A Whole New Ballgame: Analyzing and Understanding India's Emerging Middle Class Market
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With a population of roughly 1.2 billion, India is home to the world's largest democracy and by 2030, as demographers predict, the world's most populous nation. More importantly, India contains one of the fastest-growing economies in the world today. Since liberal economic reforms were first enacted in 1991, India has become a preferred location for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from businesses looking to take advantage of this massive new market. While India does have pressing poverty issues, with over 40% of the population living under the international poverty line, its consumer middle class is projected to skyrocket to roughly 583 million people by 2025. With even more recent economic reforms opening India up to the free market, the steady stream of FDI is transforming into a raging river of prosperity. However, any business planning on recycling the same market globalization strategies is setting itself up for failure. For a foreign company to succeed in India, it must understand the unique nature of the Indian consumer as well as the remarkably heterogeneous, schizophrenic nature of India itself. The goal of this thesis is threefold: First, to convince businesses of the pressing need to enter the Indian market; Second, to give an interested company a road map of the complex modern marketplace of India through careful segmentation of Indian consumers as well as an analysis of the successes and failures of big retailers such as Wal-Mart and Kellogg's; and last, to give that company a winning market strategy for Consumer India.