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AUGUST 15, 2017 marks the 70th anniversary of India’s Independence, SANDA puts together factual data, and some key findings for any International Brand exploring to enter the Indian Market.

INDIA, by 2020 & 2022.

By 2020, India will be a population of 1.7 Billion people.

By 2025, 69 cities in India will have a population exceeding one million. For example, considering Bengaluru’s economy, a sizable market of $155 billion in consumption, may turn out to be bigger than Malaysia’s today. Other four metro cities by market size may have annual consumption of $180 billion to $300 billion by 2025

By 2020, the E-Commerce business will rise to $138 billion. This has the potential to drive unprecedented economic growth, create a new market for rural India and side line industries that have reached potential in other regions across globe.

By 2020, 670 million people in India will have internet connection and by 2022, 838.2 million people.

“The STERIOD CALLED JIO”. The boost from 2016 to 2018 is attributed to Reliance JIO offering free internet. This has motivated people in Tier 2 & 3 cities to go online.

By 2020 there will be 526 million smart phone users and by 2022, 696 million Indians will have smart phones.

As of 2017, India boasts 2.39 million high net worth (HNI) individuals and around 1.2 million ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWI) . Besides, more than 50% of the population already reaching middle class, per capita income and per capita consumption is projected to reach record levels.

As of 2017, women contribute close to 17 percent of India’s GDP while making up just 27 percent of the total workforce against 43 percent globally. In next decade, we project that women will be representatives of one of the most powerful economic forces in India.

The GREAT GOLIATH of an Economy

Government of India & the dynamic Prime Minister Modi is working towards helping as many people as possible to get uninterrupted access to Internet. Also, there is a great synergy of Corporate India + the government together to create a sustainable infrastructure for improving internet penetration and usage. This initiative by public administration along with the businesses in India eager to make their presence felt will make sure the products for people in India would be unique and create a platform in the form of content sharing, comments and videos.

Cascading effect of economic, trade and cultural liberalization has taken millions of Indians from one socio economic class to another in the past two decades. Officially, poverty rate has declined from 45 percent in 1994 to 22 percent in 2012. The new class which we term as upper middle class, wherein people spend between 150 to 700 INR per capita per day, has closed to doubled from 300 million in 2004 to 600 million in 2014.

INDIA: the number 1 Retail & Consumer destination.

Very Recently, India pipped China as the number 1 retail & consumer destination. The launch of RELIANCE JIO moved India up the ranks with lightning speed in the past 12 months and we have the growth numbers of smart phone users and internet connectivity mapped above for 2020 & 2022.

For International brands seeking to penetrate the Indian marketplace, here are three findings from a study conducted in five metro cities in India

1)      With rapidly increasing disposable income, availability of International products from Omni Channel means a tectonic shift in spending patterns of consumers. Indians in general are exposed to luxury goods and services due to the Reliance JIO explosion, increase in tourism activities to others countries. Key finding here was that on an average Indian consumers are now aware about International brands thrice the number they were aware in 2015.

2)      Another key finding is increase in wealth distribution among tier 2 and tier 3 cities in India. The government policies are conducive to growth of consumer segments in Tier 2 & 3 cities and this market alone is estimated to grow more than 36%.

3)      In India, mobile shopping has grown by 121 percent since 2015. The GDP for India is forecasted to grow by 7.4 percent in 2017 and by 7.6 percent in 2018. This will help boost the middle class per capita consumption and thereby increase consumer spending beyond the essentials into International Brands segment. These trends will help organised retail triple in size by 2022.

Want to get your International Brand or Business to this Economy?

Write to SANDA on  

Author: Simrita Dhillon, with Kaustubh Shinde (MBA Candidate, MISB Bocconi, Mumbai). 








We wrote our first paper on INDIA for the top officials at ARMANI way back, post my Zegna market entry 3 year stint. SANDA was one of the first people, pitching the attractiveness of this market to luxury brands, Since then, I have always stated. O is for Opportunities, and O is for Obstacles in India. Although the size of the Indian market is very attractive and now with E-Commerce Goliaths reaching the massive consumer market at a faster speed to market bypassing the erstwhile infrastructure issues of 10 years ago of paucity of locations (yet the customs Duties are still high even post the GST (infact there is a lot of ambiguity) on the pricing structure because of the GST, followed by the licensing + regulations, and most importantly the prices to the end consumer, which can be 10-15 percent higher, but no more. 

