during the past seven years.
“This shows that the customer is ready to buy via the DRTV
medium,” Israni says. “The number of [DRTV] companies has
increased from just a few to about 10 in the past five years.”
Israni admits that stability of these new companies “is still of
concern,” but adds the larger picture is “still positive.”
Driving some of that positive outlook is that new welcoming
attitude of consumerism among Indians. According to ICMR, a
business research firm that focuses on Asia, consumer spending
in the past 10 years in India reveals a jump in sales of many different kinds of goods.
ICMR says the factors influencing that consumer spending are: growing income levels, changing attitudes towards
consumption, changes in prices, introduction of new products,
availability of credit, rising aspiration levels, increased literacy,
growing brand consciousness and rapid urbanization.
And insiders say that universal element of wanting to look
and feel good is at play in their purchase decisions. “Vanity is
alive and well, especially among the wealthy and aspiring market
segments,” says Priya Ghai of Guthy-Renker India.
Plus, Ghai says Indians are beginning to use credit cards
more. “While COD remains a standard method of payment,
people are embracing debit and credit cards for purchases, maybe
moreso amongst the younger generations, but that’s important
because more than 70 percent of the population is under 35,”
And they’re perfectly fine with rolling out the welcome mat
to Americans — especially Americans — and their way of life.
“During the past few years, India has become more and more
Westernized,” says Tony Sziklai, president of Moulton Logis-
CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?
Cell phones sell in India.
❯ Before India started its economic reforms, less than 1 percent of the
citizens had a fixed phone line, and practically no one had a mobile
phone. While fixed-lines have nearly tripled, the real story is the mobile
market — more than 211 million subscribers today, and the growth
pace is faster than China’s. Plus, communications spending is expected
to continue to grow at 13. 4 percent per year during the next 20 years.
Source: McKinsey Global Institute
❯ Number of mobile subscribers in India: December 2005 — 76 million;
July 2006 — 111 million; December 2006 — 129.5 million; December
2008 (estimate) — 300 million
❯ World’s highest monthly mobile subscriber increase, summer 2006:
India, with 7 million new mobile subscribers every month
❯ Increase of mobile subscriber base between April and August 2006: 19
❯ Growth in cell phone market 2000-2005 — almost 2,700 percent
Source: Neoncarrot India, a Web site of Indian statistics
Sales for TELEBrands — in India, a telemarketing, mail order and
wholesale company — have increased five times over during the
past seven years. Much of the growth coincides with the increase in
India’s disposable income.
tics Management, a fulfillment company in Van Nuys, Calif.
“They speak English in commercials to show they’re advanced
and can keep up with Western trends.”
Sziklai says they also put an American spin on things because
of a national desire to look and feel like a first-world country.
“They also place a lot of trust in American products, and they sell very easily,”
But Sziklai contends that while commercials in India today look a lot like ads
shown in the U.S., the country is still fairly conservative. “The commercials that
appeal the most to consumers there are
the ones that stress cultural values or ideals,” he says. “There isn’t anything inappropriate or overtly sexual; it is all very
respectful of the Indian population.”
Welcome to ‘Chindia’
With all the growth and changes,
some say India is on the lips of business
leaders now more than ever — sometimes
even more than China.
“The new term is ‘Chindia,’ but
increasingly, despite the impending Olympics in China this year and the rise