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Who is your Indian Customer? KYC!

Much has been made of India’s demographic dividend. Just the sheer size and volume in market segments has business owner’s itching to grab a slice of the Indian pie.

Consumer India Demographics

As a business owner looking to enter India, your natural query is – Who is my customer?

The easiest way to answer this question is for you to hire a market research agency.

You do just this. Sure enough, after much statistical jugglery on their part and head scratching on yours, you now hold in your hand a well-crafted report filled with tabulated Indian demographic data, geographic mapping of consumer spread and drilled-down socio-economic classification. This is observable, easy market research that can at best tell you about the user status for your business offering, its usage rate among consumers, their stage of adoption and loyalty status.

So, now you know “WHAT” & “HOW” Indians consume your market offering. Great analysis for your good money, huh?

How does this research report help you to sell more, sell to the correct target group, at the right price, using the right platforms?

It doesn’t.

To do that you need to understand the value your product/service delivers to your Indian consumers. For which you need to sell to the right TG. To help you make sense of this amorphous TG, I’ve created out of them, a matrix of what I call Six Market Ready Indian Segments.


This grid is based on the first publicly accessible “LOHAS”-type segmentation equivalent for Millennials in USA. It was created by the Kansas City-based integrated marketing agency, Barkley USA, in partnership with Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

This segmentation grid transcends any particular category, specific micro-age groups, issue or dimension and it also acknowledges the importance of life stage in shaping consumer behaviour in India. A Mother is not interested in the same things as the Activist. Likewise, it acknowledges that while this generation of Indian consumers as a whole is defined by its passion for causes, interest in the environment, and use of technology, they are not true of all consumers, and even goes so far as to identity a ‘Path Breaker’ segment.

In my conversations with this age group of consumers in India, many say that they do not identify with all of the characteristics ascribed to their generation (s) in traditional marketing analysis (Baby Boomers/Gen X/Y/Z/Millennials). This segmentation helps to drill down a bit into that issue.

For marketers, these segments help to put a face on some of the more prominent Market Ready ‘archtypes’, especially in the Indian context.  You wouldn’t address a Gadget Guru in the same way as you would a Sanskaari, when talking about technology, and perhaps a few other related categories.

Any blanket segmentation has limitations and this one is not a replacement for an age-based, category-specific segmentation, particularly if your category doesn’t readily line up with the dimensions used to create these segments. For this, please reach out to me on my website or leave your coordinates in the comments section below. I will be glad to serve you.

Nevertheless, this segmentation matrix is a step in the right direction and should provide terrific starting point for those business owners wishing to drill down into this cohort for specific insights that get beyond the generalities.

Have a safe and relaxed weekend, peeps. See you on the other side.

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