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Peering into the future of India’s consumer landscape 

Keeping your finger on the pulse of evolving consumer trends, career pathways, and the skills required to thrive in India’s rapidly changing consumer landscape is vital for future success 

Words by Vivek Khandelwal  

If the last 10 years has shaped and redefined India’s belief across the world – then what can the next 20 years really do?  

There are many:  

  • data points that work in our favour 
  • facets that showcases our potential 
  • Whose belief in our country has increased 
  • Indians who are influencing the global trends 
  • aspects that showcases the changing consumerism 

One thing that cuts across the entire consumer space is the FMCG and Retail arena, since we all are consumers irrespective of whatever walk of life we come from.   

This consumer led sector is playing an impactful role in creating newer jobs, developing new products, and improving the overall quality of life not just for Indians but also beyond that.  

Basis the experience that I have garnered in the last 2 decades and having worked across the spectrum, i.e., both with the front liners and c-suite professionals, following are some quick snapshots that has been shaping the manner in which the consumer space has been evolving.  

  • Front liners have gained options in abundance. The jobs in the world of travel and logistics has changed. This implies rethinking of roles.  
  • Consumption has been on a continued increase and more so amidst the pandemic. What has given it the much needed boost is launch of new products in newer categories. This means newness will always see appreciation.  
  • Make in India coupled with rapid urbanisation means more money flowing into processed foods, personal care products, digital portfolio in both FMCG & FMCD goods. This goes on to reinforce the increasing importance of how disposable income will only play a huge role in our lives.  
  • The one big change that has progressed from the generation prior is convenience and one of the classic example of that is e-com and q-com. They have started to take bigger and bolder leaps in the country. What will be seen is their evolution across categories.  
  • The buzzword of sustainability, climate change, ESG, plastic pollution and similar such aspects are no longer just a thought. They have started to see implementation at scale. This implies how people with expertise will bring in massive impact through these.  
  • Today, there are umpteen brands and companies that are keen to address consumer needs regarding affordability, health, and convenience. They are also the frontrunners in garnering the mindshare of the consumers.  

The trend that has evolved from the past and which is changing the present and the future is how jobs and careers are changing.  

What will differentiate the better from the average is the kind of skillsets that one not just learns via a course but how one gradually implements the same in real life.  

What is giving this thought a strong booster is the learning curve that the digital space is providing with job opportunities that brands are coming up with not just in urban but also in the rural markets.  

Following are some of the game changers that will help people to shape up with time:  

  • Are they really problem solvers in action.  
  • How disciplined they have been in their job role. 
  • What kind of critical thinking ability do they bring.  
  • How confident they are in the jobs they have done.  
  • What kind of geography understanding do they bring. 
  • What kind of customer centricity do they bring on board.  
  • How well do they understand the target audience and their needs.  
  • How well are they aware of the digital space and for what purposes.  
  • What are the stories that they can sell basis the work they have done.  
  • Do they have the awareness that they have to market themselves by virtue of the work that they have done.  

Our future is linked to how we work as a collective force and bring in our energies and synergies together. The route to this is being an active part of the ecosystem and that’s what will make all the difference.   

Vivek Khandelwal is a relationship, network driven, result-oriented professional who has worked in the corporate industry for over 2 decades now, with experience across the consumer industry in both urban and rural markets. 


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