After underlining the importance of market research, one of the main things which became apparent early in the process was the sheer size of India, the regional differences and the number of languages within it.
Being from the UK, the English language is the most obvious and simplest place for us - as a new operator within the county - to begin with. However, there is also huge potential in the Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu and Gujurati, and a number of other languages markets.
Planning more for the medium-term we are already talking with potential translation and retail partners about widening availability of our products across key Indian languages. This is all before discussing cultural differences that affect both business and consumer behaviour. These differences can be very subtle but whether in a business proposal or marketing message they can make the difference between working together or not.
With all of the above in mind, one thing quickly became clear – we cannot expect to successfully operate a business in India remotely. The internet makes many things possible from anywhere in the world, but it is clear that we won’t achieve what we want in India without having an office in the country, together with an Indian team. As a small business – we don’t have millions of pounds to invest in new market ventures –but this kind of investment is essential if we are serious about understanding the market and being successful in it.
With logistics falling into place and our understanding of the market growing, the next step will be to fully launch our Indian venture and other related business. This is something we are greatly looking forward to.