Major trends reshape India

02 March 2012

NEW DELHI: Major trends from rapid urbanisation to the rise of mobile phones will transform consumer habits in India going forward, a study has argued.

Kinetic, the out-of-home agency network, partnered with Lightspeed Research, the survey firm, to poll 3,000 people in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai.

Overall, 78% of participants saw the key aspect of shopping as a "freedom" to switch and find better value, 74% referenced convenience and 69% mentioned "buying something if they think they deserve it."

A majority (55%) of young consumers also revealed that they enjoyed visiting malls with friends, and 71% said they would be happy to socialise less and therefore have more money to spend on brands.

Currently, 73% of this audience purchase food and drink products "whenever they are on the go", and 77% are likely to eat out in a restaurant when meeting friends for dinner.

More broadly, the report suggested that 30% of India's population, or 360m people, now live in cities, a total due to hit 40% by 2030.

As such, 68 cities will house over 1m people by 2030, while 13 will have a minimum of 4m residents and six will contain at least 10m individuals, with Mumbai alone on 33m.

Turning to rural India, the market was estimated to be worth $425bn in 2011, and infrastructure improvements, increasing mobile phone adoption and rising literacy and disposal income rates should push this figure upwards.

Indeed, 73% of respondents favour their mobile phone compared with PCs and laptops, and 71% believed they were "nothing" without their handset.

Looking ahead, 200m Indians are expected to log on to the web via this route in 2016, versus 40m today.

Ecommerce is also set to grow from Rs2,000 crore today to Rs7,000 crore in 2015. A 37% share of the panel already "preferred" shopping online for convenience and time-saving reasons.

Organised retail stores like supermarkets and hypermarkets are also becoming more popular, and expanding at around five times the pace of traditional outlets.

However, while 33% of Indians visit a local street market two to three times a week, just 36% went to modern formats with the same frequency each month.

Data sourced from Kinetic; additional content by Warc staff