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The Silicon Review Asia

Innovating The Consumer And Corporate Gifting Space: Bangalore-Based Xoxoday Takes Workplace Trust And Work Engagement To The Next Level

The Silicon Review
May, 2019

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The past two decades has seen a huge transformation in the world of work. Business conditions are unpredictable and the volatile and competitive nature of business environments is making firms go through the challenges of retaining talented employees. Employees are increasingly leaving their jobs for many reasons, one of them being a perceived lack of adequate reward practices. As a result, this adversely affects work engagement and trust in organisations. Therefore, it’s important to develop practices and methods in order to bring workplace trust and retain top talent, and Xoxoday takes care of that.

Xoxoday was started in 2012 by Manoj Agrawal along with Kushal Agarwal, Sumit Khandelwal and Abhishek Kumar with the aim to bring innovation in the consumer and corporate gifting space. Xoxoday started off as Giftxoxo in 2012, while they were providing innovative gifting solutions to the consumers. A few months into the business, Manoj and his co-founders realised that they needed to look beyond consumer gifting to scale their offerings. This led them to foray into corporate gifting. Five years down the line, they ended up disrupting the way organisations reward and engage their employees.

Xoxoday is now a SaaS commerce company which helps reinforce positive behaviour and drive a high performance culture. The platform offers a range of features to help teams with empowerment, motivation, collaboration and purpose. This has applications in team management and channel management. Xoxoday enables team leaders to improve team happiness and engagement and helps channel managers create an engaged distributor and retail partner network. Xoxoday also offers an API driven digital rewards platform to simplify rewards, recognition and incentive programs with a global catalog of 5000+ experiences, 1000+ gift cards and 10,000+ perks.

The Xoxoday team spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review. Below is an excerpt.

Q. The number of companies in India is way too many, and the competition in the market is at its peak. Do you think budding entrepreneurs can still make their own way?

The ‘struggle for existence and survival of fittest’ theory extensively rules the business world. The more prompt and capable an organisation is to take risks and to invest in niche opportunities - whether it is skill, product or technology - the better are the chances of success. The Indian government has been driving quite a few entrepreneurship development policies that allow start-ups to attain business momentum, faster. The firm’s internal environment that facilitates innovation and excellence is also key to achieving this success.

Q. Any company, big or small, must have the sense of authenticity and originality to succeed. Is your company a ‘leader’ or a ‘follower’?

We have been thorough in our market trend analysis and needs research. We were into experiences- years before it became mainstream. Similarly, we reinvented our entire offering as a team happiness and engagement product, predicting the market shift towards employee centric workplaces. Companies now see an engaged and agile workforce as their key differentiator that enables them to quickly respond to dynamic market demands. Our team product has been intuitively designed to meet this emergent demand at the right point of time.

Q. What challenges did you face in your initial years? What can your peers learn from it?

During our initial phase, Manoj Agrawal approached corporates with the novel business concept of ‘gifting experiences, not things’ and he faced inimical challenges to this offering. It was a time when the concept of gifting in organisations was heavily skewed towards either cash or a tangible. We found a solution to this challenge by creating personalised gift boxes with the recipient’s names engraved on it, thus repackaging the ‘gifting of experiences’ as a tangible. We also engaged in intent conversations with our prospects to convince them of the exponential benefits of gifting experiences over things.

Q. If you have to list five factors that have been the biggest asset to your organization, what would they be and why?

A team which has been standing together since the day of inception- The core team that includes the four co-founders, who were with company since inception still remains the same. We recognise people who stay with our company for longer time with Long service award annually.

Well recognised products - The company has been awarded as the Best Tech-HR platform by People Matters. They are ranked one amongst the top 50 fastest growing tech-companies by Deloitte and have also won India SME Award, 2018.

Loyal client list- Xoxoday has over 500 clients spread across APAC, US and Australia. We are proud to share that many of the Fortune 500 companies are our esteemed clients. We cater to various industries including Banking, FMCG, IT, ITes, Consulting, Telecom, Pharma, FMCD, E-Commerce, Retail and more.

Business veterans as Mentors - It’s indeed a privilege to learn from Industry leaders like Naveen Kshatriya, Rohit Malik and P K Gopalakrishnan. They have been great pillars of support all these years.

Q. As a question on sustainability, where do you see your company a couple of years from now?

We started off as a small team in a one room office and have now grown into a team of over 150. We achieved this growth by pursuing sustainability through constant innovation and continuous business re-thinking. We have achieved agility through our lean organisational structure and our talented workforce. We constantly reinvent our business processes and team engagement methods to develop the fastest way to value delivery.

Knowing the Dynamic Team Who Made It Happen

Sumit Khandelwal, CEO

Sumit Khandelwal is an MBA holder from TAPMI. Sumit brings over 11 years of experience in business strategy, consumer sales, investor relations and finance functions. He has worked with companies like Wipro Consumer Care, Hexaware and Metro. He has a rich experience in sales, distribution and marketing management of cash and carry retail.

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Manoj Agarwal, Chief Product & Operating Officer

Manoj Agarwal is an MBA from IIM Kozhikode and he brings over 12 years of experience in technology, product, marketing and business excellence. He has worked with companies like Yahoo, Manipal Education and Flipkart in various roles.

" We were resolved to create a product that helps companies to create happy and engaged employees and our product design intuitively takes into consideration the changing dynamics of the new age workforce and new demands of employee and channel partner engagement."

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