Do Brands just view Indian Women and Children as a Market Opportunity, or do they have a long term commitment towards them?

India is undeniably an important future growth market of the world (it has the 4th largest gross domestic product or GDP in the world in Purchasing Power Parity), it is young (it has 450 million people below the age of 21) and it is just beginning its consumption journey. To influence purchase a large segment of TV and print advertising is targeted towards Indian women and children.

Some key trends regarding women consumers according to Rama Bijapurkar are:

  • The conservative working woman: who continues to play the traditional role at home
  • The home entrepreneur: running ‘home businesses’
  • The changing housewife: in India the increasing number of working women is not driving change as much as the increasing number of housewives who have acquired the ‘working woman’ mindset

Many of these are urban trends. However, women as a group in rural India are still struggling for recognition as equals in almost all areas – education, healthcare, equal pay to name a few. Children too are a much feted consumer group by FMCG companies, and India is home to the largest number of children in the world. The well being of children in terms of health, nutrition, education and protection is not only dependent on the extent and quality delivery (or access) of services but also on the knowledge, attitude and behaviour of the mother. In India Child Mortality & Health, Child Malnutrition, Water, Sanitation, Hygiene remain huge issues that need urgent attention.

We have taken a look at FMCG brands and their CSR approach towards women and children in the presentation below. While tapping a consumer base is indeed good business, a strong CSR strategy can do good while at the same time help in the creation of new solutions, and their application to new markets-to create winning ‘made for India’ solutions. However, the presentation highlights that only a few we have a long term strategic vision for this target group.

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