Ayurveda, Natural Consumer Segments Expand, Foreign Players Enter Wedding Industry – India Market Watch

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Ayurveda and natural consumer segments expand in value

Competition in the natural and Ayurveda segments in India’s consumer goods industry is heating up. Natural products now account for an estimated US$3 billion (Rs 185 billion) or 41 percent of India’s total personal care market. Ayurvedic health products alone are forecast to cross US$1 billion by 2021 in value.

While many foreign companies are familiar with natural consumer goods, Ayurveda is a system of ancient Indian medicine that is now integrated into general wellness applications, aside from being practiced as a type of alternative medicine.

Fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies leading India’s natural and Ayurvedic segments are: Patanjali, Hindustan Unilevel Ltd (HUL), Colgate-Palmolive, Emami, Himalaya, and Dabur.

Last year a consumer research survey highlighted that over half of Indian consumers looked for ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ ingredients when choosing their hair and skin products. A growing awareness of the harsh effects of chemical constituents showcase an increasingly health conscious Indian consumer.

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Secondhand smartphones becoming popular in India

Millions of Indians now favor buying secondhand or used phones: the shorter upgrade cycles of new smartphones influence a growing segment of affluent and aspirational consumers to frequently change their existing handsets.

Yet, even if the smartphone is used sparingly or sold within a year – their resale value drops by a large margin, making it an attractive option for those keen on higher specifications but at a lower budget. This is why Apple and Samsung dominate the pre-owned segment, as buyers gain access to top of the line models, at a fraction of the original cost.

India’s retail market for secondhand phones is divided into the used and refurbished segments, which are sold in the informal (grey) local markets and through e-commerce channels such as OLX (pre-owned goods) and Greendust (refurbished goods).

India’s overall smartphone segment is expected to reach 530 million users – the second largest market after China’s 1.3 billion users – by 2018. The U.S. comes a distant third with 229 million users.

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Foreign companies break into India’s lucrative wedding industry

India’s wedding industry is thriving as traditions combine with modern technology platforms to create new niche segments and businesses. The US$40 billion market for wedding services is growing at an annual rate of 20 to 30 percent; it is widely scattered across the country – reflective of India’s ample regional, cultural, and religious diversity. 

Exponential growth potential and the rising number of affluent consumers combined with an entrenched tradition of elaborate wedding celebrations has attracted foreign players. These include Spain’s Zankyou and Japan’s Panasonic.

Zankyou offers an integrated wedding services platform that enables customers to invite guests, choose a wedding planner, a venue, and publish a wedding gift registry. It will start full-scale operations in New Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru in January 2018.

Meanwhile, Panasonic, the Japanese consumer electronics giant, is exclusively targeting audio-visual services at Indian weddings and receptions, and will soon be setting up a new team to work with wedding planners. Their services will range from photographing and videotaping of events, to the use of projection-mapping technology.

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