American Express has sought to unravel India’s affluent population in its new study entitled ‘Inside the Affluent Space: Changing Lifestyle Expectations of the Affluent in India’. The study was released in the Capital on September 21.
Speaking on the occasion, Atul Mathur, Senior Vice-president, ASEAN and South Asia, American Express, said, “India’s strong economic growth, combined with other social factors, including growing self confidence and increasing consumerism, is steering a dramatic change in the lifestyle aspirations of the country’s rapidly growing affluent segment. Consumers are determined to live their dreams and the marketplace is responding. The competition is fierce.”
The study finds that a fusion of changing economic and social factors in India is fuelling a new consumer mindset that says: “I have made It”, which is creating unique opportunities and challenges for luxury and premium lifestyle providers in India.
Affluent consumers in India have a very clear idea about what they expect from their lifestyles as well as from those who provide it to them.
“The affluent population is growing rapidly. In fact, it is expected to grow at a rate of approximately 12 per cent on average across both the mass affluent and high net worth individual segments over the next several years. Today in India, these consumers already account for nearly $203 million in cumulative wealth,” said Rob Hennin, Country Manager, American Express India.
“India’s affluent consumers have always appreciated the finer things in life, but the manifestation of that appreciation has changed as the advent of liberalisation in the 1990s gave birth to the era of self made millionaires and global access has put the world of international goods and services at their fingertips,” he added.
To better understand this mindset, American Express’ ‘Inside the Affluent Space’ used an internationally recognised research technique to conduct research among affluent consumers themselves as well as high end service providers who, in turn, represented the changing lifestyle of thousands of other consumers.
According to the findings of the study, women emerged as a distinct voice, signaling a micro trend in the marketplace. As more and more women acquire their own status as affluent individuals – with their own money – their expectation is escalating specifically around ‘the best’ and more of it when it comes to personal indulgence, pampering and the pursuit of ‘refined living’.
“These insights show that the desire of affluent consumers to live ‘the best’ affluent lifestyle is matched only by their determination to get it. This emerging mindset creates tremendous opportunity space for businesses if they take advantage of these insights,” said Hennin.