We here at ‘Marketing Jobs’ section get a lot of comments and queries (mostly from our young Hyderabadis) saying why we are stressing on marketing jobs and the need of marketing professionals.
We have replied to many of them individually and thought of providing a big picture view of the situation that make it easy for wider audience to know the importance of marketing in today’s environment.
In this article, we will not do much talking – instead we will give you some numbers that will help you understand the need of marketing professionals in today’s scenario. Here we go, let’s compare the market scenario in India today with that was 25 years back.
Indian markets before 1991 – Sellers’ market
Between 1947 and 1990, License Raj system used to prevail in India. Any private company that wants to manufacture goods needs to entertain up to 80 government agencies. The government would regulate production i.e., the quantity of goods they were allowed to produce was determined by the govt., not by the demand in the market.
Due to shortage of products, people literally used to wait for years to purchase (whether it is a car or a telephone connection).
Wait for 5 to 10 years to get a telephone connection: Central government was the monopoly of telecom sector. No private players were there and no competition either. The waiting period to get a telephone connection used to be 5-10 years and call charges used to be sky high.
You book a car; your kids will take the delivery: Only a few brands and models of automobiles existed. In four-wheeler category, only three models were there – Hindustan Motors’ Ambassador, Premier Padmini and Maruthi 800.
- The waiting period for delivery of Maruthi 800 used to be 5 years.
- Hindustan Motors manufactured only 30,000 cars per year during 1980s making the people wait for 5-7 years. They used to say “If fathers were to plan an Ambassador as daughter’s dowry, it usually arrives after a baby is born to the daughter”
In two wheeler category they were only two brands – Bajaj Chetak and LML Vespa.
- Waiting list for Bajaj Chetak scooters in the year 1990 was twenty-six times its annual output. “You book it, your kids will take the delivery”, was a famous joke during those times.
This is how the situation was before 1991. People were eager to get products. They had to continuously follow-up with the companies to get the products delivered. So, there was no need for companies to bother about their business.
No need to attract customers, no need to convince them to purchase a product. Forget about marketing, sales team itself was not required. But later, there was a dramatic change in the markets, which forced companies to focus on marketing. Let’s see what happened post 1991.
Indian markets post 1991 – Buyers’ market
Post 1991, due to the economic reforms, the government of India initiated liberalization policy which along with dismantling License Raj also introduced new policies including opening for international trade and investment, deregulation, initiation of privatization, etc.
These reforms allowed foreign direct investments in major sectors which resulted in the dramatic increase in the number of companies that started producing with respect to market demand. As a result, the choice for Indian consumers increased like never before. With these changes the Indian market slowly changed into buyers’ market where there are more number of sellers, supply is higher than demand and the prices are competitive. If we look at the same industries which we discussed earlier we can clearly see the change –
- International automobile brands like General Motors, Ford, Daewoo, Peugeot, Fiat, Mercedes, Audi, Honda, Mitsubishi, Renault, VW, BMW, Toyota, Hyundai, Chrysler launched a number of models in India.
- The number of cars produced has increased from around 5 lakhs in 1999 to 39 lakhs in 2011
- Today India, is the 6th largest producer of cars in the world
Same is the case with telecom sector. Private players are ruling the sector like never before – Vodafone, Airtel, Tata, Unicorn, Aircel, Idea, Reliance, Virgin, etc.
- The number of telephone connections (both fixed and cellular) grew from 9.8 lakh in 1971 to 5.46 crores in 2011
- The call rate for mobile phones that started at Rs 35 per minute dropped to 1 paisa per second
Same case with other sectors – two wheelers, gas cylinder, clothes, electronics, home appliances, you name it. The supply has surpassed the demand and the current situation is forcing companies to create demand and this is where marketing comes into play.
With the variety of products available, it is becoming difficult for people to make a proper decision. Today, people don’t have time to sit and research through the products. Customers as well as companies need good marketing professionals to differentiate the products and take away the confusion.
There is a huge requirement for marketing professionals – copy writers, research analysts, graphic designers, etc. This is the time for marketers and aspiring marketing graduates to see the big picture and inculcate marketing skills which are highly essential in current market.
Finally a quote from the book ‘Who Moved My Cheese’ for you – ‘If you don’t change you become extinct’.
Want to know the skills required to do a marketing job? Read this article Three Key Talents Required to do a Marketing Job.
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