Indian retail business grows 10% in February this year: RAI

Retail growth in north and west India (Delhi and Mumbai) biggest increase

According to the Retailers Association of India’s (RAI) latest business survey, retail sales in India increased 10% in February this year compared to the same month last year, indicating that the industry is returning to normalcy. The increase is also a 6% increase over February 2020.

Growth in the regions might provide a guide on where your best brand opportunities are – Retail firms in all regions showed growth in February 2022, with sales in West India up 16% YoY, East India increased by 4%, North India increased by 17%, and South India had a 4% increase.

Consumer durables and electronics, food and grocery, and quick service restaurants (QSR) all saw strong YoY increase of 28%, 19%, and 16%, respectively.

The apparel and footwear categories have also shown double-digit increase.

Talking to your State Government India business offices and to Austrade is a good idea – and have a chat with those who have been there before you.

Well done on Modi deals, Scott Morrison – he “gets” India

Australian PM Scott Morrison at the virtual talks yesterday with Indian PM Modi.

In a meeting yesterday with Indian PM Narendra Modi, Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, cemented ties with India in a series of deals worth almost A$190 million. He gets (understands) India.

PM Modi is an “investment magnet”, but is also strongly wary of “multilateral” groupings and has a preference to do deals country by country.

So, PM Morrison did a country by country deal. He used some of the western rhetoric over Russia, Ukraine and China, but then got stuck into business.

What is there to “get” about India that matters in our region?

First, it wants investment.

Second, it stays away from promoting democracy as the ONLY future, instead seeing all countries as different and many having different forms of government – all accepted by India.

Third, it now buys most of its defence hardware from Russia and has a long standing close relationship with them.

Fourth, it wants to be in the QUAD (Australia, Japan, USA and India) but will only play on its own terms – that is, not condemning others and not championing democracy as the only solution.

Fifth, Modi is riding high, and he has numbers to back it up – India is the world’s fastest growing economy in 2020. You have to “get” his confidence levels, which are high.

Sixth, India is keen for more Indians to have access to Australia and to work here – PM Morrison “gets” this, and it was significant that the Monday night talks also included a taskforce to see if both countries could recognise the same education qualifications.

Seventh, India has a proud culture and history, feels rightly that much has been plundered by the west – so it was highly important that the National Gallery of Australia formalised the return of artefacts to India.

Future challenges?

There are plenty. The CECA (free trade deal) will soon announce “early harvest” deals and then plans to complete a full CECA some time this year. Good luck with that – especially as our own Aussie negotiators have always been averse to cherry picking. I think PM Morrison gets the need for flexibility and hope he is challenging his bureaucrats to do the same.

Relying more on our High Commission staff in Delhi would be a good step as we have outstanding people there.

But by and large, finally, it seems Australia is “getting” India.

Tata Sons chief to chair Air India

Natarajan Chandrasekaran

Mumbai-headquartered Tata Sons Chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran has been appointed as the chairman of Air India, media reports said on Monday.

Tata Sons recently acquired debt-laden, state-run Air India in what was a homecoming for the airline that was founded by the Tatas in 1932 as Tata Airlines before being nationalised in 1953.

Tata Group is a huge conglomerate and the “jewel in the crown” is Tata Consulting Services (TCS). No doubt Air India will soon be a leader too.

Read more here:

https://www.peoplematters.in/news/appointments/tata-sons-chief-n-chandrasekaran-appointed-as-chairman-of-air-india-33178?fbclid=IwAR3uA8HLkv5ztTkA0hTpqelJefh8gr4mMDxMToDr6liS40atJFPIo_J4PCM

India has the largest child population – a market hungry for product

India has the largest child population globally – 125-150 million in the age group up to 4 years.

With increasing numbers of Indian women in employment, rising awareness of child nutrition and rapid urbanisation, the paediatric nutrition category presents a significant growth opportunity.

Opportunities include child products in health, wellness and nutrition space – encompassing wellness nutrition as well as disease specific nutrition and our consumer brands.

Add to this education and learning, toys, clothing and much more.

