chapter  8
25 Pages

Markets, consumers and consumption patterns

Marketing and distribution strategies in India have gone through substantial changes as the concept of consumerism has gradually started seeping in. The Indian market has become increasingly attractive for global marketers, an amount sufficient to sustain purchases of foreign consumer products. Foreign marketers in diverse sectors, from automobiles and consumer electronics to soft drinks and fast food, have entered the Indian market and are competing with domestic marketers. An essential requirement for marketing success in India is access to local channels of distribution. Most products sold in India in a tiered distribution system: distributor, wholesaler, and dealer/retailer. Most channel intermediaries are small and relatively unsophisticated operators, unlike the large chains commonly seen in the west. They are often family-run businesses bound in a cultural tradition where bargaining and negotiation are common business practices. To remain competitive in the attractive Indian market, foreign suppliers must be able to effectively manage their relationships with local intermediaries. The key to this would be using the right influence strategies which would help the supplier attain its business goals, but which would also keep the intermediaries satisfied, motivated, and performing.