pluxee expansion: Staff benefits firm Pluxee eyes expansion via tieups

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Pluxee, the employee benefits unit spun off from French catering and facilities management group Sodexo, is looking to expand its India operations in the education, health and online payment services segments, a senior company executive told ET.

“While we’re working largely in the corporate space, we have in the last couple of years diversified into education to implement our solutions for the entire education industry in India…,” said Anish Sarkar, chief executive officer of Pluxee India, whose platform for employees offers a host of benefits, including vouchers for food, reward and recognition, gifting, fuel, telecom and broadband.

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According to Sarkar, the company is engaging with educational institutions to provide digitisation solutions and cafeteria services.

“We are also looking at partnering with digital health and fitness companies to offer our health and wellbeing offerings,” said Sarkar, adding that in India, Pluxee is already working with 20 health and wellness partners.

Last year, Pluxee India received in-principle approval from the Reserve Bank of India to operate as an online payment aggregator.

According to the CEO, the company is already working with some 150 online portals and merchants.

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“Today, we are running our own merchant network in the meal and food space. We have already gotten in-principle approval for the online payment aggregator licence…,” said Sarkar. “And we do hope to be able to partner with them in future, for example, as an aggregation partner.”Globally, Pluxee is working with more than 11,000 corporate clients and some 150,000 merchants, giving it a consumer base of more than 3.5 million people, according to Sarkar.

In India, the company has partnerships with large retail outlets like Reliance and Spencers, along with more than 125 online players, including Licious, Blinkit and BigBasket, and quick service restaurant chains like KFC and McDonald.

According to Sarkar, the company plans to introduce a new consumer membership programme, ‘Pluxee Pro’, in the next few weeks, offering cost savings up to Rs 5,000 across categories, including food, travel, wellness and entertainment.

Pluxee India is also targeting micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and startups, recognising the increasing demand for improved employee experiences in these sectors.

“There are a lot of startups we work with… That is another horizontal sector we are targeting,” Sarkar said.

Also, with its listing on Euronext Paris scheduled for February 1, 2024, Pluxee intends to hire more than 1,000 people globally, Sarkar said, adding that the ongoing recruitment effort in India aims to support local business and global tech teams as Pluxee transitions into an independent company.

Globally, the top competitors of Sodexo include US-based food service and facilities provider Aramark, and the UK-based Compass Group, among others.

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