in the future. When you go with only price as a preference chances are you’ll be sold a product that is low in features or is an old or fading out product.

Profit is not a bad word – When you come from a space where you treat your suppliers as businesses which deserve to make decent profits you’ll learn to be a good buyer. At the same time it is important to see that you are getting great value for the price you pay.

Win-win or no deal – A good supplier is one who will not give deep discounts because he is desperate for the order, but one who will choose to walk away when you negotiate below his lowest possible healthy price. And one who lives by the philosophy of ‘if my product is of no value to you then your money is of no value to me’. When your supplier does not budge to your hard negotiation, have a conversation with your team and the supplier and set realistic expectations, keeping win-win in mind.

When you want to go fast you go alone – but when you want to go far you go together – In this time and age, the only way to grow and sustain that growth is through building trust based relationships with your clients, associates and suppliers. When you set out with this intention in mind, your perspective will go through a sea change as you will see suppliers as your partners in growth. And when this happens, you know you have found reliable partners who will support you with your every need.

When you sit on the buyer side of the deal, always remember to begin with trust and believe that reaching a win-win is the most important part of doing business together. Suppliers are your channel partners in growth, and you both need to co-exist in an environment of trust and support.

For more on gifting, buying and selling trends, follow us on this blog.

Leena Munot
The Giving Tree

How to make sure you don’t buy… just another useless gift!

When was the last time you opened a gift box and said….REALLY? Moments that are meant to bring joy, sometimes end up bringing the giver a sense of embarassment and the receiver some share of anger and upset.

Have you even been on the giving or receiving side of such gifts…which end up making you feel, ‘oh come on, it’s a hands-me-down gift or a passing-the-parcel gift, or a gift that you have absolutely no use for…like the comb to a bald person!

Be honest. Most of us have been there before…!

Here are 3 ways to steer clear of this in the future:

1. Buy a voucher – when you don’t know the person well enough never take a chance – go safe, buy a gift voucher for a place where he/she can get enough options to choose from.

2. Pass the parcel – These are those gifts that you can’t throw and you can’t use either. Reasons could be many – your favourite aunt got you this, how can you give it away? Or you got it as a recognition at work for a milestone achieved…whatever the reason, if you don’t need it, pass it on. The only thing you want to be careful about here is make sure there is no gift tag inside the box, the person you are passing it to has a genuine need for this item, and that it is not damaged!

3. Ask a close friend – If gift vouchers are not your thing, ask a close friend of the receiver and find out their tastes and preferences. Then pick the gift so you know you are on the right track.

For more tips on doing sensible gifting, follow us on Facebook.

Leena Munot

The Giving Tree

3 ways to identify the perfect gift

For most corporates when it is the season for ordering some gifts to give to their teams or clients, all hell breaks loose. Corporate gifting suddenly takes on a different meaning, and whatever it may mean, it certainly means no joy. If you are a working professional in a large multinational conglomerate, chances are you receive a gift for your birthday, anniversary, new year, Diwali and so on. When a colleague from the cubicle next to you receives a coffee mug with his name, on a not-so-great looking design behind, you know a month later the same mug will land on your desk, because it is your birthday.

A research in 2015, revealed that the corporate gifting segment in India is over 2.5 billion USD!!! What a shame, if in the name of so much money being spent by companies across the board, it is killing delight, eliminating surprise and deleting happiness from their gifting.

Corporate gifting – It is about gifting not grieving.

Here are 3 tips that will help move in the right direction for gifting this season:

1. Learn from the past – Before you plan what to buy for your teams this year, it may be a good idea to see what they have received in the last few years. A chat during a coffee break can be a great place to collect feedback from them. Of course, we don’t mean you go outright and ask, but in a more subtle conversational manner, your team will reveal a lot. Eg., when you see your colleague drinking from a plain coffee mug, ask him how come he’s not using the gift he got on his birthday from the office and he may respond saying ‘oh, that was a sad looking one, I didn’t like the quality, same old gift, it cracked within a few days …’ and the list can go on. Now you know that your team appreciates good quality and design on the product.

2. Meet new vendors – If you’ve ever worked with a corporate you’ll know what a pain it is to get empanelled. Technology and internal restrictions don’t always make it a easy ride. So most companies force themselves to buy from pre registered vendors, because of ease of transacting and minimal internal paper work. It’s costing you your reputation with your teams!!! Don’t you see that? Existing vendors get into a comfort zone after a point and no matter what occasion you call them for, they will continue to offer the same old tees, caps, sippers, desk sets and accessories. Gifting is all about making someone feel special and it costs you money, so why would you not step out and look for new vendors at all times? You stand to get new variety of gifts, gifts that are trending and those promising higher levels of delight to your recipients.

3. Communicate with your teams – Sometimes no matter what you do your teams are not excited with the gift you bring them. May be they are getting one too many gifts from the company and so the value is lost or the gifts are boring and are being handed down. Be what it may, communicate with your teams to get feedback and throw the ball in their court sometimes. Ask them to create a list of gifts they would enjoy receiving and using. This exercise can be most revealing as your teams will come up with some great ideas, products and perhaps places from where you can procure them too…ta daaa!

Some gifts are big. Some gifts are small. The ones that come form the heart are the best gifts of all.

There are a zillion corporate gifting ideas out there, but in my experience of close to two decades of being in this industry, I realize, there are a zillion mindsets you are dealing with too. A gift goes a long way in building long term relationships between teams, clients and vendors. A well thought gift creates an added experience of delight and warmth, as it touches the heart of the person who receives it and he can see your care come through when he sees the gift. In the latter one, chances are he will remember you for a long time, long after the gift has been consumed or whenever the new year arrives he will wait for your gift more than others, because he knows now, you do meaningful gifts that make him / her feel special.

This year when you begin looking for gifts keep these simple, yet highly effective, pointers in mind and make your gift buying process easier, more enriching and more thoughtful…the results will be there to testify when you send those gifts out.

Happy gifting times!

Leena Munot
Entreprenuer. Blogger. Trainer. Author