Global business consultant Gunjan Bagla facilitates trade between the U.S. and India through his California-based consulting company, Amritt. In Doing Business in 21st-Century India: How to Profit Today in Tomorrow's Most Exciting Market, he describes the enormous untapped potential in the Indian market and offers a clear and concise guide for western businesses seeking to enter - and profit from - the Indian market.
Bagla dispels some persistent myths about the business environment in India in the book. For example, according to him, only 50-60 million Indians would meet the definition of “middle class” by Western standards, as opposed to the figure of 300 million middle-class Indians that is more commonly cited (including recently by former President Bush). Bagla, however, notes that that even 50-60 million middle-class Indians in need of American products and services constitute a very large, relatively untapped market.
The book points out that, contrary to the general expectation that only low-priced products can be moved in the Indian market, in fact many high-end products have done quite well in India. Conversely, there is a lot of money to be made at the bottom of the pyramid as well, by selling to the poor. For instance, cell phones are surprisingly common in slums, where landline service is not available. Bagla lists different marketing campaigns and strategies that have worked especially well in India, in selling products both to the upper and lower echelons of this diverse society.
Forbes now lists 27 Indians in its list of billionaires, as opposed to only ten from that other Asian growing economy, China. Bagla notes that American brands are welcomed in India, and that an overwhelming majority (71%) of Indians have a positive impression of America and Americans, as opposed to only 42% of Chinese who harbor such positive feelings about the U.S.
Gunjan Bagla’s book is entertaining and informative, offering practical wisdom on topics as diverse as lawyer jokes (don’t tell them in India, they don’t translate) and kitchen appliances (“mixers” or blenders have to be able to withstand the grinding of Indian spices). A lexicon of Indian terms (in Hindi, English and Hinglish, a lively blend of the two) follows the main text and will prove invaluable to anyone who hopes to do business in India.
Bagla’s facility with Indian and American cultures reveals itself on every page of this book, which is highly recommended for any one who hopes to profit from the emerging Indian market.