The changing Indian Consumer

With changing economic situation of India, its not that only the rich are spending more and more but in fact its the great Indian middle class that's thrown caution to the winds and enjoying themselves like never before and are on a spending juggernaut.

Brand India is riding high. For Indians with disposable income in their pockets, happy times are here. With the sun shining on them, thoughts of a rainy day have been banished. It's a new mindset at play. Living for the day is the new motto. This translates into spending on a new home, a new car, the latest digital camera, appliances for the kitchen, home decor etc.

The change is drastic compared to a generation back where saving for a rainy day was the usual practice. There was a clear line drawn between necessities, which could be counted on the fingertips of one hand, and luxuries. Loans were not forthcoming. Giving or taking one was frowned upon. Never borrow, never lend was the favorite theme.

Banks and credit card companies are vying with each other in offering loans to customers. The credit card business is booming. Indians were sold 45,000 credit cards a day last year and together they spent Rs 120 crore a day through credit cards during the year.

The face of changing India is reflected as Airlines, hotels, FMCG companies, auto giants, retail chains, mobile phone companies are all reworking strategies and slashing prices to reach the low-end consumer in rural areas.

The success-driven Indians don't have to wait for opportunity to knock at their doors. It is all around them and in plenty. With a job scene that is booming a host of avenues are open to even college students. A slew of industries that had almost no presence in the country a few moons back are dishing out jobs in plenty. Call centers, retail chains, mobile phone companies, data processing firms have all contributed to the job explosion.

But that's not the whole story. Even as high-tech gadgets have invaded the Indian consumer market with the liberalization of the economy, finding two square meals a day is a daunting task for some. It is this broad spectrum of people perhaps that makes India keep its head on its shoulders and not get carried away.

It is definitely advantage India with foreign businesses tapping the low-cost, highly educated, English speaking pool of human talent.

- Contributed by Ankita Sinha