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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Investing in India

What triggered this blog is a question someone asked me on the issues they face in getting clients in India.I would like to point out the following major issues:
1.No 10,000 ft view-one cannot treat India as a country,its a Sub-Continent and you cannot analyse the  
   needs,products,pricing sitting in Manhattan,London or even Singapore.
   This was tried by the MNC broking outfits in 1998-2000 and led them to exit the market till 2004-05

2.Each zone-East,West,North and South is a heterogeneous market with distinctive tastes and preferences.
   Just one example;Rice is the main staple in East and South but least preferred in the North,someone selling
   in the North can probably sell 1 variety-basmati

3.India is still a conservative country and even the Corporates are still burning their fingers in IRS swaps and
   Currency hedging and these are supposed to be some of the best brains from the best Indian Colleges

4.The Urban and rural populations are again another division,just 1 company ITC with its E-Choupal
   initiative has been successful,products that constitute 80% of urban sales are negligible in villages-cosmetics

5.Bank fixed deposits comprise 76% of the savings,equity investing is 2% and total insurance coverage
   of the Indian population is 14%,Savings rate is approx 33% of GDP and one can do the maths as to
   the size of this market

6.The Southern States with their high literacy levels need a more planned approach whereas the more
   gung-ho Northern parts need a return based solution.East India has the highest number of day traders and
   15% of the derivatives trading volume in the NSE is from this region

As much as I would like to give statistics,its all about connecting at a more emotional level that will be called for.I would reccomend a "solution" based strategy rather than a pure "sales" approach.This article is in no way a detailed analysis....I am keeping some thoughts to myself for another time and another place...