India is, as so often stated, the land of opposing truths. Who knows me, will remember me saying while the one is true, the opposite must be true as well; this is India. So while researchers chant the mantra that strategies crafted in developed countries for developed markets and then transferred into developing markets with adapted prices will only capture a small fraction of the Indian market, there is another truth as well. India (and China even more so) has a large enough ‘cream layer‘ of consumers: “in a market with a billion-plus people and a GDP close to $2 trillion, 55-65 per cent of which is domestic consumption, there will always be a segment of people who are ready to buy” (R. Bijapurkar).
That really is the Great Indian Number Trick. Even just a handful of the Indian biryani will fill some growth-starving firm’s tummy. Even a really small percentage of the large Indian number might be pretty massive comparatively. All you have to do is to never forget that “the head, the heart and the purse must be in alignment” (R. Bijapurkar), which means that investments made into the Indian market should be based on well-thought trough feasible market share. A common mistake by multinational companies is often a off-the-ground aspiration.
Example for the Great Indian Number Trick: Audi India Pvt Ltd
Let’s look at the Indian automobile/transportation market. Four-wheel penetration is merely five per cent of all Indian households. Two-wheelers reach at least 21 per cent. But even within this seemingly tiny five percent share the German automobile manufacturer Audi reported in 2013 that they’ve tripled their annual sales volume in India, making it one of their fastest and strategically important markets. Estimates suggest it India to make it into their top 10 markets globally by 2015. Keep in mind, this within a five percent of all Indian households.. that’s the Great Indian Number trick.
- Rama Bijapurkar (2013), A never-before world: Tracking the Evolution of Consumer India
- Sameer Arshad, Economic Times (2013), India to be among Top 10 Markets: Audi, http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2013-03-13/news/37683863_1_audi-sales-audi-group-audi-brand
- Census of India (2011), http://censusindia.gov.in/2011-common/censusdataonline.html