Yeh Dil Mange More! So what if I’m 64!

Ankita Chakrabarty/ Zee Research Group/ Delhi

As India made the big choice to embrace freedom, on ground there was little to celebrate. Six decades plus down the line Indians are spoiled for choice with many defining as the Mecca to some of the best known brands across consumption categories. This has been a fascinating story that has grown to be the defining part of the India story.

ZRG does a retrospective: The concept of Indian Middle class was not available in the dictionary during 1950s -60s. 50 million people belong to the category of middle class in 2005 and the size is expected to grow by 2025 to 583 million according to the Mc Kinsey report 2007 using National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) data. An Indicus report further defines upper middle class as those who earn between Rupees five lakh and Rupees ten lakh annually. The populations in these households comprise a little less than ten percent of all urban households, but contribute around one-fifth of the total urban savings. They are also the spenders in the high value category, contributing to about 17percent of urban consumer expenditure in India. According to the A C Nielsen report, the Indian rural market is set to become a USD100 billion opportunity for retail spending in the next fifteen years.

An analysis of the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) report confirms that Indian consumers are happy being on liquid diet. The consumer’s expenditure on beverages has seen a rise over the past few decades while as the expenditure on other food items have declined. Overall the food household expenditure too has registered a fall. This trend transcends the rural and urban divide. The expenditure on beverages of rural household’s in1972-73 was 2.4 percent, the current figure of 2009-10 stands at 5.6percent. The expenditure on food total of rural households in 1972-73 was 72.9 percent, the current figure (2009-10) stands at 53.6 percent. The urban households also give a similar picture. The expenditure in 1972-73 was 64.5 percent; the current figure stands at 40.7 percent.

However, the expenditure on non-food items like durable goods has increased over the past few decades. The expenditure of rural households on durable goods during 1987-88 was 3.1 percent; it rose to 4.8 percent in 2009-10. The urban figure also brings out a similar picture; the figure in 1987-88 was 4.1 percent, the latest figure (2009-10) stands at 6.7 percent.

Indian household consumption on other appliances like telephones, cars and other vehicles has also increased over the past sixty four years. In the year 1948, only 80,000 telephones were there. The total number of telephones in the country stands at 885.99 million as on June 30, 2011.

Automobile Products of India (API) began assembling Innocenti-built Lambretta scooters in India after independence in the 1950s. According to Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), the domestic scooter segment witnessed sales of 11, 63,127 units during April-October 2010-11. For nearly three decades, the total production of passenger cars was limited to 40,000 yearly. The current sale figure for passenger cars (April-March 2011) stood at 1,982,702.

As far as the tour and travel industry is concerned, the passenger traffic has risen from leaps and bounds from 1284 million in 1950-51 to 5112 million in 2002-2003. Indian Railways operates about 9,000 passenger trains and transports 25 million passengers daily.

The Indian film industry is the largest film industry in the world in terms of the number of films produced and admissions each year. In the year 1940s seven–eight cinema houses were there in Delhi. People used to call them as ‘bioscopes.’ PVR Cinemas setup India’s first multiplex in 1997 at Delhi. PVR Ltd, which brought this concept to India, has a total of 95 screens in 22 multiplexes across India, Fun Cinemas has 50 screens in 11 cities, Inox Leisure Ltd. has 19 multiplexes with 65 screens and Adlabs Cinemas has no less than 100 screens in 22 cities.

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