/ Early Phase Innovation
India is a land complex in its geography, with 3.28 Million sq. km. in area (1/3 rd the size of USA), 28 states, 7 Union territories, 5161 towns and 630,000 villages.
It is a land complex in its people, with a population of 1 Billion+. Though 72% of the population is rural, it has an urban base of over 250 million. She is a young country, with half its population under 20 years, yet, 8.5% of the population is above 60.
India is a land complex in its culture, with 18 official languages, 1600+ mother tongues, over 30 different religions, 12 different New Year within a calendar year and multi ethnic groups across the geographical area. She is a melting pot of cultures
India is 11th largest industrialized nation with the 13th largest GDP. Measured in dollars, at purchasing power parity of the rupee, India's GDP is the 4th largest, after USA, China, & Japan. The projected GDP growth of 7% translates into consumer durable growth of 20-25%; adding an Australia every year. The rural sector assumes greater importance as 72% of the population is rural.
In India, US $ 1 buys you newspapers for all working days of a month, a light meal for 1 at McDonald’s, bread for 3 days for a family, 3 Cans of Coke, and subscription for 1 month to the premium weekly of the country.
A glimpse of consumer goods in india show that there are 17 million TV sets added in last 5 years with 6 million sets being added every year. India is the largest producers of 2-wheelers; 1.5 million two wheeler production every year. It is the second largest in the world with use of 3 million tonnes of detergents and has the largest biscuit brand in the world – Parle-G.
Easy Finance is also driving the economy in India. Consumer finance shot up from zero to 1 billion USD in 3 years. India has 1.6 million shareholders; 3.08 million income tax payers; 2.28 million car owners and 333.2 million bank accounts.
The Indian culture is also changing partly due to economic growth, and partly due to globalization. From a savings and save now - buy later culture, Indians are moving to a spending and a buy now - pay later approach. Social norms are transitioning from traditional to modern; joint family to nuclear family; group and collectivist to individualistic. On the product and service design the pendulum is swinging from functionality driven to convenience driven, and from durability to designer.
Children are the main drivers of spends and show increasing “pester power”. Nuclear families and additional income due to working mothers is fueling spends on children on vacations, eating out, packaged foods & snacks, activities such as tennis, swimming, art, karate classes, and on health food & supplements
Indian spending psyche is difficult to understand. Indian consumers pay for a CD player but balks at the price of CD. He buys a Rs. 300,000 car but keeps his plastic seat covers on for as long as 6 months and quits the authorized service center after his first 3 free services. She buys a flat screen TV but sees the idea of paying Rs. 20 for an additional channel as plain & simple extortion. They adore their surprisingly small mobile, but fume at their call bills. He buys a PC but expects Windows 7 and other software bundled along ‘free’.
This approach can be seen as a development of Contextual Design in which social and cultural factors are considered in the deployment of an existing technology.