Decoding the Indian customers’ behaviour

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Sanjiv Goenka, vice-chairman, RPG Enterprises, classifies the Indian consumer as being highly ambitious. Speaking at the India Economic Summit in Delhi, Goenka said, “I consider change in consumer expectations to be one of the major challenges facing the Indian retail business.”

On the same lines, James Scott, regional operating officer, Asia, Metro Cash & Carry International, Hong Kong SAR, said, “India’s consumer market is in a transformational state with dynamic changes in the demand pattern.”, Scott also pointed out that it is the bottom of the pyramid where innovation will lead to sustainable consumer markets.

According to Scott, the supply chain, particularly the cold chain, needs to be developed along with bringing about efficiency in agriculture and better linkages to the local markets. “An encouraging regulatory environment and more physical investments are required to stimulate development,” said Scott.

Sharing his views, Kalendu Patel, executive vice president, Emerging Business, Best Buy, USA, said, “No such thing as ‘average consumer’ exists in today’s consumer markets. It is very important to understand the diversity in terms of the type of consumers along with connecting to the consumers locally.”

Patel further said, “Customisation according to the local needs of the customer and simultaneously tapping the existing global opportunities is a big challenge facing the Indian retail business today.”

Aron Cramer, president and CEO, Business for Social Responsibility, USA, said, “Several resource constraints will provide the opportunity to rethink existing business and product models. Diversified product range, recreating value chain according to consumer needs and increased communication with the consumer are some of the ways that can help grow the consumer markets.” He also pointed out that India needs more innovative models like e- chaupal developed by ITC.

—Shailesh Shah & Sarimul Islam Choudhury

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