As the concept of ‘sharing economy’ takes wings, large companies in India are increasingly directing their employees to use ‘on-the-go’ services rather than opt for concierge services, a new survey commissioned by American Express has revealed.

Sixty per cent of Indian CFOs surveyed agreed that their company’s travel policy now allows employees to use ‘sharing economy’ services (ride sharing services like Uber or lodging services such as AirBnB) when travelling on business, showed the 11th edition of the Amex Global Business & Spending Outlook Survey.

As many as 40 CFOs of Indian companies with revenues in excess of $500 million each were covered in the annual cross-industry survey, which, in all, had 870 CFO respondents across 21 countries. The survey was conducted by Institutional Investor Thought Leadership Studio.

“This is the first time in the last many years that we have done this survey where 87 per cent of the CFOs told us that commercial innovations of the so-called ‘sharing economy’ will have substantial impact on their industry and their ‘Travel and Entertainment’ spends for the next five year,” Saru Kaushal, Vice-President and General Manager, Global Commercial Services, American Express Banking Corp, India, told BusinessLine . This is the first time that the survey has caught this trend, she added.

Amex in India has adapted the ‘sharing’ philosophy as well. It has created solutions like “Uber for Business” that allow employees to use Amex’s central payment solution and bring down expenses, said Kaushal. The company also has a tie-up with OYO Rooms in India.

“Companies around the world are piggyback riding on ‘sharing economy’. Money saved is redirected to revenue generating activities. Increasingly, corporates in India, too, are encouraging employees to use sharing economy not just for cars but also for lodging,” she said.

Kaushal also said that within the Amex portfolio, the largest use of ‘sharing economy’ is coming out of travel outside India — both for lodging and travel, that too for mid-term and long-term stay.

Other findings

The survey also found that 37 per cent of Indian companies surveyed are likely to spend more on travel and entertainment this year than the previous one. Fifty per cent of the Indian CFOs surveyed maintained that they are likely to keep the spending the same as last year.

Also, 90 per cent said improving cash and working capital management will be more important this year compared to last year.

Nearly 40 per cent of Indian respondents felt that businesses are likely to invest more than last year in improving administrative process efficiency.