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India's Opportunity with the Rising Health and Nutritional Awareness in Tier II and Tier III Cities Constant progression in technology and living quality has also led to people becoming more informed and acquainted with better health and nutritional choices

By Mihir Gadani

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The health and nutritional sector in India has undergone a sea-change in the recent years and preventive healthcare is becoming the preferred norm as opposed to curative healthcare. Rise in education, technology and affluent lifestyle have all contributed to increased awareness levels across the Indian demographic landscape. But the rise in overall technology has also led to an increasingly mechanized and sedentary lifestyle that's devoid of physical workout and movement as modernity prefers getting things done at a mere push of a button. Such a lifestyle is an open invitation to diseases and health ailments such as hypertension, blood pressure and diabetes, among others.

But the good news is that constant progression in technology and living quality has also led to people becoming more informed and acquainted with better health and nutritional choices, thanks to the advent of smartphones, high-speed Internet and the omnipresent social media.

The digital penetration has opened up the hitherto closed and constricted Indian consumer from the tier II and tier III cities, to global lifestyles, tastes and aspirations. This means that the average Indian from a small town through his smartphone can avail the latest trends in the health and wellness sector and can match the global pace.

Compared with the eight major tier I cities, there are more than 3,100 tier II and tier III cities, and towns, and together they account for about 92% of the total urban population. It's no surprise that nutrition and wellness brands have identified and seek to cash in on this tremendous market opportunity.
An increasing number of people from the tier II and III cities are getting under the cover of health insurance and general wellness schemes and modern health trends owing to the increased permeation of the Internet and smartphone technology. Such measures have led to the rise of conscientious consumerism.

People from tier II and tier III cities are opening up to well-informed choices when it comes to adopting a healthy lifestyle. A large percentage of the population from these cities and urban centres are choosing better and healthier alternatives by exposure to global trends and wellness standards via the Internet. State governments around India have increasingly initiated social welfare schemes, free health check-ups and medical camps and comprehensive health insurance policies that provide precious incentive to the tier II and tier III populace to adapt a healthier and wellness-centric way of living.

A huge number of health and wellness related programmes such as specific theme-based cooking shows hosted by recognizable celebrity chefs, a host of shows that educate viewers about the benefits of a healthy diet and a plethora of featured talk shows and discussion based events that spread awareness and knowledge among its viewers regarding what to eat and what not to eat are also making constant rounds. These are increasing in volume and capacity thanks to the multiplicity of specialized food and health based channels, culinary cook offs and wellness trivia shows that constitute daily public viewing through a host of media platforms such as television and Internet-enabled smartphones.

Since the people residing in the tier II and III towns and cities of India make for the majority of the urban population, it is not far from accurate to assume that their socio-political trends and biological tendencies outline the skeletal structure and framework for the country of India for the sake of a unified glance. Therefore if the people residing in the interior and non-metropolis regions of India shift towards embracing a healthier and more nutritional lifestyle, the country is definitely on the correct path traversing on the established roadmap towards achieving its health and wellness goals.

Health is essentially a state of absolute physical, mental, social and economic wellbeing on an individual and collective level and the state of a nation is directly proportional to the state of its majority population. Good health and proper nutrition is also infectious but in a desirable way as it spreads like a forest fire beyond geographical boundaries and rigors .The government sponsored initiatives and programmes that revolve around mainstreaming yoga, ayurveda , natural plant-based diets , anti-tobacco and anti-liquor campaigns are also diversified yet positive steps in the same direction.

As people increasingly tend to become more aware about what they put inside their bodies, the demand for health boosting products and nutritional supplements also tends to rise. A person becoming more knowledgeable means an improved choice-making when it comes to buying products for consumption basis.

A rise in demand for healthier and nutrition-based products in tier II and tier III cities also means an impetus for health-based companies and nutritional brands to develop their presence and start investing in those regions. This is not only good news for the social and biological health fabric of the small town India but also acts as a valuable stimulus for greater economic growth and development by contributing to the country's GDP, improving the business market and creating job potential.

Mihir Gadani

Co-founder and COO of OZiva

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