Some 6 per cent of India’s population lives in slums and these communities have become powerful, both economically and politically. The slum dwellers’ low-end aspirational consumption could now be propping up certain sectors as demand wanes elsewhere.
As a first-time visitor with a textbook image of a slum in mind, standing at Mumbai’s Mahim train station at the threshold of Dharavi, one of Asia’s largest slums, you might expect some demarcation between the formal and informal world. Continue reading »
Shares in Hindustan Unilever, Unilever’s Indian arm, soared around 20 per cent on Tuesday after its Anglo-Dutch parent announced a $5.4bn offer to raise its stake from 52.5 per cent to 75 per cent.
That’s certainly a big vote of confidence in the Indian consumer, as Unilever said in its statement. But it also looks like a response to recent moves to tighten rules on the control majority shareholders can exercise over their Indian subsidiaries. Continue reading »
As beyondbrics reported last week, India’s online user base is now the third largest in the world. Yet, shopping websites haven’t taken off quite as fast as other internet services. India’s rotten infrastructure is usually blamed, with its traffic-blocked roads delaying delivery.
But one company has shown that the challenges can be overcome – at a price. Continue reading »
India may be the world’s second largest mobile phone market by users but so far it hasn’t been a major focus for Apple. In the absence of the iPhone, Samsung and BlackBerry have led the way in the country.
More recently, however, that has begun to change. Just as BlackBerry launches its first smartphone in India under the BlackBerry 10 operating system, Apple is joining the fray with a big push in the developing market. Continue reading »
Coming to India
There will be haggling for every last Daim bar and the meatballs will be doused in chutney. There will be queues of people complaining that their furniture has arrived unassembled. And a whole new professional class will emerge – the DIY-wallas.
After months of discussions, on its second attempt, Ikea has received approval from India’s foreign investment board to open fully-stocked stores in the country. Continue reading »
L’Oréal is bullish about the Indian economy – because it’s worth it.
India has become the sixth country in which the French cosmetics group has complete operations – including marketing manufacturing, and research facilities – joining France, the US, Japan, China and Brazil. Continue reading »
Worried about the global slowdown? A Chinese hard landing? An Indian stagnation?
Here’s a new tome from the team at Boston Consulting Group to cheer you up. Entitled The $10 trillion prize, it forecasts how the combined Chinese and Indian consumer markets will reach $10tn by 2020. And it tells you to get stuck in – or watch your Chinese and Indian competitors eat your lunch. Continue reading »