Saturday, June 20, 2009

Sodexo Meal Pass - Class for the Mass

The Company:
Sodexo (earlier Sodex ho) is a French food services & facilities management corporation. Founded by Pierre Bellon in 1966, this $21 billion company has presence in over 30,000 sites across 80 countries. Sodexo's business entails catering food, offering services like maintenance repairs, secretarial & reception, housekeeping, health & wellness and many more. Sodexo is more familiar to Indian consumers as the Service Vouchers and Cards company or rather commonly for its Meal Pass & Cards.
Sodexo India provides Food Services to Manufacturing unit of Hyundai India, Chennai
Sodexo India provides Facility Management Services to Wipro (since 2004)
The Product: Meal Pass
Meal Pass is a prepaid voucher to be utilized for a preferred meal. This meal voucher system allows an employer to extend the meal benefits (pre-decided mutually by the employee & the employer) to its associates. The business model is a kind of barter system wherein each entity exchanges the meal pass with the subsequent entity in return for the payment, goodwill or services rendered. The brief pictorial depiction of the model is as shown below:

The Attributes:
#1. The Meal Vouchers are exempted from Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT).
#2. Sodexo Meal Vouchers (issued monthly or annualy) carry a validitity of one calendar year (till 31st Dec) and the vouchers issued after 1st September is valid till the end of subsequent year.
#3. Sodexo Meal Vouchers are available under convenient denominations of Rs. 10, 20, 35, 50 and 75.
#4. These vouchers come with value added offers like 'scratch & win', 'value pass - discounts', etc. which adds to the tax benefits availed.

The Benefits:

  • To Sodexo: Nominal commission (app. 1.3%) in return for the delivery of meal-vouchers
  • To Employers: Employee goodwill & motivation
  • To Employees: Tax exemption, attractive offers and hassle-free transactions
  • To Affiliates: Assured customer base & loyalty redemption. Also publicity through ads

The Drawbacks:

  1. The Meal-Pass is non-transferrable i.e. It can only be used by the person in whose name it is availed. As per my experience, it can be used by anyone from friends & relatives to beggars & anyone who steals it
  2. Sodexo Meal-Pass is valid only for ready to eat items, food & beverages in the affiliated network. Although, I have exchanged the Sodexo meal pass for groceries, chocolates and even a shaving razor.
  3. It serves as a high-exhaustive income and with a mindset to dispose the voucher booklet in a stipulated time one tends to spend more.
  4. Sodexo meal voucher may not be useful for the singles who pay up for the meal goods/services rather than buying on own.
  5. Despite the wide network of affiliates, one might have to be forced under compulsion to avail the benefits.

Ratings: 4/5 coupons
Sodexo ranked amongst top three Global Outsourcing 100 companies.
Disclaimer: The Sodexo Meal pass is reviewed solely based upon my personal experience and facts cited on official Sodexo portal. The write-up/material used on this blog is free for use with due acknowledgments to

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Grappo FIZZzzz-A Grappy GReview!

Grappo Fizz aka G. Fizz
After paying tribute to Apples, Parle Agro has launched yet another niche drink 'Grappo Fizz' to honour Black Grapes in Indian market. Although creative, it is a bold move to launch a flavor which hasn't been completely tested with the Indian consumer market. Being an ardent Appy fan, I picked up Grappo to Greview it.

The First Look
With its hip name and irresistible bottle design, it scores over other regular colas and oranges in the regrigerator. The product is targeted at the youth and is quite evident from the bottle that read jargons like "say mah name" & "Grape4Life" and an astoundingly creative curriculum-wittae that speaks of Grappo as a laid-off Call Center employee with its loves, hates, origin and much more. Grappo is placed at a slighly higher entry-level price of Rs. 27/500ml.

The First Sip
The imagination of pulpy grape droplets and preserved fruit juices are subdued at the very first sip of Grapo. Neither it leaves you satisfied nor tempting for more. It's more of a Fizz and less of a grape. Moreover, it tastes on similar lines to Appy, leaving up to the 'cousin-relationship'. In my view, this sparkling Grape drink fails to create a separate identity and in-turn may cause dilution of the Fizz Brand.

#1. Grappo debut mania: I checked out the latest 'Grappo-Fizz'. Did you?
#2. The 'totally bottlelicious' bottles as a part of kitchen inventory and picnic cavalry.
#3. The real-life Fizz character as an advertising masterpiece.
#4. Hope of an all-new Guava-Fizz or a Melon-Fizz from the Parle stable.
#5. The Appy vs. Grappo battle (Survival of the Fizziest) at

#1. Failure of a much-hyped flavor to sustain as a stand-alone drink.
#2. Instead of a Fanta challenging Mirinda, it's a case of Fanta challenging its own bro Coca-Cola
diluting each other's share

#3. Definitely not a first choice drink to hang-out with.

Rating: 3/5 sips

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are my personal and not part of a campaign. Other views that may agree of differ are invited for discussion.