Besides, India is a long-tail opportunity. 

We are preparing an updated 2017 version of our White paper on Getting Started in India for your brand releasing on Independence Day, August 15, 2017. 

Want to know more, Write to us on 

Speed in Sourcing

Having been a  director at SIGPL, a garment manufacturer in India since 2010, I have been a witness to the garment manufacturing sector, and the space that I identified with is the opportunity as a sourcing agent.

In India, there are of course a lot of 'buying agencies'.  When we worked with some at SIGPL, their ethical standards were questionable and our interactions with them unpleasant. 

 Pivoting into an agency has been an extremely satisfying experience, working with hand-picked manufacturers & keeping the control on design & prototyping by keeping those capabilities in-house. 

 With the pressures of eCommerce, there is a need for manufacturers to upgrade their offering including constant additions of capital intensive technology.  Innovation & speed will be the differentiator and the manufacturer constantly has to give its customer 'more' speed to market. An agent who can keep an eye on the capital flow for a manufacturer and work as a partner both with the manufacturer and its international client is in a unique position in this over-saturated market which needs a fresh approach.
At SANDA SOURCE, we do work out in the best interest of the Indian Manufacturer the lines of credit, the bank guarantees and perhaps factoring which is a novel concept in India. SANDA SOURCE comes with understanding the pain-points of the manufacturer.

  SANDA SOURCE brings this fresh professionalism to a staid 'rag trade'. We offer financial agility, ROI, speed to market, and create a calibrated equation of expectation from the clients to the manufacturer, all in a very transparent way. 

   Want to learn more. Do write to us on



The NewYorkpreneur.

I attended a conference on Raising Capital in Fashion & Retail last week with an awesome panel and a super amazing host. Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, Co-Founder & CEO of Fitz, Joyce Greenberg of Triangle Capital & Collins P.Ward of Lee Equity Partners. The moderator was Sumeet Shah of Brand Foundry. The event was hosted by Harvard Business Club of New York. 

The NewYorkpreneur is an entrepreneur, who created & builds  his/her business idea on the city's ecosystem. The fundamental way a business is constructed, the accelerators which give a good push to their cohort companies with network and funding leads, the access to investors of various sizes, but more than anything, the environment in NYC is about winning. Energy is focused on execution in small baby steps, and businesses grow and scale rapidly. The panel discussion last week was another proof to a NewYorkpreneur as I call companies which grow and scale here. The more time I spent here, the more I understand the New York ecosystem and understand the culture of the city, the more I am convinced of the pure advantages of starting or leveraging on this city's entrepreneurial work culture. 

Like no other entrepreneur - the NewYorkpreneur.

Written by Simrita Dhillon


Design Week in New York

On Monday, May 22nd the atmosphere was eclectic at Soho's Design District.

ItalianCreationGroup, opened stunning flagship retail space at 45, Greene Street. Brands like Driade, Valvucine, FontananArte & Toscoquattro were presented together for the first time to share "one of a kind Italian experience". Stefano Core, the CEO and co-founder of the group, is also my colleague from business school. Catching up with him, at the opening of the Flagship, he mentioned it was the 'finest of Italian craftsmanship' together in one place in New York. 

Stefano told me about  the presentation of the kitchens with the conductor of 'Nuova Orchestra Scarlatti", - Beatrice Venezi. This video has a demonstration with the conductress, evoking emotions of experience around the movement of the kitchen pieces. Spectacular and marvellous. He added, that Valcucine in India was doing well. 

Earlier, in April, on my visit to Milan Design Week (Salone del Mobile), I had met Shresth Kashyap of KNS Architects. Kashyap attends Salone since 2006. He accompanied his private client to Milan, especially to the Giorgetti stand, and while his client, quickly made his decisions on the dining table from Giorgetti's newest release. Kashyap pointed out that the Indian Customer wants exclusivity at this price-point. He wants something which others don't have. Evident from the footfall in the Giorgetti's stand this year. 

At Texere Advisors (SANDA's partners) CEO Andrea Bonardi & the team from Singapore was busy with their clients Moroso and Potocco's development in Asia. 

 Asia (in some cases India + North America) are great markets for Italian Furniture Brands looking for exponential growth. The next 5 year horizon look strong for Italian Design & Furniture Brands.  

