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India: Difficult Times Require Creative Solutions

India: Difficult Times Require Creative Solutions

Our World | On 11, Jul 2013

We have recently been running a new ‘ad hoc’ Our World series, asking some ‘movers and shakers’ from companies based outside of the UK, for their professional opinions on how the continued world recession is affecting them (and more importantly perhaps, how they are overcoming obstacles). It has proved interesting reading to get their take on how they have been facing up to, and overcoming, difficult trading conditions in order to thrive.

The latest guest blogger in this series is Sarvin Warden from Designer Incentives & Conferences in India with his take on this topic – Chris Clarke.

Recession…Deal with it

The word “recession” has become a very acceptable term and is here to stay for a long time. It’s time we all got used to hearing it no matter where we go or who we speak to. How does one deal with it?

To me, recession means opportunity….to plan, to regroup, to consolidate, to educate, to be versatile; a positive approach to a seemingly depressing scenario.

As a DMC in India, I decided that the best approach was to face this situation head-on and work within the parameters available. I consider myself fortunate to be selling a product that I believe to be a “complete” destination. A change in strategy was needed and keeping in mind that companies have to continue to motivate and reward.

What I was faced with:

  • Budget cuts.
  • Reduced stay on ground.

What I knew to be the market trend:

  • Corporates were spending to motivate and reward.
  • A huge percentage of this spending was on events and destinations within the UK and Continental Europe.
  • Short haul and weekends are the favoured solutions. Close to home has been the trend.

Where does India fit in? The answer was in adapting to this trend by changing perceptions.

  • Budgets: Often the cost of a week end in Paris, Milan, Florence, Barcelona, etc. is more expensive than a 3 to 4 night ground stay in India.
  • Ground stay: If groups can go for a weekend to New York or Las Vegas or Cape Town or Boston or Dubai or Oman, why not India? Experiencing India does not necessarily mean long durations or multi centres. It’s a matter of perception. A weekend in India is extremely practical. A 3 night stay in Delhi in a superb resort style hotel with a day trip to the Taj Mahal is one such example.
  • Flying time to India: From the UK it’s just 8 to 8 1/2 hours. From Continental Europe just 7 hours.

A few interesting facts about India

  • Among emerging economies, India today has the second-largest number of global multinational corporations after China.
  • A bigger movie market than America and Canada combined, India sold 3.2 billion tickets last year.
  • In the next three years, up to 25% of the world’s new workers will be Indian. The average Indian is nearly 20 years younger than the average Japanese. Over half of India’s population is below 25 years. By 2020, the average age of an Indian is expected to be 29 years.
  • India’s tech capital, Bangalore, has increased its office supply by six times, and now has more Grade-A offices than Singapore.
  • Half the world’s outsourced IT services come from India, amounting to a $47 billion dollar industry. Seven of the world’s top 15 technology outsourcing companies are based in India.
  • India is likely to grow faster, on average, than China over the next two decades.
  • India now has a record number of 55 billionaires, according to the Forbes 2011 world billionaires’ list.
  • India’s telecommunication industry, the world’s fastest growing, added 235 million subscribers during 2011-12.
  • India is the world’s second-largest heavy commercial vehicle market.
  • India is emerging as one of the world’s fastest growing passenger car markets and second largest two wheeler manufacturer. It is also home for the largest motor cycle manufacturer and fifth largest commercial vehicle manufacturer.
  • The Indian retail market is estimated to be USD 450 billion and one of the top five retail markets in the world by economic value. India is one of the fastest growing retail markets in the world, with 1.2 billion people.

There’s simply no other word that convincingly captures the enigma that is India. With its in-your-face diversity, from snow-dusted mountains to sun-washed beaches, tranquil temples to feisty festivals, lantern-lit villages to software-supremo cities, it’s hardly surprising that this country has been dubbed the world’s most multidimensional.