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SIBLING BONDING Online and offline shopping peaks before Raksha Bandhan
SIBLING BONDING Online and offline shopping peaks before Raksha Bandhan

Courier companies and websites have made life easier for siblings during Raksha Bandhan

Nothing can be more depressing for a sister than to know that the precious rakhi she mailed her brother who lives elsewhere hasn't reached him on time. The same applies to a brother who realises that his sis hasn't received the rakhi gift he spent hours looking for. But now times have changed, and so have to the mediums of delivery. Courier companies and websites are competing with our postal service to promptly deliver rakhis and gifts across the globe, and that too with a traditional touch. And what's more, most have come up with special packages, discounts and gifts to make the occasion even special. If there are some that offer free shipping, then there are others who offer to hand deliver the rakhi in a special handcrafted box, along with all the requisite kalash, roli and a greeting card."Since our basic idea is to connect with the customers, we felt it would be a good idea to introduce special packages for Raksha Bandhan. And for their convenience we are also giving them a Rs. 250 voucher for their next shipment. This year, by August 9, we hope to make at least a few thousand deliveries across the globe," says Chandrasekhar Pitre, Head Marketing, DHL. K. Prabhakar, President and CEO, XPS express delivery service which promises to deliver rakhis anywhere within 48 hours, acknowledges that these services have captured the imagination of the public. "We have been in this service over seven year now and this year we have had over 3,000 bookings so far," he adds.These offers may be the companies' tactics to lure the customers, but people are definitely not complaining. "Occasions like Rakhi are an opportunity for companies to cash in. Nowadays, nearly every family has at least one person staying abroad. Couriers companies and websites are a more practical way of sending rakhis and gifts as you are assured it will reach on time. It is also a matter of convenience. Till last year, my mother-in-law used to post rakhi to her brother staying outside, but this year we decide to send it through a website," explains Priyanka Ganeriwal Allahabadi, a wedding planner.As people get more tech savvy, the Internet has become a viable means of buying and delivering rakhis and gifts. Available are an array of products and rakhis to choose from and at many sites at discounted prices. "We have seen a continuous improvement in the number of consumers who send rakhis and gifts over the years. And that's because we offer a huge range of rakhi gifts from experienced sellers to choose from that can be delivered to over 500 towns across the country," says Manish Agarwal, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Rediff.Priyanka is glad she needn't worry about the rakhi reaching on time. Technology also ensures she can keep track of the parcel till it reaches its destination, either on the site or by making a call. "I get the information about the status of my packet on my mobile itself. So I didn't really bother about it," she says.MANGALA RAMAMOORTHY

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