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Indian Consumer

Indian Consumer

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Published by rumnraisin
It's an overview of the buying habits and the Indian consumer as such. It also talks of the characteristics of the socio-economic classes in India.
It's an overview of the buying habits and the Indian consumer as such. It also talks of the characteristics of the socio-economic classes in India.

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Published by: rumnraisin on Mar 13, 2011
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11/24/2012

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BROAD PROFILE OF THE INDIAN CONSUMER 
DEMOGRAPHICS
Size of the Population
The population of India in 2009 was 1198.003 million and isestimated to be 1214.464 million in 2010 according to the Population Division of theDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat, WorldPopulation Prospects: The 2008 Revision and World Urbanization Prospects: The 2009Revision. In 2008, approximately 338 million people lived in urban areas while 811 million people lived in the rural areas according to the UN Statistics Division.
Literacy and Education
The nation’s adult literacy rate has not seen much of a rise since 2001 putting itapproximately at 66% between 2003-2008; the Data referring to the most recent year available during the period specified.
DIVERSITY IN INDIA
Indian consumers are not a homogeneous lot. They are marked by great diversity. It is thisdiversity that strikes us first when we look at Indian consumers that is diversity in religion,language, culture, tradition, social customs, and dress and food habits.
Religious diversity
The one billion people of India belong to seven different religious groups—Hindus,Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains and Zoroastrians. In addition, there are other  persuasions and there are sects, sub-sects, castes and sub-castes. Each religion has its ownhierarchic structure, concretized through centuries of practices. Each caste has its owncustoms established over generations. In birth and death, in marriage and family life, theindividual is entangled in the chores of his religion or caste. What is welcome for one religionis taboo for the other; and something totally banned in one religion is an accepted practice inanother.
 
Linguistic diversity
The same diversity is seen in the matter of language. Sixteen languages have been specifiedin the Constitution of India as national languages. In addition, there are hundreds of dialects.In several places, many amalgams of languages have been formed as a result of shifting populations. If a marketing man has to approach the entire national market of India, thislinguistic diversity is a big challenge.
Diversity in dress and food habits
As far as dress is concerned, India holds out the picture of widely varying styles. Almostevery state, or religious community, has its own traditional styles of dress. The same is thecase with ornaments and Jewellery. As regard food, rice is the staple food in the South andwheat in the North. Of course, in several of the southern states people now consume wheat products as co-food items. Likewise, certain southern dishes have become popular in thenorth. Still the basic difference in food habits remains. There are certain communities, whichare strict vegetarians. For meat eaters, there are several restrictions; for the Hindu, beef istaboo, for the Muslim, pork is taboo, for the Christian, both are delicious. Some use coconutoil as the cooking medium, some use groundnut oil, and some others, mustard or gingelly oil.The conclusion if a marketer wants to market his products in India he has to consider all theabove diversified aspects before planning the marketing strategy. Accordingly theadvertisements, sales promotion activities, distribution channels and retailing plans must bedrawn in order to successfully sell the goods whether for B2B or consumer goods throughmalls and retailers.
GEOGRAPHIC SPREAD
Distribution of population in urban and rural India is unequal and has differences. India is primarily an agrarian society, where majority of the population are dependent on agricultureand allied activities in rural areas. In the urban areas of the country, people are not dependenton agriculture. Normally an urban area is one in which 75 percent of the population lives bynon-agricultural occupations but in the beginning of 20th century this was not the case inIndia. In 1901, only 1 out of every 9 Indians lived in towns or cities. Today, after so manydecades the situation has experienced remarkable changes. Today every fourth Indian is a
 
city-dweller. In 1901, the sum total of people living in urban areas was around 26 million. By1991, the number of people living in urban areas had escalated up to 218 million. This figurefar surmounts the total population of Russia, Canada and Australia taken together. Morealarming is the fact that two third of India`s total urban population lives in A-1 cities thathave a populace of several lakh people. This ever-increasing population exerts terrific pressure on the existing brittle civic, social and sanitary services.At present in India, the ten leading populated urban districts includeKolkata, Chennai,  Mumbai,Hyderabad, Delhi,Chandigarh,Pune, Bengaluru,AhmedabadandKanpur.These ten city districts alone account for more than 5 percent of the total population of the country.The average density of these districts is around 6888 persons per sq km. Among the largestates likeMaharashtra,GujaratandTamil Naduare considered as the most urbanised states. More than 35 percent of the total population of these states lives in cities. Another fact of enormous significance is the fast development of major cities. Each of such cities has morethan one million people. In 1981 there were 12 such cities. However, their number had risento 23.More than 80% of the population of upper strata consumers is living in the top 7 cities. Thosetop 7 cities are Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, and Hyderabad.With increase in economic prosperity, this population (upper strata consumers) is growing at10 percent annually.Over a period of 90 years, the rural population has barely increased. During the same time,urban population had amplified by more than eight times. Today`s urban population in Indiais even greater, compared to the total rural population of India, as it was in 1901. When population in India was expanding very swiftly, the percentage of young populationaccounted for as much as near about 44 percent of the whole population. However, it haddeclined over the years. The old population over the last decade has enlarged from around 6.2 percent to 6.76 percent. This is a hint that due to propagation of education and magnified and bettered health services, the normal longevity has been increasing steadfastly. The averagelife expectancy has now nearly doubled since 1951 for both males and females.Education, health and medical care of the young and the old make an imperative demand onthe resources of the economically dynamic population. Further more, both the groups aredependent on the population of the middle-age group. The dependency ratio is measured by

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