Sustainable Buying Behaviour of Sportswear/gear Consumers in India Indian consumers want products that are not compromised in quality and are trendy and stylish in affordable pricing

By Sunil Anchal

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As we know that India is a progressing economy and we are aspiring to be the 5th largest economy in the world by 2019 (already 6th largest per 2018), we are also hoping to be the 3rd largest Consumer market (just behind USA and China) in the world by 2030 reaching at a consumer market size from $1.5 Trillion today to $6 Trillion in 2030, given in a survey in The Economic Times. This way, we are talking about a huge upshift in the consumer market. That's why Indian businesses are becoming a witness of various new consumer start-ups and consumer brands coming to the market in recent years.

Players in The Sector

There is no doubt in this upshift and this is one of the reasons as well where not only established businesses are offering new consumer brands but also Venture Capital backed start-ups are delivering great value to the entire ecosystem.

Improvement in disposable income, quality of life, globalization exposure, and health expectations strongly indicate demand in the fitness and sports industry. It's pretty visible now to see that Indians are becoming more inclined to adopt sports and active lifestyle from viewership shift to doer ship scenario.

Morgan Stanley published an article recently stating that Asia is the largest contributor in the world for athletic wear sales and mentioned that Indian sports market is on an upward trend for last 10 years while keeping the pace upward and steady for future.


When all goes well per observing the trend in such behaviour, Indian consumer story offers certain challenges as well. If we understand the global scenario of developed economies such as USA, Germany, UK and alike others, these countries have high GDP and population is in balance for the appropriate utilization of resources. Indian economy, although progressing, has lower GDP in comparison and high population. In such case, Indian consumer story will write a chapter of history in a different yet interesting manner. Means, the Indian consumer market will have strong consumer demand but considering domestic resources and challenges, Indian consumer demand will largely be fulfilled by domestic businesses.

Domestic paying capacity of Indian consumers at masses is low when we compare to that of developed nations and hence the quality perception of goods including sports products to Indians is per their reach in practical and meaningful buying behaviour. This is, of course, aligning with the theory of needs, wants, and desires.


When we observe such trend, Indian consumers want sportswear for sure since too many this wardrobe is new to them or comes in buying behaviour that has an upward trend. However, this is painful to domestic consumers in India at the masses when they want to buy sportswear products and they usually avoid because the prices of such products are expensive and sometimes very expensive. The reason behind this is organized sports products market in India is highly dominated by International brands and their product positioning is per international markets, and sometimes they are on a product maturing stage to enhance products to offer an experience per the theory of excellence of life.

In this case, here is a classic difference when developed nations are demanding excellence of life such as finding life on other planets or flying or autonomous cars; we in India are demanding quality of life such as 24*7 electricity and water and an acceptable quality lifestyle.

Analysing various facts, this is the current trend where Indian consumers either practically miss their dream sports brand or tend to compromise either with their budget while buying expensive sports products or end up buying fake products in the grey market.

All this goes to the point that expensive products in the sportswear market are not a taste to domestic consumers per their practical reasons. International brands have already observed such trend and news articles state that both the top two sports brands in the world have decided to cut in the brand endorsement of cricket in India and are working on to keep their resources in a tight budget.


Therefore, the main question comes to the mind that what Indian consumers want for sustainable buying behaviour of sportswear products. By observing all facts, answer to this is clear that Indian consumers want reasonable quantity of products that are not compromised in quality and are trendy and stylish coming in affordable pricing that fits well per their domestic paying capacity. If it happens, Indians would love to associate themselves to such sports brand(s) for brand association and will definitely help such sports brands to grow per their sustainable buying behaviour of sportswear with such brands.

Wavy Line
Sunil Anchal

Founder and CEO, Arcley

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