We wish to increase engagement through digital channels: Suvodeep Das, Sodexo

Suvodeep Das, Vice-President, Marketing & Sales, Sodexo BRS India, shares insights on the company’s advance into tier markets, its marketing strategy and more

e4m by Shreshtha Verma
Updated: Sep 5, 2019 4:02 PM

Sodexo, the ‘Benefits and Rewards’ service provider, has been making a digital transformation in tier 2 and tier 3 cities and have almost doubled their annual market spends to establish a relationship with this whole new class of users.

Suvodeep Das, Vice-President, Marketing and Sales at Sodexo BRS India, spoke to exchange4media about the company’s advance into the tier markets and the future plans.

Edited excerpts:
Sodexo is now targeting tier I and II markets, how will you position your product in front of this new audience group?
Sodexo’s meal card is already accepted in over 1,700 cities across India. Today, we have over 1,00,000 points of acceptance, including local neighbourhood stores and popular online portals.

This audience is not new to us – we were at the forefront of the expansion of digital means of payments in small towns. When we started expanding the network in 2016, there were over 5,000 merchants who had never accepted any form of digital payments before Sodexo.

What has kept you afloat in the cluttered market in India?
Sodexo has always focussed on delivering world-class customer service to clients, elevating the employee experience of our clients with state-of-the-art technology and has been a trusted partner for our merchants. This has helped us stay ahead of the competition.

After health and wellness to food, what are you planning next?
The newly launched multi-benefit pass redefines the employee benefits landscape where employees can avail all benefits, including for meals, gifts, fuel, telecom, learning and development, on a single, innovative card. This is a big step towards enhancing the employee experience (EX) for our clients. We are working with partners across industries to add to the repertoire of solutions to continue to raise the bar on EX.

How do you distinguish Sodexo from other companies who are working in the same domain?
Sodexo has been the leader in the employee benefits space for over 22 years. In the meal benefits space, only Sodexo has a proprietary merchant acceptance network ensuring 100 per cent tax compliance. Sodexo is the only company to have an innovative multi-benefit solution wherein when you swipe the card, it works on the meal network and when you insert the chip, it works on the Rupay network for all other benefits. Sodexo’s mobile app is the highest-rated in the employee benefits space in India. We are also the gold standard in customer service with COPC-certified, in-house customer support.

What is your marketing strategy at present and what are your future marketing plans?
The marketing strategy is manifold – on one hand, we wish to extend the benefit to many more companies across both private and public sectors to add to the existing 11,000+ clients. We also wish to increase our engagement with the employees of our clients through digital channels and enhance their employee experience. We are a trusted partner for 100,000+ merchants in India – we are constantly looking for ways to add more value to their business and strengthen our long-standing bond with them.

How does a company make profits when a large percentage is spent on incentives?
Incentives are always a fallout of the overall sales. There is a certain fixed cost that every business has; this gets leveraged over incremental sales – even if a small part of the incremental sales need to be paid out as incentives, at an overall level the organisation still gains.

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