Middle class consumers
World Bank defines a middle-class individual as any person that leaves below the poverty line as outlined by his or her country. According to a research study carried out by Pew, only 2% of the Indian populations are middle-class individuals with majority of the Indian population living on lower than the poverty line. These statistics illustrates the Indian market structure and purchase power. Quality is a core objective for numerous firms across the globe and in India specifically as firms seek to satisfy consumer needs. The quality concern stands in line with high costs of production that results in high prices for the goods and services produced. The Indian middle class and poor have been forced to embrace the prices despite their budget constraints. This paper seeks to establish and provide succinct strategies on how multinational and Indian firms can best serve the middle-class population in line with satisfying both the rich and poor. The paper shall ensure an ultimate understanding on how firms can effectively meet the consumer’s needs while maximizing its stakeholder’s equity.
Indian millionaire population has increasingly grown over the years with the recent study reports showing a 17% growth from 2014 to 2015 (BHATTACHARYA, 2015). This growth has attracted numerous firms in venturing into the Indian market targeting the rich population. India follows China’s trend where there has been a continuous growth in the millionaire’s population. Regardless the growth in the millionaire population in India, the middle-class and poor individuals have also grown. The multinational and local firms have flooded in India targeting the rich, hence, leaving the middle class individuals helpless (BHATTACHARYA, 2015). The middle-class Indians have to strain and go off their budget limits to attain the basic needs such as clothing, food, transportation and shelter. Better strategies have to be incorporated in India to help the companies in India serve the middle-class population who live under limited budgets.
Through the government, Shaping and localization of the local Indian companies is an essential strategy that India has to adapt to help the local firms serve the middle class individuals effectively. This strategy entails localization and shaping of the goods and service produced and sold to the Indian market so as to fit with the purchasing power of the Indians (Hines, 2013). Shaping entails designing the services and goods sold to have the right quality as needed by the Indians and quoting the right price to ensure affordability and satisfaction of the middle-class Indians. On the other hand, localization of the production ideas and goods shall also play an imperative role in fighting for the middle-class needs (Hines, 2013).
Localization entails employment of the local raw materials and manpower to help cut on the costs, therefore, assuring effective serving of the middle-class Indians. These strategies shall be vital as the middle-class Indians require goods and services that are affordable and offer them ultimate satisfaction. For example, clothing and food is a vital need for the Indians. Despite the high cost of goods and services, Indians have to ignore their purchasing power and purchase these goods and services to satisfy their needs and to fit in the society (BHATTACHARYA, 2015). These strategies also assure the local firms of an opportunity to increase their consumer base and profitability through venturing in the less ventured fields with the multinational corporations.
The local firms may also consider reinventing their business models as a strategy to ensure provision of high quality products to meet the middle-class demands. Reinventing as a strategy entails incorporation of new technological skills, machinery and raw material to ensure production of quality goods to serve the middle class Indians (Blick, 2011). This strategy shall help the middle-class Indians meet their needs as opposed to depending on the multinationals for provision of quality products to serve the middle-class Indians.
The adopted strategies also have to cover the multinational firms as the huge Indian population leaving as middle-class citizens require a lot of goods and services to ensure total satisfaction. Creating a platform for the multinational to easily interact and trade with the middle-class Indians without barriers regarding costs on acquisition of goods and services (Hines, 2013). The middle-class Indians shall be able to attain the opportunity to interact with the multinationals, therefore, enabling production of goods that meet the consumer demands.
Moreover, the multinationals may greatly help in ensuring the middle-class Indians attain wholly satisfaction from their goods and services. The multinationals may consider focusing on the middle-class population as their target niche as a strategy to enable them totally understands the needs of the middle-class Indians. Understanding of the market niche shall ensure provision of goods and services that satisfy the needs of the middle-class consumers (Blick, 2011). This strategy shall enable the multinational firms produce other goods demanded by the consumers other than the luxurious commodities targeting the rich population. The middle-class individuals shall be able to attain quality goods and services as attained by the rich population (BHATTACHARYA, 2015).
A great percentage of the Indian populations are poor and middle-class. Over the years, there has been flooding of the multinational firms into India to provide goods and services to the rich population. This move has left the meddle-class population unattended and strain to acquire goods and services that are beyond their own abilities. Shaping, localization, reinvention, creating an interaction platform and targeting niche stands as the favorable strategy to help both the local and the international firms serve the rich, middle and lower class Indians to satisfaction. These strategies shall enable the middle class Indians attain their preferred goods and services without the social and financial discriminations experienced. Opportunities shall also be unveiled for both the local and international firms to venture the neglected sectors of production and also to ensure fair dealings between the local and multinational firms.
BHATTACHARYA, S. (2015, August 27). India Embraces Luxury as China Turns Cool. Retrieved from The Wall Street Journal: http://www.wsj.com/articles/india-embraces-luxury-as-china-turns-cool-1440720657
Blick, D. (2011). The Ultimate Small Business Marketing Book. United States: Fillament Publishing Ltd.
Hines, C. (2013). Localization: A Global Manifesto. New York: Routledge Publishers.