BCG partner Nimisha Jain on the shift from India to Bharat

13 December 2019 2 min. read

The profile of the Indian consumer is evolving in the direction of prosperity, which is having an impact on the manner in which branding companies must market their products. This is according to Nimisha Jain, Managing Director and Partner at The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in India.

Jain was speaking at the latest episode of HT Brand Studio Live, a live show that brings together market leaders and experts to discuss trends in an evolving market. Discussions in the latest episode revolved around the India and Bharat relationship, representing the shifting profile of the Indian consumer.

Where the consumer market in India previously revolved around a small segment of the urban, educated and prosperous, overall economic growth has led to the emergence of new urban centres and the spread of prosperity to a variety of segments. This is being portrayed as the transition from ‘India’ to ‘Bharat.’

According to BCG's Jain and other experts featured on the episode, this shift in consumer profile is inciting many companies to examine their branding strategies. An example of this is TheSmallBigIdea (TSBI), a marketing advisory firm that recently launched TSBI Bharat, which will take a regional approach to branding.

Nimisha Jain, Boston Consulting Group

A large part of this approach will involve transforming digital products to be more compatible with regional languages and cultural sensitivities. Experts at HT Brand Studio attribute this shift to regionalised branding as reflective of the mixed attitude within India’s burgeoning consumer market.

Consumers are looking to modernise on the one hand, but remain strongly rooted in their traditions on the other. A large number has made the transition to digital, but most continue to consume content that ties in with their cultural and traditional preferences.

“We are going through a period of unprecedented change. I have been tracking the Indian consumer for 22 years now. I started as a marketer selling Maggi noodles and what I see today is a period we’ve never seen before,” said Jain.

“Today, 12% of Indian households are affluent. They make an annual household income of greater than 10 lakh. These households already account for 35% of consumption in the country. Over the next decade, they will account for two-thirds of the consumption in the country. Knowing how to win over them is going to be critical,” she added.