The trend for luxury brand shopping has experienced large financial gains in India, which is a healthy sign for most of the country’s new e-commerce sites. With many young adults living hundreds of kilometres away from the nearest city, travelling to the fashionable parts of town isn’t always easy, but shopping on-line is. For many young people this has become an essential aspect of their lives. The belief that if they aspire to compete in the new India, looking good is as important as ambition.
India has an internet user base of about 140 million and many of these users belong to an upwardly mobile graduate class with high disposable incomes. E-commerce may currently have a lower penetration compared with markets like in Germany or the United States but it is growing at a much faster rate with a large number of new start-ups operating around the country.
With a growing population of 1300 million, expecting to rise to 1400 by 2020, India is the world's seventh largest economy and set to become the world's second largest consumer market. Some of the most successful new start-ups are to be found in e-commerce with names such as Flipkart (known as the Amazon of India), Snapdeal.com, Fashionandyou.com, Myntra.com, Jabong.com and 99labels.com.
India's retail market today is estimated to be worth around $500 billion and should surpass $850 billion by 2020.
E-commerce is one area of new enterprise that is taking the nation by storm allowing a growing number of young people to enrich their life quality. Many are leaving the country side and are moving to the new cosmopolitan cities in search of wealth and success and believe that the luxury brands offered on-line allow then to compete for jobs and status with their city rivals. Old traditions and values are merging with a new desire to join in with the global business and cultural scene.
The turning point to India's economic success came during the 1991 crisis when finance minister and later Prime Minister Manmohan Singh introduced a more liberal approach to global business and since the early 1990’s the annual economic growth rate has averaged at around 6 percent.
So what about the rags to riches story that has featured prominently in our newspapers in recent years? Well there are thousands of entrepreneurs that have become millionaires and a few hundred billionaires due to India's boom in new business start-ups but in comparison to the size of the population there is still a lot of work to do in a nation still fighting to end poverty. But parts of India are thriving as more and more people are getting the chance to enter university and move to the cities where property prices are rising faster than salaries.
The demand for the newest and latest in technology is also big business in modern India. Devita Saraf is the Youngest Businesswoman in the country and one of today's 25 most powerful women in India. She is the CEO of Vu Televisions and is known for inventing the term 'luxury in technology'. Vu's suite can be found in the up market shopping centre called Palladium at PhoenixMills in Mumbai. The store offers luxurious and glamorous high end tech products with a belief that luxury enhances the quality and ease of life.
For many young people, new India is a world of mobile phones, new shopping centres selling designer brand clothing next to top of the range car showrooms offering the chance of a lifestyle few could contemplate just ten years ago. Today high powered cars compete for position on the congested roads as the new middle class leave their gated homes to compete with each other in their chosen career.
So why is e-commerce doing so well? The new obsession amongst a growing number of teenagers is looking and feeling good and just like their European and American cousins most of their income is spent on clothes, beauty products, tech products and going out to hit the new bustling club scene with their like-minded friends.
Strollay.com is India’s leading Online Lifestyle Shopping Store for buying Latest Apparels, Women’s Wear and traditional Sarees. New to the scene is e-commerce site Zori. The online retailer has been snapping up designs this month at Lakmé Fashion Week's (LFW) Gen Next show. This event, held this year at the Grand Hyatt in Mumbai, offers a platform for showcasing and launching the industry's future star designers. This year’s show featured top collections by Rajesh Pratap Singh, Anju Modi, Pankaj & Nidhi, Manish Arora and Manish Malhotra among others showing the fusion between eastern and western styles.
Indian Vogue magazine is also setting the scene and on-line stores are snapping up the collections from the latest Indian designers. Take a look at India Vogue magazine for an in depth look at the latest trends
On the streets the influence is becoming more western and cool brand names from top European design houses are the most sought after must haves. Brands such as Burberry and Benetton offer the look at a more affordable price and are worn with a pair of Nike's or Adidas shoes. Shailen Amin is the CEO and co-founder of BeStylish and is aware of the growing demand for high end fashionable shoes easily available on-line. India’s Largest Online Shoe Store promises to offer a ‘hassle free’ shopping experience.
The British look remains a familiar scene on the city pavement and London is still seen as one of the most influential trend setting capitals in the world. Social media sites are enabling e-commerce companies to invest in these current trends and to get the hottest styles to the widest customer catchment often before the high street stores. Along with designer bags from Gucci or Louis Vuitton, business suits from Hugo Boss and Armani with a Blackberry or an Apple I-phone, men and women are showing a more confident and independent style. Online shopping is one digital business field that may be able to provide India with a stronger economy and a more international customer base.