Indian consumer segment is broadly segregated into urban and rural markets, and is attracting marketers from across the world. The sector comprises of a huge middle class, relatively large affluent class and a small economically disadvantaged class, with spending anticipated to more than double by 2025.
India stood first among all nations in the global consumer confidence index with a score of 133 points for the quarter ending September 2016. Further, in the discretionary spending category, 68 per cent respondents from India indicated the next 12 months as being good to buy, thus ensuring once again that India leads the global top 10 countries for this parameter during the quarter.
Global corporations view India as one of the key markets from where future growth is likely to emerge. The growth in India’s consumer market would be primarily driven by a favourable population composition and increasing disposable incomes. A recent study by the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) suggests that if India continues to grow at the current pace, average household incomes will triple over the next two decades, making the country the world’s fifth-largest consumer economy by 2025, up from the current 12th position.
India’s robust economic growth and rising household incomes are expected to increase consumer spending to US$ 3.6 trillion by 2020#. The maximum consumer spending is likely to occur in food, housing, consumer durables, and transport and communication sectors. The report further stated that India's share of global consumption would expand more than twice to 5.8 per cent by 2020.
The growing purchasing power and rising influence of the social media have enabled Indian consumers to splurge on good things. The Indian consumer sector has grown at an annual rate of 5.7 per cent between FY2005 to FY 2015. Annual growth in the Indian consumption market is estimated to be 6.7 per cent during FY2015-20 and 7.1 per cent during FY2021-25.
The Indian fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies have performed better than their multinational peers as the combined revenue of country's seven leading FMCG companies stood at US$ 11.1 billion in FY 2015-16, as compared with US$ 9.4 billion revenue generated by select seven Multinational Companies (MNCs)†.
A study by US-based networking solution giant CISCO, reveals that in India, the second-largest smartphone market globally, the number of smartphones is expected to grow strongly to over 650 million by 2019. Indian smartphone shipments reached 103.6 million in 2015, thus crossing the 100 million mark, and becoming one of the fastest growing smartphone markets in Asia Pacific region. Smartphone shipments rose to 30 million in July-September 2016 quarter, maintaining its healthy traction with 11 per cent YoY growth. It is estimated that smartphone sales in India will grow about 15 per cent to 125 million in 2017††.
The number of tablets is estimated to reach more than 18 million by 2019 in India, one of the world’s fastest growing Internet market‡.
The online retail sector in India is expected to be a US$ 1 trillion (Rs 660,000 crore) market by 2020@.
Amazon expects India to become its quickest market to reach US$ 10 billion in gross merchandise value (GMV) and to become its largest overseas market surpassing Japan, Germany and the UK.
The Indian beauty, cosmetic and grooming market is likely to reach US$ 20 billion by 2025 from the current US$ 6.5 billion, on the back of growing aspirations and rising disposable income of middle class.!
Following are some major investments and developments in the Indian consumer market sector.
The Government of India has allowed 100 per cent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in online retail of goods and services through the automatic route, thereby providing clarity on the existing businesses of e-commerce companies operating in India.
With the demand for skilled labour growing among Indian industries, the government plans to train 500 million people by 2022 and is also encouraging private players and entrepreneurs to invest in the venture. Many governments, corporate and educational organisations are working towards providing training and education to create a skilled workforce.
The Government of India has drafted a new Consumer Protection Bill with special emphasis on setting up an extensive mechanism to ensure simple, speedy, accessible, affordable and timely delivery of justice to consumers.
In the Union Budget 2017, the government has proposed to spend more on the rural side with an aim to double the farmer’s income in five years; as well as the cut in income tax rate targeting mainly the small tax payers, focus on affordable housing and infrastructure development will provide multiple growth drivers for the consumer market industry.
Union Cabinet reforms like implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Seventh Pay Commission are expected to give a boost to consumer durable sector in India.
The food services market in India is expected to expand at a CAGR of over 12 per cent through 2020##, primarily driven by increasing disposable income, changing lifestyle, and changing tastes and preferences of consumers. Another major factor propelling the demand for food services in India is the growing youth population, primarily in the country’s urban regions. India has a large base of young consumers who form the majority of the workforce and, due to time constraints, barely get time for cooking.
India's e-commerce market is expected to reach US$ 220 billion in terms of gross merchandise value (GMV) and 530 million shoppers by 2025**, led by faster speeds on reliable telecom networks, faster adoption of online services and better variety as well as convenience.
Further, the M2M modules market in India is expected to exceed US$ 4.4 billion by 2020@@, as India has become one of the fastest growing markets for M2M modules in Asia-Pacific (APAC).
Research firm Nielsen projected that rural India’s FMCG market will surpass the US$ 100 billion mark by 2025. Online portals are expected to play a key role for companies trying to enter the hinterlands. The Internet has contributed in a big way, facilitating a cheaper and more convenient means to increase a company’s reach.
Mr Mark Mobius, Executive Chairman, Templeton EM, opined that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) will lead to mergers and rise of world class consumer companies in India.
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References: Media reports, press releases, Press Information Bureau (PIB), Union Budget 2017-18
Notes: # - According to a report by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), @ - According to a recent report by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Deloitte, ## - According to a TechSci Research report, "India Food Services Market Forecast & Opportunities, 2020", ** - as per a report by Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofA-ML), @@ - According to the report titled "India Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Modules Market Opportunities & Forecast, 2020", ! - as per a study by Assocham, July 2016, † - According to a report by The Associated Chambers of Commerce of India (ASSOCHAM) and TechSci Research, †† - According to JP Morgan, ‡ - According to CISCO’s Visual Networking Index (VNI) Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update for 2014-2019