Is the Indian Market Ready for the ‘Premium’ Category?

Editor - CyberMedia Research

Editor - CyberMedia Research

The Indian market has traditionally been considered price-conscious. Global brands have always carefully assessed the pricing of their products when launching them in India, and in some cases, have even created distinct categories tailored to Indian consumers.

However, the landscape is evolving, with India increasingly opening up to premium products, from automobiles to smartphones. The shift in spending habits in one of the world’s most populous nations is poised to have a significant impact on the international market.

Premium Tech is No Longer an Aspiration

India is one of the largest smartphone markets, and it’s not just premium smartphones that are experiencing increased sales. Ultra-premium smartphones are now selling in substantial numbers. Recent reports indicate a significant decline in sales of phones priced below $400, with premium category phones witnessing a remarkable 60% surge in sales.

While ultra-premium vehicles still haven’t achieved high sales volumes, premium vehicles equipped with top-of-the-line accessories are becoming the preferred choice for many upper-class Indians. In the past decade, entry-level vehicles constituted 60% of car sales in India, but that figure has now dropped to 25%.

How Does This Affect the Startup Ecosystem?

Tech startups have historically grappled with the challenge of providing quality products on a budget in the Indian market. This concern has become a thing of the past, as startup profit margins are experiencing a significant boost, particularly in the tech sector.

Consumer durable products, such as smart fans and smart air conditioners, have gained substantial momentum in sales. This, in turn, has created opportunities for more startups to enter these segments and offer innovative and distinctive products.

Analysts attribute this shift in purchasing trends to several factors, most notably the unique changes in consumer behavior during the Covid-19 period. While the reasons behind this shift are multifaceted, it has persisted into the post-Covid era. An additional factor contributing to this change is the increased availability of credit.

Furthermore, reports indicate that a growing number of middle-class and upper-middle-class families in India now have two earning members in the household, resulting in increased purchasing power. As more women enter the workforce, the Indian market is poised to further transform in the coming decades, with a growing affinity for high-ticket items.