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Perspectives from India

The evolving Indian consumer

The evolving Indian consumer

Prashant Tandon, MD & Co-Founder, Healthkart

Mar 02, 2014 12:00 AM

At HealthKart, we operate is a business area that straddles 3 key sectors of the real economy – Healthcare, Technology & Consumer. We work closely with manufacturers, logistics and the trading community and consequently, we are closely in touch with some very core aspects of the economic engine of India.

From these close quarters, we have ringside view of the buoyancy as well as turbulence that the country faces – and today we feel that after a few tough years, we have reason for significant optimism.

The fundamental India story is on track. The Indian consumer is demanding quality and is willing to pay for value. The consumer is now more aware, more connected and uses technology to access information, products and services that enhance life. Thanks to the growth in our industry (e-commerce), a person in a village in India connected to the internet has access to the highest quality products delivered at his or her doorstep. Infact, today at HealthKart, we see one-third of our transactions come from 500 small towns and villages that constitute the Tier 4 towns & Rural parts of India. This is when the internet penetration and awareness is pretty low – driven purely by a need across this untapped demographic. Just imagine the economic boom that is coming once these places get more connected – suddenly 70% of the Indian population would be brought into the mainstream! And we see that happen every day – it is no longer a story 10 years away – I expect the landscape to fundamentally and disruptively change in just a couple of years, largely driven by internet through smartphone

Across the value chain, we see enhanced penetration of technology and thereby a clear & sustained improvement in productivity and efficiency. From the distributors, manufacturers, warehousing companies, logistic providers to the regulator & government agencies – we see a greater push towards streamlining systems and processes, largely through use of latest technology tools. Soon all these are going to not just add up, but benefits will multiply across the ecosystem.

With a solid demographic story, a fast evolving backend infrastructure and the inevitability of mobile internet connecting the hitherto inaccessible masses – I cannot help feel excited at the prospect of participating in probably the biggest economic story the world would see.



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