Indian consumer markets are currently in a transformational stage. Broadly categorised into urban and rural markets, the Indian consumer segment is gaining high attention and pampering from marketers across the world. An expanding middle class, rising incomes and spending power, majority of youth in total population, rapid urbanisation and several other factors have glorified India’s consumption story thereby giving everything what an economy would require to mark a growth rate of about 9 per cent.
Global research company McKinsey had referred to India as the ‘Bird of Gold’ in its report titled ‘The Bird of Gold: The Rise of India’s Consumer Market’. Consumer product makers and analysts now believe that this bird is ready to fly with wings wide spread in the global sky.
Another change that Indian consumer markets are experiencing is the blurring difference between rural and urban consumers. Rural consumers’ basket mirrors that of their urban counterparts, giving a rise to the concept of ‘rurbanisation’. This implies that marketers are making urban-centered products (such as diapers and deodorants) available in the rural markets as well.
‘Geography is history’, has been well said by Sameer Satpathy, executive vice-president and business head, consumer product business at Marico Ltd. He mentioned that location of the consumer does not really matter now. The mind-set is the same in urban and rural areas, but the challenge is to get access to such consumers who have similar approach.
Companies across the globe are scouting for a space in Indian consumer markets. They are willingly tuning their strategies and offerings to please the Indian tastes and preferences. Some of the efforts, investments and developments are discussed below-
India’s urban population, though small in proportion, has a big contribution in the evolution of the internet genre in the country. Finding the Indian e-commerce space lucrative enough, Amazon, the world’s largest online retail company, has entered the market with a promise of ensuring low prices for users and a better platform for sellers. India is the tenth market where Amazon has come up with a country-specific retail Web site.
While Amazon.in will introduce categories like mobile phones and cameras in its online store eventually, it has made available books, movies and TV shows for sale to its users.
Online portals are also expected to be very instrumental for companies trying to access rural markets in near future. Internet facilitates a cost-effective means to expand a company’s reach exponentially by overcoming geographic barriers. With rural India getting empowered with computers and smartphones, internet is definitely going to make its way very soon.