Companies

Time to tune into a new business trend: Proudly local, going global

Amrita Nair-Ghaswalla Mumbai | Updated on January 20, 2020

If a brand manages to succeed in India’s difficult terrain then to move to a new country is easier   -  istock.com/mushakesa

Niche brands of new India are starting their global route to success

There is a new trend in town: proudly local, going global, and it is turning out to be a compelling business strategy to win and retain consumer loyalty.

As pride and power in local culture is set to become more sharply defined and relevant in 2020, the trend of local companies going global is expected to speed up, say experts, capturing consumers’ desire to adopt and appeal to a sense of individuality and growing national identity from local inspiration.

N Chandramouli, CEO, TRA Research, says as aspiration of new India soars, the ambitions and brands of new India follow suit. “India must not be seen as one market, but an amalgamation of hundreds of markets with a mosaic of different languages, attitudes, culture and audiences,” he adds.

And if a brand manages to succeed in India’s difficult terrain then to move to a new country is easier, usually due to a single dominant language and less cultural differences between consumer sets, adds the executive.

Citing examples of brands where India has taken a global leadership position, Chandramouli notes in the two-wheeler segment, Bajaj, TVS and Hero have established themselves firmly in the international markets. Tata’s Tetley, also an iconic tea brand, is among the top-3 tea brands in important markets like the UK and Canada, he adds.

A new study has also underlined this theme. As consumers the world over increasingly return to their roots, niche brands are reportedly starting their global route to success by accentuating their local credentials. Multinationals too are becoming more sophisticated in shaping their products to local culture.

Trends driving consumer behaviour

In its global consumer trends study, market research agency Euromonitor International has highlighted the most impactful trends driving consumer behaviour. The study states consumers are prioritising environmental responsibility while helping local businesses thrive and reconnect with communities.

While the trend is driving the rise of local consumer brands, especially in developing markets, many appear to be going head to head with multinationals.

For their part, MNCs are acquiring already established local players, keen on localising their production. While the localisation strategy helps multinationals better adjust to consumer needs that arise due to cultural differences or lower purchasing power, the expanding consumer base has been termed by the Euromonitor study as one of the key factors driving production localisation in markets such as India and Nigeria.

The study has listed food and beverages among leading industries to cater to local production, with 85 per cent of production sold within the producer nations on average. This local trend also extends to changes happening in manufacturing facilities and processes.

A global survey by Wave X Remix Culture has also recorded that more than half of consumers believe that local brands and products were more authentic than content and products from other countries. While there are deeper ethical value shifts beyond self-expression and consumption driving this desire for localisation, there also appears to be a growing consumer expectation for multinationals to respond appropriately to local culture, social norms and consumer habits.

Published on January 20, 2020

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