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Read it to believe it! Companies rewarding top performers with premium overseas family tours, luxury watches, meet ups with Bollywood celebrities

Corporate offsites will never be the same again! Corporates across sectors are spending money on offering premium experiences to their top performers including luxury family holidays and meet-ups with celebrities.
Companies from various sectors, including banking, auto, and insurance, have shown a willingness to invest generously in their top performers, partners, and distributors this season.These rewards come in the form of exceptional travel experiences, high-end luxury items such as watches and bags, and even opportunities to meet Bollywood celebrities. Among these incentives, travel, particularly trips that include family members, ranks high on the list, according to an ET report. This innovative approach to offsites may set a new trend in the corporate world.
Rajeev Kale, an employee of Thomas Cook (India), recently faced an unusual request from a client who wanted to create a unique experience for their top-performing channel partners. The client emphasized that the experience should be something unprecedented. Rising to the challenge, Kale made the bold decision to reserve an entire village in Austria – the charming Ybbs an der Donau, situated along the picturesque Danube river.
Kale, who holds the position of president and country head for holidays, MICE, and visa at Thomas Cook (India), told ET, “The demand for premium experiences for performers extends across manufacturing, banking and insurance, paint and the auto segments.”
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Kale also said that some of the impressive programs they have successfully executed include a cricket tournament at Auckland’s Eden Park with professional commentators and celebrity New Zealand cricketers, and live barbecue counters at the stadium curated by 48 chefs flown in from India.
MakeMyTrip, another prominent player in the travel industry, has also witnessed a notable increase in corporate spending on premium experiences. Raj Rishi Singh, the chief marketing officer and chief business officer for corporate at MakeMyTrip, confirmed this trend, emphasizing the significant growth in this segment.
Companies are striving to create unique experiences for their employees and partners. These experiences range from Bollywood-inspired adventures to gala events with celebrities, according to an industry expert. The goal is to provide memorable moments that go beyond the typical corporate gatherings.
Luxepolis, an online platform specializing in certified pre-owned and discounted luxury items, has reported an increased demand from corporates for products such as Tumi bags and gift vouchers that can be redeemed for other brands.
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Vijay KG, the founder of Luxepolis, was quoted as saying, “They are also looking at pre-owned luxury watches as a gift. The intrinsic value of a Rolex is not lost on people even if it is pre-owned.” He also said that corporate requests for products and vouchers are coming from sectors like infrastructure, retail, and real estate.
According to Krishna Malladi, a partner at Deloitte, the focus of rewards for top performers is shifting from monetary incentives to a more comprehensive recognition of the support system that contributed to their success.
“Appreciation for families’ support, holiday trips, and non-monetary recognition through gifts that also drive greater brand affiliation are some of the means through which organisations are rewarding performers beyond bonuses,” he explained. This approach aims to acknowledge the holistic nature of an employee’s achievements and the role played by their support network.
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Tata Motors has celebrated the achievements of its top-performing employees by providing them with tickets to Indian Premier League (IPL) matches this season, according to a company spokesperson.
Similarly, International Tractors Ltd has chosen to reward its high achievers with sponsored family vacations, as stated by Amit Sharma, the head of HR.
Amit Damani, cofounder of StayVista, noted that there has been a shift in preference among the growing number of millennial and Gen Z employees, who now favor experiences over tangible gifts. “More companies are reaching out to us for end-to-end holiday experiences for their top performers and families,” he said.
Monish Shah, founder and CEO of DreamSetGo, shared an example of a recent corporate event featuring cricket legends Sourav Ganguly and Waqar Younis, which took place after the “high-energy” India versus Pakistan T20 World Cup match.
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Krishna Gautam, business head of direct hire and IT at Xpheno, mentioned that companies are offering all-expenses-paid trips lasting 10 days to two weeks to destinations like Singapore and Dubai, allowing top performers to travel with their immediate family members.
At Bajaj Electricals, top achievers are recognized by being inducted into the Sarvottam Club, which comes with various benefits, including “an all-expenses-paid, luxury international trip to a prime destination,” according to Suman Kumar Ghosh, the company’s chief human resources officer. “This year, we are once again planning a trip to an exotic destination, where they will enjoy local sightseeing and unique cultural experiences,” he added.

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