Written by Simrita Dhillon,


Global Cosmetics Market

The Global Cosmetics market is expected to garnet $429.8 Billion by 2022, registering a CAGR of 4.3 % during the forecast period 2016-2022. Top factors impacting Global Cosmetics market.

Changing Lifestyles

Improvement in the current lifestyles of the individuals is majorly affecting the cosmetics market. Rising demand for natural, herbal and organic beauty products creates potential opportunities for manufacturers to innovate and develop new products in accordance to consumer preferences, Mens, and Organics and Herbal Cosmetics segments will grow. 

Rising GDPs of all the regions

During recession 2007-2009, there was an overall global rise in GDP and economies across various regions. The cosmetics industry is resistant to economic downturns and poised for even more growth. In today's environment of rising per-capita incomes the beauty business is booming. 


 India's cosmetics market is growing with a CAGR of 17% over a five year period. India is the third largest economy in the world. The Indian Economy is growing by 7.6 percent, The Beauty Sector is slated to be USD 17 Billion by 2020.  And it is the Budget or the Mass Brands which have a more attractive appeal in the market. Modi Revlon Pvt Ltd, launched Color Rich in 2014 to reach 50,000 doors in India. Make-up is a bigger focus than Skin-care, as by and large the Indian Consumer Market is young and Skincare doesn't have a super significant appeal. Online Channels is also an interest avenue of sale. Social Platforms and influencers and beauty blogs reach out to a young audience, which wants to experiment with nail or shimmer eyes with a good quality and good price value proposition. 

Written by Simrita Dhillon. 





American Luxury fashion company, Coach Inc, buys Kate Spade for USD 2.4 Billion, to target the millennial customer. Kate Spade is popular with the Europe and the Asia customers. Almost 15 percent of their sale comes from the International market.

Meanwhile, back in India, a major consolidation happened in the e.Commerce sector with Flipkart all set to buyout Snapdeal, It makes an informal offer of USD 950 to USD 1 Billion. Masayoshi Son owned SoftBank group bought out early investors in Snapdeal (Kalaari Capital and Nexus Venture Partners). Flipkart's early investor, Tiger Global will benefit from this buyout as this deal may see SoftBank buy some of Tiger's holdings in Flipkart and put additional cash into the company. Tiger's MD, Fixel needs some returns after having pumped more than $2 Billion into Indian start-ups since 2010. It is however a double-edged sword for Flipkart.


Absorbing Snapdeal will be very, very challenging and will likely turn out to be a big distraction for Flipkart's management team. But then, Flipkart would also be getting SoftBank as an investor which may prove to be significant over the long term. 


LVMH will launch its multi-brand e.Commerce website this June spearheaded by the group's chief digital officer who joined from Apple Inc in 2015. The new website will be named, and will ship from France to more than 75 countries. Its initial focus will be on womenswear and 68 luxury brands will start selling in the launch phase. Yoox Net-a-Porter and Farfetch already have a significant share of the digital side of the luxury industry which competes with the department store business and the brands own online flagships and digital stores. 

Curated and Edited by Simrita Dhillon. 

Sources: Business of Fashion, Pambianco News and Economic Times. 



India to become the third largest consumer market by 2025

Rising affluence will make India the third-largest consumer market by 2025, making it imperarive for companies to adapt their business models to make the changing needs of the Indian Consumer. Consumption expenditure will increase three times to hit USD 4 Trillion by 2025.

The share of the household income of the elite will increase from 8 percent to 16 percent from 2016 to 2025. As a result the elite and the affluent categories will jointly account for 40 percent of the consumption as against 27 percent now.

Consumers in emerging cities behave differently from big-city consumers. Immediate gratification is becoming more important than asset creation.  While India as  whole is a GROWTH story, certain segments benefit more from rising incomes. Companies should develop a robust omni-channel strategy because digital will play a central role in how Indian Consumers decide what they will buy.

Snapdeal in talks with Flipkart for a possible acquisition

Flipkart, Indian's biggest marketplace in talks with Snapdeal for a possible acquisition. Softbank and Kaalari Capital have given a nod to set the discussions to the next level. Let's see how the Indian Markeplace sector consolidates now, as Amazon India & Flipkart come into leadership marketshares.