The Demographic Dividend

In a favourable development for India, the growth in India’s working age population (people between 15 and 64 years of age) is outnumbering the growth in its dependant population. Children aged 14 or below as well as people aged above 65 years fall under the latter category.

This surge in the working-age population is expected to last for a total spell of 37 years, until 2055.

According to studies, such a phase is usually accompanied by a rapid economic growth.

3 flights X 3 meetings strategy to engage with India

Engaging with India means building relationships – and although this is a bit quick, you can build relationships after 3 flights and 3 visits. Anything less places you at risk of misunderstanding both the opportunity and the pathway.

Here are 4 ways to make your 3 flights X 3 meetings introduction work well:

Adopt a patient long term view

One way to improve our cultural dexterity would be to take a long term view and apply lots of patience. Businesses should not start out on market entry unless they are prepared to commit at least five years to making it work.

Focus on relationships

India is not a short term transaction opportunity – to succeed there needs a longer term focus on building relationships. The first trade meeting in India can be exciting and positive, but from the India side this is just seen as an introduction and they will wait to see if the relationship grows.

Remember in Indian culture “no” is rarely said

Indians are among the most courteous and generous hosts on the planet. On top of this, their culture demands that they never provide an outright rejection or “no” statement, even when this is clearly the only answer. To succeed, our businesses and governments need to dig deeper and find the reality beyond the politeness. 

Adapt to indirect communications

Like most of Asia, Indians are indirect communicators. Problems are rarely addressed directly and unless you have an ear for indirectness, you will miss the warning signs. You can learn how indirect communication works.

INTO INDIA recommends you go to India asap – it could be the time of your life! (business and personal)

Digital retail set to boom in India as it leads the world in VC investment

According to research by London & Partners and its analysis of Dealroom.co investment data, India was the second-largest global venture capital investment hub for digital retail startups in 2022, increasing sharply by 175% from US$ 8 billion in 2020 to US$ 22 billion in 2021. Last year, India came in second to the United States, which attracted US$ 51 billion in investment, followed by China, which received US$ 14 billion, and the United Kingdom, which received US$ 7 billion. Bengaluru led the way in terms of worldwide Venture Capital (VC) investments in digital shopping in 2021, with US$ 14 billion, followed by Gurugram with US$ 4 billion and Mumbai with US$ 3 billion.

Bengaluru was a global leader in digital shopping investment last year. The metropolis nearly tripled its inflows of investments from US$ 5 billion in 2020 to take first place, ahead of New York City (second), San Francisco (third), London (fourth), and Berlin (fifth). Bengaluru was placed fifth among cities with the potential to produce future unicorns, just behind London, according to the research. Following a large consumer shift to e-commerce platforms during the pandemic, global venture capital investment in digital shopping more than doubled in 2021. In 2021, total worldwide venture capital investment is estimated to have reached a new high of US$ 140 billion, up from US$ 68 billion in 2020.

India imports of Australian wine up 81%

Ricky Ponting has teamed up with Mr Riggs for the India wine market

Sam Freeman is Trade and Investment Commissioner at Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) in India and is working with the Aussie wine industry to boost sales in India.

Now he is supporting Ricky Ponting (Ponting Wines) and Ben Riggs (Mr Riggs) in entering the India market.

He says: “Australia has witnessed a dramatic rise in the volume and value of wine being imported into India. The last 12 months have seen 81% growth in Australian exports to India and 10 new brands entering the market.

“Austrade is working with a number of wineries across Australia, to assist in their access to this small but emerging market. It was great to see coverage of one of our clients in Glam Adelaide, expressing their interest in the market and the potential it holds.

“It’s been a pleasure working with Ricky, David & Ben to help them build a strategy and channel for Ponting Wines to enter India. We look forward to seeing their labels on shelves soon.”

India sets world record for longest tunnel above 10,000 feet

Atal Tunnel – recently opened by Indian PM Narendra Modi – is the world’s longest highway tunnel above 10,000 feet according to the World Book of Records. 

The tunnel carries a lot of importance strategically as it is 9.02 kilometres long which runs under the ‘Rohtang Pass’ and was constructed on the Manali–Leh highway.

