IntroductionIn India, we have always had new products and services. There are some products that are manufactured and sold by multinational companies. There are several Indian products too. Wherever the technology is not so difficult to acquire, or wherever the manufacturing process can be constantly innovated with our own resources, Indians have come out right on top. In this article the attempt is to discuss new products and services in a) the FMCG industry b) Electrical goods c) emerging industries/product and service segments d) lost cost goods across markets and e) innovating for tomorrow's needs.
New Products and Services in FMCG industryIndia's Fast Moving Consumer Goods industry is a highly diverse and very dynamic industry. In soaps and detergents, shampoos, hair dyes, biscuits and jams, fresh juices, bottled soft drinks of all kinds, toilet and bathroom cleaners, room fresheners and what have you, there are huge multinational companies operating in India, and a very huge number of Indian companies also operating, very successfully. Some examples are in order.
For example, Marico Industries is the market leader in the coconut branded oil segment. This segment is growing so fast, and consumers are going in for branded products only. Hence, any manufacturer, who gives the pure form of coconut oil is bound to succeed. In fact, in the South, there are competitors like the VVD coconut oil, that have also created a viable market for themselves.
Any new entrepreneur can start slowly and create a new niche by manufacturing such a product, marketing it in a local area, like for example in just five districts of a State like Kerala or Karnataka and then taking it forward in terms of expanding the reach. The print media made available in the retail stores is also the best medium of advertisement. The salesmen in the shop will also chip in, by recommending the new product. Once the customers know about the product they will buy it, more so, if the product is priced cheaper than the number one brand but with more or less value for the end user, that is, the customer.
In fact, this is exactly how a brand like VVD coconut oil has grown. Similarly, customers will always look for local but powerful brands. The Arun ice cream is a very famous example. Many multinational companies have tried to enter this market or simply buy this company. But this company has gone from strength to strength by adding new flavors, improving the distribution reach and through innovative advertising as well.
New Products in electrical goods Havels is the best example of a superb brand that has grown from strength to strength by expanding its product profile and by adding value through its products itself. For example, it used the late Rajesh Khanna as its ambassador to create an emotional connect. It made its fans give more air, and went about aggressively advertising its presence in the product segment. The old timers like USHA fans lost out when consumers started lapping up the new product.
Any new entrepreneur can easily create a niche by manufacturing switches and other low cost items. There is a huge market for cheaper and local goods in this market. However, it is essential that the entrepreneur does not borrow too much money at the initial stages. More so, as marketing costs in the initial stages will be huge.
Emerging industries/ product and service segments Electric cars and mopeds will dominate the market in seven years from now. The environmentalists will chip in with their views on such vehicles. Already the green brigade is actively supporting such products. Any shrewd entrepreneur who can manufacture the smallest of raw materials or spare parts of such vehicles can easily enter the market, with cheaper products that will add value to the end user, that is, the original equipment manufacturer.
Going forward, we may see more of innovative products like a refrigerator that is made of either mud or clay and branded as a "natural refrigerator", where the vegetables are fresh, for as many as seven days. Since there is no use for electricity, such products may quickly find a niche. In Chennai, this natural refrigerator is also selling to a limited number of customers. However, when the customers actually see the value addition and talk about it in the social media, the entrepreneur is likely to expand his product range and consolidate the existing product range as well.
The "Kumbakonam Degree Coffee"which one can see on the Chennai to Bangalore Highway is one example of an emerging market. The secret is the particular process of preparing the coffee. This is an expanding market as well. Similarly,the market for good organic food, prepared with the traditional herbal or natural base, with a huge amount of medicinal benefits is expanding day after day. These services are experiencing a big boom in many parts of South India. In less than five years time,with increased awareness it may reach other markets of Maharashtra, Orissa and West Bengal to start with. Any shrewd entrepreneur can indeed enter this service segment. The most important point is that the entrepreneur should also explain the health benefits to customers very regularly.
Low cost products/services across marketsThe herbal market, for example, is an All India market. Patanjali, for example, is a huge brand. However, the competitors to Patanjali are yet to emerge, even in local markets. That is, across various markets in India, there is a huge scope for such products.
To give a very viable example, there are good Siddha medicine based tooth powders that are serving local markets in Tamil Nadu. There is a huge scope for a good siddha tooth paste, that should not have any chemicals at all. One understands that the preservatives are also available in the Siddha eco system itself. This is a big business opportunity waiting to be tapped.
Good educational printed material, made available in the various local Indian languages, is a big market, waiting to be tapped. There is a huge market, as many can still not afford access to computers and internet in India. The print media is the best to create a good brand. For example, there is a huge market for good mathematics books that will explain each concept so thoroughly and in a very interesting manner. Once this is done, the market is huge and is waiting to be tapped.
Similarly, there are any number of business opportunities for entrepreneurs who can think aloud and bring in new but interesting teaching methods in smart classrooms in schools. For example,there is a big market for making school children understand the various tourist spots in India. In fact, they could turn potential customers as they might take home several messages to their parents and then visit those places as well.
Innovating for tomorrow's needsThere is a big market for innovation in terms of identifying what several target segments need in the future. For example, there is a huge market always available, for good books in the language segment, where only those with knowledge of the local language like Tamil or Malayalam, can easily learn English, the global language that is the only foreign language spoken by millions in India. There is a huge market waiting to be tapped in Tamil Nadu, and each of the other South Indian States. In the North, according to many press reports, there is a huge market in the Hindi speaking areas as well. The markets will simply explode.
Similarly, the scope of low cost "use and throw" cell phones will increase by leaps and bounds. Any entrepreneur who can manufacture a smart phone for less than say, Rs.3500 and get it sold to customers who will see and use the product for just eight months, is a big business opportunity, waiting to be tapped.
The list is endless. The products or services mentioned above are only indicative and not exhaustive. Any new entrepreneur, needs to understand the dynamics of various markets and then take quick decisions to grow from strength to strength. The key is not to borrow huge money.
Conclusion Since India is a big economy and also one of the fastest growing economies with a very strong middle class, the scope for new business opportunities in both products and services, across India, is very huge indeed. The entrepreneur should do his or her homework thoroughly and then decide to enter the best possible business. He or she should necessarily start small and grow from strength to strength.
The author has made very good attempts at discussing business opportunities in new products and services in various categories through this article.
India is known for its 3Ds. First is the democracy. The second one is demand and the third one is demography. Thus, it is about to become the 3rd largest world economy by the year 2030. Moreover, it has youth power. Thus, it is a country for business opportunities. Its economy is growing fast. It embraces both innovations as well as technology quickly. As far as credits are concerned, it is the best when compared with other South Asian country's economic status. India's market is vast and thus investors enjoy the access they are granted. It enjoys the 3rd position in PPP which stands for Purchasing Power Parity and 7th position in GDP which stands for Gross Domestic Power. All these facts help us to understand that India is a place that offers the best scope for business opportunities in various categories.
India is a land of festivals and events. Firms of event management are slowly coming up with innovative ideas and building their business across the nation. They need manpower and offering them this service whenever they require is a good business idea. Similarly, film industry, construction services, hotel management, and various areas need manpower. It is a very good business idea to all those individuals who have a networking skill and are able to very well handle their clients. Another business idea is property management. If you are good at marketing and sales, you can use your skill to handle paperwork and manage property and assets for your clients. Real estate is a business which will never go off the list. People will keep buying and selling their properties. If you have a sound knowledge in real estate business and an interest in properties, you can rise and shine in this sector. You will earn good consultancy fees for your services.