India has arrived! In spite of many drawbacks within the country, Indians and the Indian economy have made their presence felt on the global scene. Our economy, growing at 8+ per cent, is mainly due to internal consumption supporting a population of 1.3 billion people. Here are seven key sectors/ categories that are making or are poised to make their mark globally (not in any particular order):
Travel & tourism:
Though India has many cultures and immense natural beauty, it only holds 12th position in Asia and 68th position in the world in the list of most attractive tourist destinations.
The total number of foreign tourists in the country in 2010 was 5.58 million as compared to 5.17 million in 2009, registering a rise of 8.1 per cent.
It is expected to grow at 8 per cent p.a. for the next two to three years. Still, India’s share of global tourism is just about 1.5 per cent. This definitely can be much higher.
There are many marketing initiatives like ‘Incredible India’ in place to boost in-bound tourism. Initiatives need to be undertaken by the government in partnership with private entrepreneurs. Investments are needed in the areas of infrastructure, safety, medical facilities and improved price value equation.
Ayurveda: Ayurveda is uniquely Indian. It is now being recognised the world over. But though the estimated global market size is close to $65 billion, India holds just about 1 per cent of this market. India can play a significant role on the global platform if it can improve its focus at cultivation, manufacturing and government policy level. It requires a strong marketing push by integrating Ayurveda in mainstream marketing, giving it new market access, aiding new product development, branding and visibility.
Food processing and packaged foods: India is the second largest food producer in the world and has the potential to emerge as the biggest. Despite this, India accounts for less than 1.5 per cent of international food trade.
This category needs significant back-end and distribution investments, as well as significant consumer education on nutritional facts about packaged foods and pricing. Many ready-to-cook brands are currently exporting and marketing globally as Indian cuisine is slowly getting recognised globally.
Information technology: The Indian IT industry has played a key role in putting India on the global map. The IT-BPO sector has become one of the most significant growth catalysts for the Indian economy. Export revenues are estimated to have aggregated to $59 billion in FY2011 and contributed 26 per cent to total Indian exports. India is a preferred destination for companies looking to offshore their IT and back-office functions. It also retains its low-cost advantage and is a financially attractive location when viewed in combination with the business environment it offers and the availability of skilled people.
Textile & clothing: The textile and clothing industry occupies a unique place in the Indian economy. It contributes about 4 per cent of the GDP. It is the largest net foreign exchange earner in India, earning almost 35 per cent of foreign exchange. The readymade garment sector is the biggest segment in India’s textile export basket, contributing over 46 per cent of the total textile exports. It is important to move up the value chain and export more designer garments. Many fashion designers are trying their best to gain global recognition, and this effort needs significant marketing and branding initiatives.
Bollywood: Bollywood is the biggest movie industry in the world in terms of the number of films produced - approximately 30,000 feature films and thousands of short films. With about 26 million Indian Diaspora and the growth of Brand India, it has made inroads in the international market.
Over the last few years, there have been significant investments in distribution and marketing of Bollywood to audiences beyond India and South Asia.
Gems & jewellery: The gems and jewellery sector has a huge market in India and abroad. India’s growing importance in the global jewellery market is only expected to increase in the future with total estimated jewellery sales of $25 billion in 2010 and $58 billion by 2015. This sector is the second largest foreign exchange earner in the country, surpassing even the $22 billion earned by the textile and apparel sector.
Most of these categories, though having enough potential, have negligible market-share globally.
Therefore, we need favourable government policies that will drive market-share, sustained marketing activities, as well as unlocking newer consumer segments so that we ride up the value chain.
(Rajesh Mehta is Director – Marketing at, Western Union.)