It reduced the travel time by four to five hours and have reduced the distance on Manali–Sarcha road by 46 km. Lt General Mr. Rajeev Chaudhry, Director General of the Border Roads Organisation (DGBR), was honoured for the Border Roads Organisation (BRO’s) outstanding performance in establishing this engineering marvel connecting Manali and the Lahaul-Spiti Valley.

Time to take another look at modern India?

India ranks 3rd in US Green Building Council’s 2021 global list for sustainable spaces

Some things provide a “wake up call” on how quickly things are changing in modern India.

This is a great example.

India is placed third in the globe on the US Green Building Council’s (USGBC) annual ranking of the top 10 nations and areas outside of the United States for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) in 2021. The country has seen a 10% rise in LEED certified space since 2020. These are 146 buildings that have a total of 2.8 million gross area square meters (GSM) of space.

India has 1,649 LEED certified buildings with a total area of 46.2 million gross square metres. The Indian government has taken the lead in putting the health of its residents first, asking businesses to start with the required safety standards in place said Mr.Gopalakrishnan Padmanabhan, Managing Director – Southeast Asia & Middle East, GBCI.

Time to take another look at India?

https://www.usgbc.org/leed

India’s middle class and wealthy consumers – the facts reveal why you should engage with India

Conservative figures put the Indian middle class at 228 million

How big is India’s middle and wealthy class? And where are they?

Although this information is essential to your India engagement strategy, until now the answers have really only been speculation.

Lack of data continues to be a challenge, and estimates can vary wildly.

So, INTO INDIA brings you some numbers robust enough for you to use in your planning.

While some estimates put the middle class at 500 million or more, using a much tighter definition of middle class, Hurun Research produced much smaller numbers than most. They defined middle class as households who have more than over A$4,682 per year to spend on housing, travel, cars, education and products. These numbers found 57 million Indian households in the combined class of middle class and wealthy. Now, assuming each household might be four people, that becomes 228 million people.

Things are changing so fast that researchers have added a new category – the “New Middle Class”. In 2021 this new group was 633,000 households – around 2.5 million individuals. Who is in this group? It is those households who have approximately A$37,500 per year to spend on housing, travel, cars, education and products – a very exciting market!

Most of my research – but not all of it – comes from the Hurun Report, a leading research, luxury publishing and events group established in London in 1998 with presence in India, China, France, UK, USA, Australia, Japan, Canada and Luxembourg. It is widely recognized world-over for its comprehensive evaluation of the wealthiest individuals across the globe.

There are 412,000 dollar-millionaire households/affluent households in India with a networth of at least US$1 million.

Hurun Rich Listers have a wealth of Rs 1,000 crore (142 million), the report says, and pegs the number of such cumulative households in India at 3,000.

At the other end of the spectrum is the ‘Indian middle class’ that has earnings of over Rs 2.5-lakh per annum (over A$4,682) and a net worth of less than Rs 7 crore (A$1.3 million). 56,400,000 families in India fall under this category – approximately 224 million individuals.

The McKinsey Global Institute, which defines India’s middle class as households with real annual disposable incomes between 200,000 and 1 million rupees (US$3,606 to $18,031), estimates the ranks of middle class will more than double by 2025 to 583 million—41 percent of the population.

Where are they?

The top 10 states home to 70.3 per cent of millionaire households in India are Maharashtra (capital is Mumbai) has the highest number of millionaires (56,000), followed by Uttar Pradesh (36,000), Tamil Nadu (35,000), Karnataka (33,000) and Gujarat (29,000). City-wise, Mumbai is home to most millionaires (16,933), followed by Delhi (16,000), Kolkata (10,000), Bengaluru (7,582) and Chennai (4,685).

Aslany, who published a study on the Indian middle class in 2019, found that contrary to most assumptions, a significant segment of the Indian middle class resides in rural areas. About 28.05% of India’s population was middle class, Aslany found, adding that 52.31% of the lower middle class, more than 32% of the comfortable middle class, and more than 23% of the upper-middle class was in rural India. Most of the lower middle class in rural India are involved in agriculture, he said.

These realistic numbers should excite you to engage with India – right now demand for everything has gone through the roof!