Introduction Five businesses that are likely to see good growth after elections are; a) FMCG industry b) The Higher Education Industry c) Three-star and budget hotels d) New shopping malls and multiplexes and e) the Mutual Fund Industry/ Online businesses.
FMCG Industry Look around your home and just go the nearest mini shopping center or Big Bazaar or the likes of Saravana Stores. The variety of products available is simply amazing. The food varieties are so huge and cater to different segments of people. Small refill packs are available for Rs. 10/-. The new Government, even if it is the Congress-led UPA coalition Government at the Centre, knows very well that a consumption-driven economy increases jobs and reduces poverty at least to some extent. They are unlikely to tinker so much with the GST rates and will allow the status quo to continue. Even if the Corporate organizations operate on reduced margins, the increase in population can only increase the demand for more of FMCG products of all kinds. For instance, ITC itself has so many varieties of ready-to-cook varieties of foods catering to different taste buds. Its competitors like Aachi and Mambalam Iyers are not sleeping. They are coming out with similar products too.
Cut to one product segment that is growing by leaps and bounds -- hair dyes. Thanks to a rapidly greying population, even before the age of thirty, the demand for these dyes -- herbal or non-herbal or whatever, is reportedly increasing at the rate of 25%, year on year, according to trade sources. The "ethnic" fever seems to have caught on in this segment too. There are too many variations of the product, even from the unorganized sector. There can hardly be any doubt that the demand can only increase and not decrease. For example, there is one VIP shampoo, that is actually a dye. One can use it with one's own hands and no gloves are needed. It is very costly, but still selling like hot cakes. It is reportedly entering many markets of North India too. The focussed advertisements on television demonstrate the utility of the product and this is enough for it to sell.
The Higher Education Industry This is a massive industry. The number of new courses on offer, now leading to so many new avenues for employment, is breath-taking. The Dr. N.G. P group of colleges, Coimbatore, for example, has degrees in B.Sc. Cardiac Technology, B.Sc Dialysis technology, BSc. Respiratory Therapy and BSc. Radiotherapy Technology, under its KMCH Institute of Health Sciences. Anna University runs a special course called M.Sc (Electronic Media), which is very highly job-oriented.
The Lovely Professional University and Amity University have a range of courses that can effectively make any parent or student fully dazed within minutes. The choices for the MBA degree is so huge that C grade colleges are now upgrading themselves to become B grade colleges. They have understood the rules of the game and have increased the practical inputs like never before. The tie-ups with foreign institutions for tie-ups are also increasing day after day. This trend will continue. There are some good reasons. For one, the students seem to have recognized and understood that only job-oriented courses can fetch them a job. Secondly, the parents are also becoming aware that the traditional courses in Arts or commerce will no more be relevant in a changing scenario. The various education fairs being held at different places in the country is another added plus, as the students are quite aware of whatever is available, anywhere in the country. And migration is also happening like never before. For example, at the Manipal University, Manipal, there is a considerable number of Hindiwallah students from the Hindi heartland who would know that this brand name is far better than most in their own States. Now, the Nalanda University, in Bihar, is also conducting some good courses. Thirdly, educational loans are now somewhat more easily available than earlier. Fourthly, the good institutions have one hundred placement. Intelligent parents start planning for the higher education of children, some fifteen years in advance.
Three-star and budget hotels Look around your neighborhood and in the nearest big cities. For example, there has been a big explosion of three-star and budget hotels that charge between Rs.800 to Rs.1000 per night for a double bed, and online booking is also available. In many cases, it comes with free vegetarian breakfast too. The reason? Most of the upper middle class and even those in the middle of the middle-class pecking order, prefer these hotels for their stay. This is the "slightly premium" crowd that is well known for spending to some extent. However, this class is nowhere near the rich class as they just cannot afford to pay upwards of Rs.5000 in the five-star hotels. Even this is the discounted rate. Apart from the tourist traffic, this class of hotels is ideal for delegates who visit the city for some conference or the other. In fact, the Seminar and Conference industry is one major revenue earner for these types of hotels. If one goes through the website of such hotels, they do indicate good facilities at a fairly reasonable cost. It can be safely assumed that the new party in the Government will not disturb these hotels much. They would know that this is the backbone of the tourist industry, which is a huge job generator.
New shopping malls and multiplexes Read any business magazine or newspaper. They would happily announce the rapid progress made by the shopping malls in most cities. Generation Y is raring to go. They have a mind of their own. This snobbish crowd is the "will spend" economic class and is spread over all religions, castes, and communities. They earn upwards of one hundred thousand rupees a month. They are not bothered about any sane advise from their parents. Anything that is glossy and attractive, is purchased. Many an impulse purchase is common too. In fact, this same class would never go to any theater to watch any movie, good or bad. Hanging out in the shopping mall for three hours, having a quick bite of some junk food and then slipping into the multiplex to watch movies in all languages including English, is their routine. The multiplex owners have never had it so good. They are intelligent enough to understand the psyche of this class and have increased the multiplex offerings manifold. There is one major player, who is actually demolishing his multiplex and coming up with a new idea in Chennai. He would offer free food for customers!! Those residing within a short radius will also be picked up and dropped before and after the movie is over. Though he has expressed his intent in a recent interview, this project is likely to see the light of the day in less than 24 months. A fourteen storied building complete with a shopping mall and several multiplex screens is coming up. The New Government can only be expected to leave this industry untouched.
The Mutual Fund Industry/ Online businesses The Mutual Fund industry and online businesses are somewhat related. The investors who stay invested even in a Systematic Investment Plan for just 13 months, get to enjoy the tax-free income as the interest and the principal are not taxed. The mutual fund industry has too many products and is reported to be growing at the rate of 30% year on year. Yes, there is always an element of risk. But with real professionals manning the likes of HDFC Mutual Fund and the SBI Mutual Fund, the various schemes on offer, have given the investors a good return, in excess of 15% or more. The Government of India has taxed any income above one lakh, by way of capital appreciation. However, the investors are intelligent enough to exit the scheme, when their gains touch Rs.90,000 or so, and then enter afresh. The Government of India will only encourage the Mutual Fund industry, like never before.
Where does this disposable income go? Into buying costly tickets for overseas tours online. In buying food online. In buying clothes and books online. They cannot buy their fathers and mothers online. Otherwise, anything under the sun is on their radar screen!! Husbands and wives are more like friends. They freak around wearing jeans on the weekends. You can spot them everywhere in the metros. This professional gang, which is increasing by leaps and bounds, will always increase the businesses of every single online player. Let us not make any mistake. The "what a delivery" advertisements might as well scream "we have delivered" very soon. Period.
The Government of India does know that excessive taxation of certain services cannot and will not work. It is very unlikely to disturb the status quo in each of the five businesses mentioned above.
Conclusion Irrespective of whatever Government is formed at the Centre, based on current trends and keen observation of what is going on in each of the businesses, this author has attempted an analysis of five businesses that will grow rather rapidly. We are in for exciting times.
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