Culture has always been a predominant determinant of consumer behaviour. Culture denotes the ways of living of people, beliefs, values, customs, institutions, languages, technology, art and is considered as the sum total of knowledge, belief, art, morals, custom, and other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of the society. India, being the land of diverse cultures nurtured over ages has noteworthy repercussion on the psyche of consumers and their buying behaviour. Today, India’s rising economic power is triggered by nearly 120 million consumers who form the strong “Middle Class or Consumer Class” of the country is supported by higher disposable incomes, low cost competitive workforce, investment friendly policies and progressive reform process. India with its rich cultural grounding and a fast growing economy, the study assumes great significance.The present study examines the level of impact of culture on the Indian consumers. The study follows the classification of cultural indicators, socio-cultural changes and its effect on buying habits of Indian consumers and grouping of cultural constituents into broad categories, suggests cultural indicators for strategy-making. It is seen that socio-cultural changes and its effect on buying habits of Indian consumers have led to a noticeable change in the lifestyle of people and consequently the buying behaviour of people in India, especially in the urban areas. The study demystifies myths prevailing about Indian populace and its predisposition towards markets and products. It also explores the connect between the socio-cultural power distance, collectivism, religion and lifestyle as important aspects of culture with the changing economic environment and its influence on consumer behaviour of people in India.The study observes that Tradition/ Social Norms/ Value Systems, Lifestyle, Group Influences, Economic Stability and Education have emerged as predominant variables in the cultural change in India having a direct bearing on the consumer behaviour in India. The study reveals India as a fast growing market with immense potential, but, unlike other markets, it is diverse in its socio-cultural aspects and has a profound influence on the way an average Indian leads his life. Business organizations, willing to operate successfully must take this uniqueness as an important factor for charting out their reaching out to its customers in India.
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- Impact of Culture on Indian Consumers: An Exploratory Study