A 100% digital employee benefits company, Sodexo Benefits and Rewards Services in India is enhancing the consumer experience for its users, on both online and offline platforms. Sodexo CEO Stephane Michelin tells Sudhir Chowdhary about the company’s offerings and some of the clients that have adopted these solutions. Excerpts:
How was the journey that led to Sodexo becoming a 100% digital company?
Sodexo has completed 20 years in India this year. In these past 20 years, Sodexo has established itself as the leader in employee benefits solutions. Today, we are a 100% digital company with advanced meal benefit and gifting solutions to offer to our clients, as part of the integrated employee benefit suite. The digital journey started three years back when Sodexo began setting up its proprietary network and chose not to go the Mastercard or Visa route. We began our digital journey with the aim to establish digital acceptance of our meal cards. It took a lot of time, effort and money, but Sodexo wanted to do it right, by building its proprietary network. The company has a one-on-one relationship with every merchant for acceptance of the Sodexo meal card only for food and non-alcoholic beverages—this ensures complete compliance for the meal benefit.
Can you describe your revenue model?
Sodexo partners 11,000-plus clients in India across industries and segments. It charges a fee to their clients for providing services and a small fee to the merchants for helping them grow their business.
What are the kinds of employee benefit solutions that Sodexo offers?
In India, Sodexo Benefits and Rewards Services offers an integrated suite of digital employee benefits solutions. The meal benefit offerings include meal cards and cafeteria cards. The company’s fully-digital rewards and recognition offerings include the premium pass range of solutions for incentive programmes, festivals and special occasions.
Who are your major clients that have adopted these solutions?
Our clients range from large conglomerates with 10,000-plus employees to SME clients with less than 100 employees. Some of our prominent clients include LIC, RBI, L&T, Wipro, Citi Bank, Tata Steel & Deloitte.
What is your client and customer base and how many customers do you add every year?
Currently, Sodexo reaches out to over 3 million daily consumers in India in more than 1,500 cities nationally catering to 11,000-plus clients at 100,000 unique points of acceptance.
How is Sodexo competing with the upcoming start-ups and solutions in the space?
With an experience of 20 years in the country, Sodexo is the leader in employee benefits space. We are the only company in India that has a one-on-one contract with every merchant; this makes it the only network that is 100% compliant with RBI and income tax guidelines. The company aims to improve the quality of daily life of the employees of our clients by offering solutions that enhance productivity at workplace. Sodexo works with many start-ups to leverage the strength of the offerings in order to create a better value proposition for the employees. The company has partnered with key companies from the start-up ecosystem.
Which companies has Sodexo entered into a strategic alliance with and why?
Over the last one year, we have partnered with companies like Zeta, Innoviti, mSwipe, PayU, PineLabs to improve digital acquisition at the point of sale as their technology partners. To increase customer acceptance points on both online and offline platforms, we have partnered with various e-tailers such as BigBasket, Swiggy, Freshmenu, Grofers, etc. Most recently, we announced a strategic alliance with JioMoney to accelerate the Digital India mission further. The partnership will enable thousands of Sodexo Merchants such as grocery shops, kiranas, restaurants and cafes across the country, to accept digital payments via Sodexo. – Financial Express