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Consumer goods in India.
Seducing shoppers in Sticksville.
India's small towns are the next frontier.
GROWTH in India is slowing. The economy expanded at an annualised rate of 5.3% between January and March, the slowest for seven years. Shoppers are scrimping. Sales of consumer durables fell by 10-15% in the year to March 2012, executives say. Indian factories cranked out 30% fewer air conditioners and 15% fewer colour televisions, official data show.
印度的经济增长正在放缓。在一月到三月间,经济年均增长率为5.3%,是七年来的最低值。消费者越来越省吃俭用。管理层说,今年到三月间,耐用品的销量下降了10%至15%。 据官方数据显示:印度生产的空调数量下降了30%,彩电数量下降了15%。
Yet there is a bright spot: small-town shoppers are starting to splurge. Godrej, a family-owned conglomerate, saw its sales of white goods drop by over a tenth in big cities in the past fiscal year. But sales in towns of less than 100,000 people rose by 19%, and in villages by over 40%. Bajaj, another conglomerate, says small-town and rural sales have risen handily in recent years, to a quarter of its home-appliances business. Sales of motorbikes and mopeds have decelerated more gently than cars, an urban luxury.
"As far as I am concerned, the slowdown is not having an effect," beams C.S. Gurubaran, as he plies customers with fizzy drinks in his home-appliances shop in Chengalpattu. Two years ago Mr Gurubaran would sell a dozen washing machines a month at most in this dusty town of 64,000 people in south India. He now sells that many a week. Fridges, food processors and fans are also shifting more quickly. A bride's parents often buy a whole set of white goods as a dowry.
Government subsidies, good monsoons, high land prices and a low reliance on credit have thus far sheltered these consumers. Chengalpattu's shoppers are mostly farmers who benefit from government-fixed floor prices for crops. Some have also made big sums by selling fields to developers. Poorer shoppers from nearby villages make money from a government scheme that guarantees 100 days of work a year.
Such subsidies and schemes pushed up rural incomes by 12% last year, according to Kotak Institutional Equities, a broker. Rural incomes have grown more rapidly than urban ones since 2008.
据经纪公司Kotak Institutional Equitie研究机构称, 这些补助和计划推动了农村地区居民收入上涨了12%,从2008年开始,农村地区的收入比城市收入增长的要快。
Indian firms sense a fortune to be made by selling rustic folk their first fridges. Shekhar Bajaj, the head of Bajaj Electricals, the wing of the conglomerate that sells home appliances, wants to start reaching rural buyers directly and cutting out costly middlemen (such as Mr Gurubaran). Last year Mr Bajaj launched a chain, Bajaj World, mostly for rural areas. It now has 11 stores, one in a town of just 20,000 people. Mr Bajaj hopes to have 70 by next spring. "We never looked at these markets…[but] a couple of years ago we started looking at this because we need to continue to grow," he says.
印度的企业已经隐隐地嗅到了商机,他们将冰箱卖给乡下人从中获利。巴贾尔家用电器是巴贾尔集团最为重要的下属公司之一。其总经理卡尔?巴贾尔筹划通过直营的方式将电器卖到农村顾客的手上,撇除要抽取大量费用的中间商(例如古鲁巴朗先生)。巴贾尔先生建立了一条名为"巴贾尔世界"的销售链瞄准农村地区。 现在,它共有11家门店,其中有一家开在了仅有20000人口的小城,巴贾尔先生希望明年春天开到70家门店。他表示"此前,我们从没有注意过这些市场,(但是)几年前,为了保持继续的增长,我们开始寻找新市场"
Godrej is pushing even deeper into the hinterland, trying to reach villages with as few as 5,000 people. It is also designing washing machines with manual motors and tiny fridges for homes with unreliable electricity.
Foreign firms such as Samsung and Panasonic are following suit. Mahesh Krishnan, who heads Samsung's home-appliances division in India, hopes to increase the firm's presence in rural shops by a fifth in time for November's Diwali festival, a big shopping season. Foreign firms typically have skimpier distribution networks than their local rivals, but their products are more popular where they are available. A foreign brand is often a status symbol.
As India gets richer, rural folk are becoming more entwined with the national economy. Ramesh Iyer, the managing director of Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services, a rural lender, now has 2m customers, twice as many as he had in 2008. "As they move up the chain, the demand for credit will only get higher," he says. "They are getting aspirational."
印度变得越来越富,乡下人和国家经济的联系越来越紧密。农村借贷机构马辛德拉 & 马辛德拉金融服务的总经理拉梅什?伊艾现在有200万名客户,这一数量是他在2008年的客户数量的两倍,"当他们在产业链上向上移动的时候,信贷的需求就随之增加"他说道,"他们现在雄心勃勃"
Chengalpattu's shopkeepers are upbeat. A motorcycle vendor says families are buying one bike per adult, rather than one for everyone to share, as they did a few years ago. Mr Gurubaran has started stocking 3D televisions that cost 95,000 rupees ($1,700) a pop. Viewers will doubtless see even more new products to crave.
However, rural shoppers cannot always be relied on to splurge. Their wealth often depends on handouts rather than increased productivity. A poor monsoon curbs spending for a whole year—light rains in June are causing jitters, though the forecast for the whole year is still good. Life in small-town India may be better, for now, but it is precarious.

重点单词   查看全部解释    
fiscal ['fiskəl]


adj. 财政的,国库的

concerned [kən'sə:nd]


adj. 担忧的,关心的

broker ['brəukə]


n. 经纪人
vt. 安排,协商(协议的细节,

shifting [ʃiftiŋ]


n. 转移 adj. 不断改换的 动词shift的现在分

precarious [pri'keəriəs]


adj. 不确定的,不安全的

credit ['kredit]


n. 信用,荣誉,贷款,学分,赞扬,赊欠,贷方

conglomerate [kɔn'glɔmərit]


adj. 密集而固结的,成簇的 n. 联合企业,密集体,

rural ['ru:rəl]


adj. 农村的

scheme [ski:m]


n. 方案,计划,阴谋
v. 计画,设计,体系

urban ['ə:bən]


adj. 城市的,都市的


关键字: 印度 日用 消费品



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