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Connecting India

10 facts that can guide your business in understanding India and how to market here.


With a population of more than 1.3 billion people, India is the world’s largest democracy. ‘Kabhi Kabhi toh lagta hai apun hi bhagwaan hai!’  We love our cricketers and Bollywood actors. We welcome everyone with open arms, especially if they agree to dance and wobble their heads with us in agreement. 

The rapid economic development and urbanisation of the country have resulted in a shift in the consumer lifestyle. Indian consumers today are increasing their efforts towards self-betterment and self-care, on a journey to becoming the best versions of themselves.

Here are the 10 things you need to know about us:


Diversity’s our middle name

India is not a nation with many states but a state of many nations. It is a country that truly defines unity in diversity. Wherever you go, you will find people speaking different languages and eating different food. The clothes too reflect stark differences between modern and traditional. India remains one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world. Apart from its many religions and sects, India is home to innumerable castes and tribes.


Millennials are coming, Millennials are coming! Oh, they’re here

India has the world’s largest millennial population in absolute terms. Falling in the age group of 18-35 years, and having a population of over 440 million, millennials constitute nearly 34% of the country’s total population. India is expected to become the youngest country by 2022, with an average age of 29.  Further, millennials account for a major share in the workforce population. With the largest millennial population globally, India offers tremendous growth potential for the consumer markets and retailers.


Health & Wellness – Tan ki shakti, Man ki shakti is everything! 

Health consciousness has seeped into the national conversation in recent years. 57% of consumers now spend on health and wellness. This includes 46% of consumers who are spending on services such as health checkups, gym memberships, and diet consultations, and 40% of consumers who are spending on healthier food. Interestingly, for a majority of the Indians who spend on fitness activities, the motivation is less to feel healthy than to look healthy. The biggest motivation is to lose weight and look attractive. The trend toward health and wellness is also affecting non-health-related industries in some unpredictable ways. For instance, Indians now occasionally walk to a destination instead of taking a cab, and 40% have cut down on their media and online use to create more time for physical activities.


Instant Gratification philosophy – Patience Kam hai boss! 

With credit card debt, rollover or balance transfer and EMI, buying products has never been easier. So, from a saving-for-the-future mindset, consumers have moved to one of instant gratification. From purchases of cars, two-wheelers, durables, mobiles, to spending on eating out, personal grooming and spa treatments, everything is needed right now.


Information-centred Shopping – Research toh karle pehle!

Indians treat information gathering as an integral part of the shopping experience. 85% of consumers check at least two data points (beyond prices and discounts) when they’re buying something, and roughly 50% do some sort of online research. Among the sorts of information that people look for are product reviews, manufacturing and expiration dates, and how a product compares with alternatives in terms of features. This is true even for a simple product, such as yogurt. “You need to know what you’re buying.”


Who run the world? Emerging Women decision-makers!

A few years ago, the gender gap in secondary education in India, which had been narrowing for decades, disappeared altogether. On the heels of this change has come another: women now have the final say in the majority of household purchasing decisions (54% of the time).

And that final say isn’t limited to categories traditionally targeted to women. 51%  of Indian women make the ultimate decision about their families’ leisure travel plans and 44% have the final say about bikes and scooters. Moreover, women shop differently from men. For example, when shopping for gadgets, men will look for a popular brand that they’ve researched online, while women will visit multiple stores and take the time to hear what store associates have to say.


Evolving Indian families – Hum saath saath hai, emotionally!

While Indian families are moving from joint family structures to nuclear families, which we define as a couple or a single person, with or without children. Family is still the top priority for Indians. No matter where they stay, no decision is taken with everyone’s consent. A son living in Mumbai will first consult with his parents living in Ahemdabad before any important purchase.  In fact, an intervention with any family member is an intervention with the whole family. We might be moving away from previous family structures but our values remain the same. 


Environmentally & socially aware – Healthy Desh ki mitti is in! 

Indians are getting environmentally and socially aware and conscious with each passing day. They’re moving from branded products to environment-friendly products. They’re actively voicing their opinions on such issues and boycotting products they think might affect the environment. Brands establishing a reputation for environmental stewardship and sustainability are bound to grow market share and build loyalty among the millennials. Over and above this, Indians are coming together to support each other in social causes as well. 


The excitement of last-minute booking and search – Long weekend hai, Goa chale? 

The spur-of-the-moment generation goes for booking vacations last minute due to the excitement of not knowing where they’re going until the very last second. Also, the corporate trends show a rise in last-minute bookings due to last-minute meetings. The recent data suggests travel-related searches for “tonight” and “today” have grown over 150% on mobile, over the past two years. 38% of bookings are made on the same day or two days before a trip, 53% are made within a week of a trip, and just 19% are made in advance.


Homegrown takes the throne – Dil hai Hindustani!

It’s no accident that in Indian retail stores, locally produced products have prominent shelf positions: 50% of Indian consumers will bypass international brands in favour of an Indian brand in at least one category. The trend is strongest in food, including staples and packaged beverages (where the preference for Indian brands is 47% and 37%, respectively). Personal and home care products are other areas where the trend is visible, with about one-third of respondents consciously buying Indian brands instead of international ones. They use Indian herbs and Ayurvedic ingredients, which really suit the Indian skin better than the chemicals used by international brands.



Study by Booking.com
Quote by Berger & Foster, 1986