Between Homogeneity and Hypersegmentation

India is big and India is young. Its size and its demographics, together with its growth potential, have made it a fashionable market. Marketers from around the world and within India are betting big on these two aspects of the country, even more so in the recent global economic downturn. But these are also the two most critical characteristics of India that every marketer must examine carefully and truly understand, in order to succeed in this country. India is big, but is India one huge, homogeneous market? Or are there different segments in India that have distinct behavior patterns? India is young, but is youth the only marketable population in India? If not, then aren’t we missing a piece of the picture? Most of the marketing and advertising in India today is designed for the young mindset. With the entire country being made to feel young, what’s happening to those who are actually young?

The problem with India as a market is in many ways similar to the problem with India as a tourist attraction. A few years ago, a global internet survey on India as a tourist destination revealed that in most parts of the world, the country enjoyed a high level of awareness and appeal. But most of the people who would have liked to come to India never got around to making a plan, because of India’s daunting complexity. Although India was attractive, its vastness ...

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